Boards and associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics establishes the foundation on how REALTORS® are to operate as professionals in the Real Estate Industry. Not every Real Estate Professional is a REALTOR®; only those who adhere to the 17 Articles of the Code of Ethics which defines a higher standard of professionalism and behavior in three categories: Duties to Customers and Clients, Duties to the Public, and Duties to other REALTORS®. By becoming a REALTOR®, members agree to the duties and responsibilities outlined in the Standards of Practice for each of the 17 Articles, and are subject to be sanctioned if found to be in violation of any article.
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.
If, after discussing matters with your real estate professional or a principal broker in that firm, you are still not satisfied, you may want to contact the local board or association of REALTORS®. Many boards and associations have informal dispute resolving processes available to consumers (e.g. ombudsmen, mediation, etc.). 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-ASSOCIATE®s are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
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