REALTORS® are different from non-member licensees in that they voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. If you believe that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s) through the local association of REALTORS® where the REALTOR® holds membership, or participates in a REALTOR® association-owned/operated MLS. You may search for a member’s local affiliation here.
In addition, REALTORS® agree as a condition of membership to arbitrate contractual disputes and specific non-contractual disputes as provided for in Article 17 of the NAR Code of Ethics.
Below are several resources to help you understand what filing and processing an ethics complaint and arbitration request entails, and the general process you can expect when filing an ethics complaint or arbitration request with a local association of REALTORS®. Check with the local association of REALTORS® to ensure you have the proper forms required by that association.
• Code of Ethics (NAR)
• Before You File an Ethics Complaint (NAR)
This brochure explains alternatives to consider before filing an ethics complaint, as well as what to expect after filing a complaint.
• Consumer and REALTOR® Ombudsman Hotline
Occasionally, consumers may find themselves in a dispute with a REALTOR®. The C.A.R. Ombudsmen are volunteers that serve as a neutral and independent voice to answer consumer or REALTOR® questions, improve communication between parties, and suggest possible ways to resolve issues.
• C.A.R. Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual (Summary) (C.A.R.)
Procedures for processing complaints alleging violations of an Association’s bylaws.
• Sanctioning Guidelines (NAR)
While NAR does not recommend specific discipline for certain offenses, it does outline key points to be considered with respect to discipline.
• Duty to Arbitrate (NAR)
From Part Ten, Section 44 of The Code of Ethics & Arbitration Manual
• Arbitratable Issues (NAR)
From Appendix I to Part Ten of The Code of Ethics & Arbitration Manual
• Factors Considered in Arbitration (C.A.R.)
Procuring Cause Guidelines
• No Findings of Fact in Arbitration Awards (NAR)
From Appendix IV to Part Ten of The Code of Ethics & Arbitration Manual
Statements of Professional Standards Policy (NAR)
Code of Ethics and Professional Standards