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Code of Ethics Enforcement & Disputes
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/operated MLS.
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.
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 OAR’s Professional Standards Administrator at 503-362-3645 for assistance.
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.
For more information about these services and what Local Association/Board to file your complaint with, contact OAR’s Professional Standards Administrator at 503-362-3645.
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.
If you are a REALTOR® that has a dispute with another REALTOR®, visit this page for more information by clicking on the title above.