Code of Ethics Enforcement & Disputes

Click here to access NAR’s Code of Ethics, professional standards, and mediation resources.

Code of Ethics

REALTORS® are different from non-member licensees in that they voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. If you believe that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s) through the Local Association/Board of REALTORS® where the REALTOR® holds membership, or participates in a REALTOR® Association/Board-owned or operated MLS.

Search for a member’s local affiliation here

Some of the basic principles of the Code of Ethics include:

  • Protect and promote your client’s interest, but be honest with all parties.
  • REALTORS® shall be careful at all times to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public.
  • Assure, whenever possible, that transaction details are in writing.

Review the REALTORS® Code of Ethics

Pathways to Professionalism

Click here to read Pathways to Professionalism, professional courtesies intended to be used by REALTORS® on a voluntary basis, and cannot form a basis for a professional standards/ethics complaint. Includes respect for the public, respect for property and respect for peers.

Ombudsman Service

An Ombudsman can field and respond to an array of inquiries and complaints, including general questions regarding real estate practices, transaction details, ethical practices and enforcement issues. They can open lines of communication between the public and REALTORS®, and between REALTORS® themselves, in an attempt to resolve misunderstandings before they evolve into larger disputes and charges of unethical conduct.

Ombudsman services are facilitated by the Local Association/Board. Visit our Local Associations/Boards page to find a local Association/Board in your area, or call our Professional Standards Administrator at 503-362-3645 for assistance.

Ombudsman Process FAQ

Ethics Complaints

Each Local Association or Board is responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. Any person having reason to believe that a REALTOR® is guilty of violating the Code of Ethics may file a complaint.

Many ethics complaints result from misunderstanding or a breakdown in communication. Before filing an ethics complaint, you may want to make reasonable efforts to communicate with the REALTOR® or a managing principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action. If these efforts do not resolve the issue, the Local Association/Board can provide options for dispute resolution, including the procedures and forms necessary to file an ethics complaint.

Complaints must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days after the facts constituting the matter complained of could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence or within one hundred eighty (180) days after the conclusion of the transaction or event, whichever is later.

An ethics complaint may be eligible for the Citation Program if there is an alleged violation, identified under the Citation Schedule of Fines for Articles 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14 and/or 16, provided the complaint does not also include Articles which are not included in the citation program.

Citation Policy and Schedule of Fines

Before You File an Ethics Complaint – please click here and read about the process

For more information about these services and what Local Association/Board to file your complaint with, contact the Professional Standards Administrator at 503-362-3645.

Disputes: Buyers & Sellers

There are a variety of options to resolve conflicts that arise from real estate transactions. If you are a buyer or seller that has a dispute with a REALTOR®, visit this page for more information by clicking on the title above.

Disputes: REALTORS®/ Commissions

If you are a REALTOR® that has a dispute with another REALTOR®, visit this page for more information by clicking on the title above.

Click here to access the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics, professional standards, and mediation resources.