New Ethics Citation System | Chicago Association of REALTORS®


New Ethics Citation System for Code of Ethics and Lockbox Violations

To uphold professionalism in our industry, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors adopted a new Ethics Citation System to improve the process, and help protect buyers and sellers. Chicago REALTORS® facing ethics citations now will have the opportunity to save time and money by opting into the new system. The new system took effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and was revised as of June 1, 2017.

How the Ethics Citation System Works

To file a complaint online, click here or file on our website. You can contact or (312) 803-4900 for additional information. Click here for FAQs.

  • A REALTOR® or member of the public can file a complaint against a Chicago REALTOR®. The complaint can be anonymous.
  • A C.A.R. Citation panel will meet to review the complaint.
  • If the panel determines there is enough evidence, it will fine the REALTOR® based on the Citation Violation Schedule.
  • The REALTOR® has 10 days to appeal.
  • After an appeal, the complaint will proceed to the Code of Ethics hearing process.

In lieu of an appeal, payment is due.

  • If payment isn’t submitted within the time-frame allotted for the specific violation, C.A.R. membership privileges will be revoked – including MLS access.

Why Use the Ethics Citation System?

For Complainants: The Ethics Citation System enables C.A.R. to more quickly discipline unethical conduct. Under the new program, a complaint can be filed anonymously. The program is limited to certain Code of Ethics Articles (See schedule below).

To file a complaint, the complainant must support the alleged unethical conduct with written or other documented evidence. If the respondent chooses a hearing, C.A.R. would encourage the complainant to attend.

For Respondents: Chicago REALTORS® who participate in the Ethics Citation System by paying the fine can avoid a time-consuming hearing process. This a confidential process that can save the embarrassment of a hearing process yet still provide due process rights to all parties.

REALTORS® who want to appeal will proceed to an ethics hearing. The hearing panel will then consider all evidence and make a determination whether a violation occurred.

Code of Ethics – Citation Violation Schedule

Download a printable Ethics Citation Schedule:

Ethics_Brochure_Inside_Chart (4)

Article 1 $500 SOP 1-5: Failure to disclose dual representation and obtain written informed consent from both parties.
$2,500 SOP 1-16: Accessing or using or allowing others to access or use a property managed or listed on terms other than those authorized by the owner or seller.
Article 3 $400 SOP 3-4: Failure to disclose existence of a dual or variable rate commission.
$250 SOP 3-6: Failure to disclose existence of other contracts to cooperating brokers.
$2,500 SOP 3-9: Providing access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker.
Article 4 $300 Failure to disclose REALTORS® interest in a property being bought or sold.
Article 5 $300 Providing professional services without disclosing interest in the property.
Article 6 $400 Accepting any commission, rebate or profit on expenditures without client’s knowledge or consent.
Article 9 $200 Failure to fill out all necessary forms fully and completely.
$400 Failure to obtain necessary signatures on forms.
Article 12 $250 Failure to present a true picture in real estate communications and advertising.
$150 Failure to disclose professional status in advertising or other real estate communications.
$500 SOP 12-4: Advertisement offering to sell/lease property without the authority of the owner or the listing broker.
$150 SOP 12-5: Failure to disclose name of firm in advertisement for listed property.
$250 SOP 12-7: Claiming to have “sold” a property when not the listing broker or cooperating broker.
Article 14 $500 Failure to cooperate in any professional standards proceeding.
Article 16 $400 SOP 16-16: Use terms of an offer to modify listing broker’s offer of compensation.
$200 SOP 16-19: Placement of “for sale” or “for lease” sign on property without permission of the seller/landlord.


Lockbox Rules

C.A.R. Bylaw 8.14 $2,500 No Member responsible for a real estate listing shall provide any third-party access to the listed real estate without the seller’s consent and pursuant to the terms and conditions that the seller may reasonably request.