The single, most outstanding characteristic that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is the willingness to accept and abide by the 2020 Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® adopted the Code of Ethics on July 29, 1913, following the professions of medicine, law, and engineering. The Code has been revised several times through the years to reflect current developments in professional real estate practice.
REALTORS® are real estate professionals who have chosen to join the National Association and abide by its strict Code of Ethics. What does this mean to you? It means that any REALTOR® with whom you work has voluntarily agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics, based on professionalism and protection of the public. REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.
The Code of Ethics is a detailed document that spells out the professional responsibilities of every REALTOR®. Do not hesitate to ask a REALTOR® for a copy of the Code, including the Standards of Practice. The Code is your assurance of dealing with a professional who has your best interests in mind.
This area of our website contains valuable Professional Standards resources. Find out how to file an ethics complaint and/or arbitration request or read about choosing mediation as an alternative to arbitration. You will also find information on completing the mandatory Code of Ethics training.
If you believe a REALTOR® may have acted in an unethical manner, seek a resolution through the local Association of REALTORS® where he or she is member. Ethics Complaints that are brought before the Association give those parties involved an opportunity to be educated about the Code. In addition, REALTORS® are judged by their peers as opposed to other individuals who may be far less familiar with the practices and customs of the real estate industry.
If you are filing an Ethics Complaint, please read the following pertinent information before proceeding:
- Ethics Complaints must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days after the facts constituting the matter became known in the exercise of reasonable diligence or within one hundred eighty (180) days after the conclusion of the transaction, whichever is later.
- If you have or will be filing a civil action in the matter, filling a complaint with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, or filing a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the complaint will be held in abeyance until those actions have been resolved.
- Please read “Before You File an Ethics Complaint.” You will then need to complete Form E-1 Ethics Complaint Form and return it to the Association office along with all supporting evidence and documentation. When stating your complaint, please be as detailed as possible.
- Ethics Complaints filed at the Association are forwarded to the Grievance Committee which reviews the case. If they deem sufficient grounds exist for a hearing, then the complaint is forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee.
- Once the complaint is forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing, your presence at such hearing is mandatory.
If a monetary dispute arises from a real estate transaction, seek a resolution through your local Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® are judged by their peers as opposed to other individuals who may be far less familiar with the practices and customs of the real estate industry.
If you are filing an Arbitration Request, please read the following pertinent information before proceeding:
- Request for Arbitration must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days from the closing date of the transaction or within one hundred and eighty (180) days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter became known.
- Arbitration disputes can only be filed by a Broker Principal (a non-principal cannot file for arbitration).
- Form A-1 Request and Agreement to Arbitrate must be signed and completed by the Broker and returned to the Association office along with all supporting documentation and a company check in the amount of $250.
- After an Arbitration Request is filed, Mediation is offered to both parties. Should both parties agree to mediate and the mediation is successful, the $250 Arbitration filing fee is refunded.