Association Merger Procedure
Below are administrative instructions and required documentation developed to assist local associations in processing a request for merger.
Questions concerning the merger procedure can be directed to NAR’s Member Policy Department at 800-874-6500, xt 8399, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local associations requesting a merger must complete an Application for Merger of Member Associations (DOC: 43 KB) and submit it along with supporting documents to the National Association for consideration. Please send this information to:
National Association of REALTORS®
Member Policy Department—Merger Request
430 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
If the application for merger is in order, and the supporting documents are complete, the merger shall be administratively approved and NAR's jurisdiction records shall be updated accordingly. The applicant associations and the State Association shall be notified in writing of final approval. Nothing herein, or nothing in the jurisdiction policies of the National Association shall prohibit non-contiguous local associations from merging.
The National Association publishes a Merger Kit (PDF: 5.08 MB) and maintains a comprehensive Field Guide to Association Mergers and Partnerships to assist associations considering a merger.
State Association Consideration: The applicant association shall also forward a copy of the merger application (with supporting documentation) to the State Association for its information.
(IMPORTANT NOTE: These procedures should only be used by associations that are completing a legal merger. There is a distinction between a merger of two associations and an association that simply dissolves without executing a legal merger with another association. A merger of associations is a legal process that involves one association that dissolves, with its business affairs wound down and its assets and liabilities transferred to the other (“surviving”) association. The assigned territory of both associations is also combined. Associations should consult with local legal counsel on the legal aspects of a merger. This is distinguishable from instances where an association has determined that relinquishing the association’s charter with NAR and dissolving the corporation is preferable to expending the time, effort and money that considering, negotiating and implementing a merger would involve. Following dissolution of the association, members are free to join another association. However, under NAR policy, when an association dissolves, the territory of the association becomes “unassigned”. Dissolving associations do not have the authority to transfer their assigned territory to another association. Rather, any association interested in requesting the unassigned territory must file an application for change of jurisdiction with NAR. Refer to the section entitled Unassigned Territory for filing a request for change of jurisdiction.)
Each signatory association is required to submit a copy of the minutes from its general membership meeting which includes the official action taken in approving the merger. The merger must be approved by a majority of the members present and qualified to vote at a general membership meeting called for such purpose at which a quorum is present, unless otherwise specified in the association's bylaws, or unless there are other requirements of state law.
New Association Name in Conjunction With the Merger Request
If a new name is selected for the association, the name change portion of the merger application will be processed in accordance with NAR's name change procedure. Further, the association must complete the "Agreement to Use the Term REALTOR®" in duplicate, signed by the association's President and Secretary.
Note: There are two (2) versions of the Agreement to Use the Term REALTOR® in the name of the local association: one for incorporated associations, and the other for unincorporated associations. The proper form must be utilized consistent with the association's corporate status.
With implementation of the Organizational Alignment Core Standards program, some local associations that are considering a merger may choose a “chapter” structure to preserve their identity. Read more here.
Unless otherwise requested, the association will retain the oldest charter date of the associations which are signatories to the application for merger.
A merger application which will result in a local association having assigned territorial jurisdiction in more than one state must include any agreement between affected state associations concerning state membership for REALTOR® members of that local association. Where there is no agreement to the contrary between affected state associations, current NAR policy provides that REALTORS® holding primary membership will hold state membership in the state association where their office is located. Merging associations are encouraged to discuss and resolve this issue with affected state associations early in the merger process. A copy of the agreement between state associations or, alternatively, written notification that no agreement exists must be included with the merger application. (revised 4-98)
The surviving association should contact NAR's Membership Records at 800-868-3225 to receive a ledger of members for all associations that will be dropped as a result of the merger and for specific instructions on how to reconcile the member records in automated and non-automated states. Doing so will ensure that accurate member counts and records are reflected in NAR's database for use in dues calculations and director entitlement.
Application for Merger of Member Associations completed in duplicate and signed by President and Secretary of signatory associations. We recommend the associations contact NAR’s Member Policy department to verify each association's jurisdiction prior to submitting the application for merger.
Copy of association minutes. Each signatory association is required to submit a copy of the minutes from its general membership meeting which includes the official action taken in approving the merger.
Agreement to Use the Term REALTOR® form completed in duplicate and signed by the President and Secretary. Note: This form is not required if the association retains the present name of one of the signatory associations.
- Copy of agreement regarding state membership or written confirmation that no agreement exists. (Applies only to mergers resulting in a local association having assigned territorial jurisdiction in more than one state.