Other Resources

Fair Housing

As champions of Fair Housing laws, the National Association of REALTORS® fights discrimination and promotes equality through an award-winning program called “At Home with Diversity.” Since 1998, more than 25,000 REALTORS® and association executives have completed the program with aims to train real estate professionals to work effectively with diversity in today’s market. NAR offers a comprehensive field guide on fair housing, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offers an excellent resource page for fair housing as well.


How to Recognize Housing Discrimination?

Don’t be fooled by a smile and a handshake. Learn to recognize the signs of discrimination in rentals, sales, leases, mortgage lending, property appraisals, homeowner insurance, and real estate services.

The message may be a subtle as:

  • “We don’t have any service available for people in wheelchairs.”
  • “Your children won’t have anyone to play with here.”
  • “I would love to have you as a tenant but you have a Seeing Eye dog and we have a strict ‘No Pets Policy’.”
  • “There isn’t anyone else here who speaks Spanish so you might feel uncomfortable living here.”
  • “We don’t make loans in the area where the house you are buying is located.”

And involves Homes, Apartments, Condominiums, Housing Cooperatives and Mobile Homes and all terms and conditions relating to the enjoyment of housing.

*Download: April 2024 Fair Housing – Plugged in Infographics. Click here.

Watch: NAR Implicit Bias Training Video

Click here to view the updated Word and Phrase Usage List that was published in the Spring 2022 edition of Georgia REALTOR® magazine

Advertising Guidelines

It shall be unlawful to make, print, or publish or cause to be made any notice, statement or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, (exclusion) or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap/disability, familial status, or national origin, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.

Advertising agencies, newspapers, sales firms, real estate brokerages, real estate licensees and management companies, as well as their clients, are subject to the provisions of the Fair Housing Laws.

The law applies to:

  • Classified Ads
  • Display Ads
  • Inserts
  • Or any other type of real estate or rental advertising
  • And the selective placing of advertisements

It applies to any type of advertising or written material:

  • Brochures
  • Direct Mailing
  • Radio or television ads
  • MLS listings
  • Posters
  • Billboards
  • Application forms
  • Or other documents, signs or videos

This prohibition against discriminatory advertising applies to singe-family homes and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.

Human models in photographs, drawings or other graphics may not be used to indicate exclusiveness because of national origin, race, color, religion, sex, disability or familial status.

  • Models should be clearly definable as reasonably representing majority and minority groups in the metropolitan area
  • Both sexes and when appropriate, families with children
  • Models, if used, should portray persons in an equal social setting and indicate to the general public that the housing is open to all
Use of Words

  • Advertisers and publishers should avoid offensive and/or marginal expressions
  • Some words or phases are clearly red flags and may imply a preference for or limitation against one of the protected classes

Click here to view the updated Word and Phrase Usage List that was published in the Spring 2022 edition of Georgia REALTOR® magazine

Read more about a REALTOR®’s duty to the Public in the NAR Code of Ethics Article 10.


If the housing is an apartment or house with a shared common living area, or is a dormitory in an educational institution, a preference for sex may be advertised. However, if there is no common living space (i.e. a mother-in-law apt. or basement apt.), no preference can be advertised. NO OTHER PREFERENCE IS ACCEPTABLE IN ROOM-MATE ADVERTISING (i.e. “Christian female to share apartment” is prohibited).

Housing for Older Persons

Housing for older persons meeting federal regulation may advertise a preference for age. Phrases such as “55+ Community”, “Senior Complex” and “Housing for Older Persons” may be used. NO OTHER PREFERENCE IS ALLOWED IN HOUSING FOR OLDER PERSONS ADVERTISING.

A Pathway to Professional Conduct

While the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association establishes objective, enforceable ethical standards governing the professional conduct of REALTORS®, it does not address issues of courtesy or etiquette. Based on input from many sources, the Professional Conduct Working Group of the Professional Standards Committee developed the following list of professional courtesies for use by REALTORS® on a voluntary basis. This list is not all-inclusive, and may be supplemented by local custom and practice.

I. Respect for the Public

  • Follow the “Golden Rule” – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
  • Respond promptly to inquiries and requests for information.
  • Schedule appointments and showings as far in advance as possible.
  • Call if you are delayed or must cancel an appointment or showing.
  • If a prospective buyer decides not to view an occupied home, promptly explain the situation to the listing broker or the occupant.
  • Communicate with all parties in a timely fashion.
  • When entering a property, ensure that unexpected situations, such as pets, are handled appropriately.
  • Leave your business card if not prohibited by local rules.
  • Never criticize property in the presence of the occupant.
  • Inform occupants that you are leaving after showings.
  • When showing an occupied home, always ring the doorbell or knock – and announce yourself loudly – before entering. Knock and announce yourself loudly before entering any closed room.
  • Present a professional appearance at all times; dress appropriately and drive a clean car.
  • If occupants are home during showings, ask their permission before using the telephone or bathroom.
  • Encourage the clients of other brokers to direct questions to their agent or representative.
  • Communicate clearly; don’t use jargon or slang that may not be readily understood.
  • Be aware of and respect cultural differences.
  • Show courtesy and respect to everyone.
  • Be aware of – and meet – all deadlines.
  • Promise only what you can deliver – and keep your promises.
  • Identify your REALTOR® and your professional status in contacts with the public.
  • Do not tell people what you think – tell them what you know.
II. Respect for Property

  • Be responsible for everyone you allow to enter listed property.
  • Never allow buyers to enter listed property unaccompanied.
  • When showing property, keep all members of the group together.
  • Never allow unaccompanied access to property without permission.
  • Enter property only with permission even if you have a lockbox key or combination.
  • When the occupant is absent, leave the property as you found it (lights, heating, cooling, drapes, etc). If you think something is amiss (e.g. vandalism) contact the listing broker immediately.
  • Be considerate of the seller’s property. Do not allow anyone to eat, drink, smoke, dispose of trash, use bathing or sleeping facilities, or bring pets. Leave the house as you found it unless instructed otherwise.
  • Use sidewalks; if weather is bad, take off shoes and boots inside property.
III. Respect for Peers

  • Identify your REALTOR® and professional status in all contacts with other REALTORS®.
  • Respond to other agents’ calls, faxes, and e-mails promptly and courteously.
  • Be aware that large electronic files with attachments or lengthy faxes may be a burden on recipients.
  • Notify the listing broker if there appears to be inaccurate information on the listing.
  • Share important information about a property, including the presence of pets; security systems; and whether sellers will be present during the showing.
  • Show courtesy, trust and respect to other real estate professionals.
  • Avoid the inappropriate use of endearments or other denigrating language.
  • Do not prospect at other REALTORS®’ open houses or similar events.
  • Return keys promptly.
  • Carefully replace keys in the lockbox after showings.
  • To be successful in the business, mutual respect is essential.
  • Real estate is a reputation business. What you do today may affect your reputation – and business – for years to come.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®.

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