REALTOR® Code of Ethics
Boards and Associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation which apply only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®.
Many difficulties between real estate professionals (whether REALTORS® or not) result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them or with a principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.
Before You File an Ethics Complaint
If, after taking these steps, you still feel you have a grievance, you may want to consider filing an ethics complaint. You will want to keep in mind that…
- Only REALTORS® and REALTOR®-Associates are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
- If the real estate professional (or their broker) you are dealing with is not a REALTOR®, your only recourse may be the state real estate licensing authority or the courts.
- Boards and Associations of REALTORS® determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken. Those decisions can only be made by the licensing authorities or the courts.
- Boards of REALTORS® can discipline REALTORS® for violating the Code of Ethics. Typical forms of discipline include attendance at courses and seminars designed to increase REALTORS®’ understanding of the ethical duties or other responsibilities of real estate professionals. REALTORS® may also be reprimanded, fined, or their membership can be suspended or terminated for serious or repeated violations. Boards and Associations of REALTORS® cannot require REALTORS® to pay money to parties filing ethics complaints; cannot award “punitive damages” for violations of the Code of Ethics; and cannot suspend or revoke a real estate professional’s license.
- The primary emphasis of discipline for ethical lapses is educational, to create a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the duties the Code imposes.
COMPLAINT PROCEDURES OUTLINE
If you have a challenge with your Realtor and feel he, or she may have violated the Code, prior to filing a formal complaint, contacting their Broker in Charge often proves to be the fastest and most efficient way to resolve an issue.
If you are unable to come to a resolution the Board of Realtors is your next step.
Once you have called the Association office @ 828-837-5297 you will be sent the E-1 form for completion. Please note: Your complaint should be filed within 180 days of the sited ethics violation. The E-1 form will need to include which Article of the Code the member has violated. The following link will provide you access to the Articles: https://www.nar.realtor/about-nar/governing-documents/code-of-ethics/2021-code-of-ethics-standards-of-practice
Once you have completed the form, please return to the Board office by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to Mountain Lakes Board of Realtors, 93 Tennessee Street Murphy NC 28906, along with a narrative of your experience.
Once received you will be contacted regarding the Ombudsman Services offered though the NC State Association of Realtors.
If this service does not provide a resolution your complaint, it will then move to be reviewed by the Grievance Committee to determine if it meets the criteria for the Board to impose an Education or Citation requirement for the Realtor Respondent. Boards and Associations of Realtors cannot require the respondent to pay complainants or award punitive damages for violations of the Code.
Issues that are not a part of our Citation Policy will then be moved to a Professional Standards Hearing.
Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS®
93 Tennessee Street, Murphy, NC 28906
828-837-5297 • Staff@Mtnlakesbor.com
Monday-Friday 9:00 am - 4:00pm