REALTORS® are different from non-member licensees in that they voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. If someone believes that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, they are free to file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s) through any local board of REALTORS® where the REALTOR® holds membership, or participates in a REALTOR®-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 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®.
Before You File an Ethics Complaint
This brochure explains alternatives to consider before filing an ethics complaint, as well as what to expect after filing a complaint.
Sample Chronology of an Ethics Complaint
This downloadable document serves as a guide to the ethics complaint process.
While NAR does not recommend specific discipline for certain offenses, it does outline key points to be considered with respect to discipline.
Hearing Officers: Arbitration
This document details four options that may be adopted locally to supplement the arbitration hearing procedures established in NAR's Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.
Hearing Officers: Ethics
This document details four options that may be adopted locally to supplement the ethics hearing procedures established in NAR's Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.
Procuring Cause Arbitration Worksheet
This worksheet is for use at local association hearing panels when identifying relevant issues and facts in determining questions of entitlement to disputed funds.
The Five E's of Due Process
The right of a private judicial system, like NAR's ethics and arbitration hearings, is conditioned by law in its commitment to due process as recognized by the five elements explained in this article.
Buyer/Seller Dispute Resolution System (DRS)
This program is designed to resolve disputes between buyers, sellers, and real estate brokers/salespeople not otherwise covered under Article 17 of NAR's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. DRS reflects an effort to design workable and fair alternatives to civil litigation.
Hearing Panelists' Roles, Preparation, and Etiquette
This page outlines what is expected of hearing panelists in ethics and arbitration hearings.