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Entry 2304.3 - "UNDER ALL IS THE LAND" - Our Pledge to Protect Private Property Rights

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

"UNDER ALL IS THE LAND" - Our Pledge to Protect Private Property Rights

At the dedication of the NAR Headquarters in Washington DC in the fall of 2004, and

immediately upon entering the main floor lobby you read an impressive glass display etched

with the words “UNDER ALL IS THE LAND”. Written by the Ethics Committee A.H.

Barnhisez, Chairman and published by the National Association of Real Estate Boards in

1924, it begins:

“Under its wise utilization and widely allocated ownership depend the

survival and growth of free institutions and of our civilization. The

REALTOR® is the Instrumentality through which the land resource of the

nation reaches its highest use and through which ownership attains its

widest distribution.”

When you took your REALTOR® Pledge your promise was "To protect the individual right of

real estate ownership and to widen the opportunity to enjoy it." Protection of Private-

Property-Rights is the cornerstone of the real estate industry and is an extension of what our

forefathers believed is our country's highest ideals. Pre-Revolutionary philosophers and

scholars, John Locke, and William Blackstone, regarded private property rights as

fundamental to individual liberty. Their beliefs of "Liberty and Property" gained the weight of constitutional protection with ratification of the Fifth Amendment in 1791 and later the

Fourteenth Amendment in 1868.

At New Member Orientation I emphasize that an objective of the REALTOR® organization is

"To oppose harmful legislation and to strive for legislation beneficial to real estate". As REALTORS®, it is our duty and obligation, of which we have "Pledged", to protect and

defend the “Private-Property-Rights"; of all who want to own and transfer real property.

Today, ordinary Americans can own and transfer real property with relative ease. But it took

us well over 200 years to create and perfect this system that most Americans now take for

granted. The 100+ years existence of the REALTOR® organization was founded on the

fundamental concept of protecting Private-Property-Rights. Property ownership establishes

something much broader than just an emotional connection, far more than just the house

itself. REALTORS® do more than just sell houses, we sell "Homes", we sell

"Neighborhoods", we sell "Communities" and we do it every day.

I believe that "REALTORS® make a difference", and one of the ways we collectively make a

difference is in our staunch stance on protecting and defending "Private-Property-Rights".


The above does not constitute Legal Advice. Therefore, find a competent attorney for legal advice.


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