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Membership Qualification Criteria for REALTOR® Applicants That Are Principals

Applicants for REALTOR® Membership who are sole proprietors, partners, corporate officers, or branch office managers in a real estate firm may be required to supply satisfactory evidence that they have the following.

Applicants for REALTOR® Membership who are sole proprietors, partners, corporate officers, or branch office managers in a real estate firm may be required to supply satisfactory evidence that they have:

1. A VALID REAL ESTATE LICENSE (AND ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS AND ITS RECOGNIZED BRANCHES)

Explanation: "A valid real estate license" is intended to mean that applicants for REALTOR® Membership who are sole proprietors, partners, corporate officers, or branch office managers in a firm engaged in the real estate business must maintain a current, valid real estate broker's or salesperson's license or must be licensed or certified by an appropriate state regulatory agency to engage in the appraisal of real property.

The term "actively engaged" in business contemplates that the licensed or certified applicants will have an office for the conduct of real estate business and shall hold themselves out to the public as being actively engaged in the real estate business, and shall actively seek and service real estate business. It does not contemplate that applicants must devote all or even a majority of their time to the real estate business or derive any particular percentage of their income from such business. It does not contemplate that applicants shall have no other job or occupation.

Where question arises as to whether or not applicants are "actively engaged" in the real estate business, they shall be given the opportunity to present evidence concerning the actual and intended scope of their business activities. In the event any applicant for membership is rejected on the basis of failure to be "actively engaged," the Board should promptly seek a declaratory judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction affirming the propriety of such rejection.

2. A PLACE OF BUSINESS WITHIN THE STATE OR A STATE CONTIGUOUS THERETO

3. NO RECORD OF OFFICIAL SANCTIONS INVOLVING UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Qualification: “No record of official sanctions involving unprofessional conduct” is intended to mean that the Board may consider:

  1. judgments against the applicant within the past three (3) years of violations of

    1. civil rights laws;

    2. real estate license laws;

    3. or other laws prohibiting unprofessional conduct rendered by the courts or other lawful authorities

  2. criminal convictions if

    1. the crime was punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year under the law under which the applicant was convicted; and

    2. no more than ten years have elapsed since the date of the conviction or the release of the applicant from the confinement imposed for that conviction, whichever is the later date.

4. MEMBERSHIP FILE

Qualification: Associations may, at their discretion, also consider the following in determining an applicant's qualifications for membership:

  1. All final findings of Code of Ethics violations and violations of other membership duties in any other association within the past three (3) years

  2. Pending ethics complaints (or hearings)

  3. Unsatisfied discipline pending

  4. Pending arbitration requests (or hearings)

  5. Unpaid arbitration awards or unpaid financial obligations to any other association or association MLS

  6. Any misuse of the term REALTOR or REALTORS in the name of the applicant’s firm

"Provisional" membership may be granted in instances where ethics complaints or arbitration requests (or hearings) are pending in other associations or where the applicant for membership has unsatisfied discipline pending in another association (except for violations of the Code of Ethics, see NOTE below) provided all other qualifications for membership have been satisfied. Associations may reconsider the membership status of such individuals when all pending ethics and arbitration matters (and related discipline) have been resolved or within six months from the date that provisional membership is approved if such matters have not been resolved. Provisional members shall be considered REALTORS® and shall be subject to all of the same privileges and obligations of REALTOR® membership.

If a member resigns from another association with an ethics complaint or arbitration request pending, the association may condition membership on the applicant's certification that he/she will submit to the pending ethics or arbitration proceeding (in accordance with the established procedures of the association to which the applicant has made application) and will abide by the decision of the hearing panel.

NOTE: Article IV, Section 2, of the NAR Bylaws prohibits Member Boards from knowingly granting REALTOR or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE membership to any applicant who has an unfulfilled sanction pending which was imposed by another Board of Association of REALTORS for violation of the Code of Ethics.

5. NO RECENT OR PENDING BANKRUPTCY

Qualification: No recent or pending bankruptcy is intended to mean that the applicant or any real estate firm in which the applicant is a sole proprietor, general partner, corporate officer or branch office manager is not involved in any pending bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings or has not been adjudged bankrupt in the past three (3) years. If a bankruptcy proceeding as described above exists, membership may not be rejected unless the Board establishes that its interests and those of its members and the public could not be adequately protected by requiring that the bankrupt applicant pay cash in advance for Board and MLS fees for up to one (1) year from the date that membership is approved or from the date that the applicant is discharged from bankruptcy (whichever is later). In the event that an existing member initiates bankruptcy proceedings, the member may be placed on a "cash basis" from the date that bankruptcy is initiated until one (1) year from the date that the member has been discharged from bankruptcy.

6. COMPLETED THE BOARD INDOCTRINATION COURSE

Qualification: It is presumed that the Indoctrination Course to be completed as a prerequisite for membership is confined to the subjects of the Constitution, Bylaws, policies, rules and regulations of the local Board, State Association, and the National Association as well as the Code of Ethics of the National Association. It is not contemplated that completion of the Indoctrination Course covering topics included in the licensing examination will be required for qualification.

7. SIGNIFIED THEIR INTENTION TO ABIDE BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® CODE OF ETHICS

8. SIGNIFIED THEIR INTENTION TO ABIDE BY THE CONSTITUTION, BYLAWS, POLICY, AND RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE LOCAL BOARD, STATE ASSOCIATION, AND THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Explanation: By such agreement in the application, applicants assume a continuing membership obligation.

Important Note to Member Boards

When a Board declines to accept an applicant on the basis of failure to satisfy Point 1. (actively engaged), Point 3. (no record of official sanctions involving unprofessional conduct), and/or Point 5. (no recent or pending bankruptcy), it is recommended that the Board seek a declaratory judgment in the civil courts, affirming its decision. Board Legal Counsel will advise as to the proper form and procedures in seeking a declaratory judgment. A sample form which may be used for this purpose is included in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual. No petition should be prepared except by Board legal counsel.

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