PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS – FAQS
Check out these frequently asked questions about The Professional Standards Process: Filing A Complaint/Arbitration Request.
The establishment of a Code of Ethics recognizing high standards of business practice and professional conduct by real estate practitioners was a primary reason for the establishment of the National Association in 1908.
The ethics complaints process gives REALTORS® as well as members of the public, a chance to report unethical behavior, and allows REALTORS® to arbitrate their commission disputes.
The Committee asks that you file your complaint based on Articles of the Code of Ethics. These Articles should also be addressed in a narrative or summary of events leading up to why you feel a REALTOR® violated the specific Articles you have cited.
Keep in mind:
- The Grievance Committee has the right to add, delete and amend your complaint.
- They also have the authority to dismiss your complaint if they feel that it is without merit based on the Code of Ethics.
- If your complaint is dismissed, and you still feel that a REALTOR® violated a particular Article, you will have the opportunity to appeal their decision to the Board of Directors.
Please read and fill out the forms completely to eliminate the need to amend the complaint later, which will result in lengthy delays in processing. You will note that a $500 filing fee is required. You must send this filing fee along with your request; your request will not proceed without it. You will also need to submit a narrative or transcription of events leading up to your request for arbitration.
After receipt of the full complaint, the Grievance Committee will then forward your complaint on, or dismiss it based on arbitrability. If your request is dismissed, you will have the opportunity to appeal to the Board of Directors.
- If you do not agree with the additions, you may file an appeal to the Board of Directors.
- Otherwise, please sign the complaint form indicating that you agree with the additions, and your complaint will be forwarded to the respondent.
If after the Articles have been added, you would like to address them in your complaint, you may send additional information to the Professional Standards Administrator to be added to your complaint.
- If you agree to the dismissal of the Article(s), then sign the form and send it back to the Professional Standards Administrator, your complaint will then be forwarded to the respondent.
- If you do not agree with the dismissal of the Article(s), you may appeal the dismissal to the Board of Directors. Fill out the appeal form included with the amended form, and it will be forwarded to the Board of Directors at their next meeting. No additional information may be added or attached to the form. Keep in mind: the Directors shall consider only the information and documents considered by the Grievance Committee with the appeal and render its decision. You do not have the right to be present at the Directors meeting. They will review your appeal and will disseminate their decision to you through the Professional Standards Administrator. Their decision is final.
When filing for arbitration, it is important to remember who you are filing your complaint against. These parties are called the ‘respondents.’
On the first page of the form, you will notice that there are three lines in section three (3). This section is for whom you are filing your request against:
- Who is holding the commission?
- Who is disputing that you are entitled to the commission?
These BROKERS go here, as arbitration is Broker to Broker (REALTOR® principal). If there were any agents involved (REALTOR® non-principals), they would also be listed in this section.
Section four (4) is where you would put the amount of commission currently in dispute, and who is holding that commission.
In section seven (7), you will list the agent (REALTOR® non-principal) from your office that is involved in the dispute if they will be attending the hearing.
Please note: the complainant(s) must sign the form in order for arbitration to proceed. By signing this form, you agree to abide by the award that is rendered in this case. If you have any other questions, please contact the Association.
Mediation is a process that would take place immediately after the complainant finishes filing with the association. All of our mediators have vast experience in real estate and have mediated an array of disputes. In filing for mediation, you are going to experience an alternative to arbitration in which the parties (you) come to an agreement together. The mediator only makes suggestions, where a hearing panel will make the decision for you, all or nothing. Through mediation, parties generally walk out with relationships still intact, and good feelings about the Professional Standards process. Where arbitration can be lengthy and rigid, mediation is quick and casual.