The National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics is what sets REALTORS® apart from other licensees. Violations of this code are taken very seriously. In most cases, you will file an ethics complaint with the local board of the person whom you feel is in violation of the Code. This can sometimes be difficult to find, especially when a REALTOR® works in a large area.
If you have questions regarding your complaint please contact EAR at 541-484-3043 and we will help walk you through the process of the Ombudsman program!
NAR’s Code of Ethics, professional standards, and mediation resources.
Filing an Ethics Complaint
- Sign and date the document.
- Give the name of the Respondent (the REALTOR® you are filing the complaint against).
- Indicate which of the 17 Code of Ethics Articles you feel have been violated.
- Attach a written summary of the situation and any documentation (such as listing agreements, purchase agreements, buyer contracts or disclosure forms) which support your complaint.
- Complaints must be filed within 180 days of the time that the alleged offense and facts relating to it could have been known by the complainant in the exercise of reasonable diligence or within 180 days after the conclusion of the transaction or event, whichever is later.
- Once you have completed the proper form, mail it to the Professional Standards Administrator of the appropriate local board.
After you have taken the steps above, your complaint will be reviewed by a grievance committee. This committee will decide if there are grounds for a Professional Standards hearing. If the complaint moves to the hearing phase, you will be sent additional information regarding that process.
The Code of Ethics: A commitment to the public
2021-NAR Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® is the promise to the public that when dealing with a real estate broker that is a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction related matters
Only REALTORS® pledge to abide by the Association’s Code of Ethics and only REALTORS® are held accountable for their ethical behavior.
If you have encountered a real estate broker who you believe has engaged in unprofessional, unethical, or incompetent conduct, there are several options available to you.
If you are not sure if your concern relates specifically to conduct governed by the Code of Ethics and its related to transactional issues, real estate practices, or technical or procedural matters that could easily be responded to; OR maybe it is more serious, but you would like to try to resolve it prior to it becoming a formal complaint, then the Ombudsman Program might be the right avenue for you.
The Ombudsman Program in its simplest definition is informal telephone mediation. In some cases it can address and solve minor complaints from the public. It can also solve inter-REALTOR® conflicts before they become serious problems. Like a mediator, an ombudsman helps parties find solutions.
Resolution of Ethical Concerns
File an Ethics Complaint if your complaint deals primarily with whether the actions or inactions taken by a broker were ethical or lawful rather than specifically seeking damages for a loss sustained.
Mediation is a way of resolving a dispute in which an impartial person (the mediator) helps you discuss concerns and if possible reach a voluntary agreement. The mediator helps you think about your individual needs and interests, clarify your differences with the other person, and find common ground. In mediation:
- You are the decision-maker; the mediator has no authority to make decisions.
- You determine the issues that need to be addressed; the mediator guides the process and maintains a safe environment.
- The mediator uses and helps you to use active listening skills.
- The mediator does not give legal or other professional advice to you. The mediator may help you think of options to consider, possibly with the help and advice of another professional.
- Mediation is usually private. If not, the reason why is explained before beginning mediation. You have a right to quit mediation at any time.
- Agreements are reached only when you agree.