REALTOR® Code of Ethics & Our Complaint Process Filing an Ethics Complaint In order for an ethics complaint to be processed, a formal complaint must be filed using the Ethics Complaint Form E-1. If you are completing this form, you will need to refer to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® to determine which Article(s) you believe have been violated. Your complaint should include a supporting typewritten narrative or chronological summary of the events giving rise to your complaint. Once the Ethics Complaint form E-1 is complete, and any supporting documents are attached, submit it to Lenawee County Association of REALTORS®.
Once received, a copy of the complaint and all related materials will be sent to the respondent, who will have 14 days to submit a reply. Once this reply is received by LCAR a complete copy is forwarded to the Complainant. When confirmation that the complainant desires to continue with their complaint, all materials related to the complaint are forwarded to the LCAR Grievance Committee for review. The Grievance Committee's responsibility is to review the case materials and based on a certain set of guidelines they must follow, determine if the facts presented in the complaint warrant a hearing. If the case is referred to hearing, a panel of Professional Standards Committee members will be appointed to hear the case. This panel will determine if the Code of Ethics has been violated.
The formal hearing, usually held at the LCAR office, will be set for a time mutually convenient for all parties. If the hearing panel, as a result of the ethics hearing, determines that the member has violated the Code of Ethics, they may recommend disciplinary action to LCAR Board of Directors. Such disciplinary actions may require the respondent to complete an appropriate education class, may prescribe a letter of warning or reprimand; may impose a fine of up to $5,000, a period of suspension of member services or a termination of board membership, or a combination of two or more of the above.
The Ethics Complaint process may take between two and three months, allowing a reasonable time for responses, review by the Grievance Committee, scheduling of the hearing, and for adoption of the hearing panel recommendations by the Board of Directors.
Filing for Arbitration To file for the arbitration of a commission dispute, you must use the Request Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-1. On this form you must state the specific amount of your dispute. Your request for arbitration should include a supporting typewritten narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred, as well as copies of any documents you feel will support your claim.. Once the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate and supporting materials are assembled, submit them to the Lenawee County Association of REALTORS®, along with a check for $200 payable to LCAR.
A copy of your Request and Agreement to Arbitrate will then be forwarded to the respondent, who will have 14 days to submit their response and deposit. The arbitration request fee of $200 will be collected from both parties to dispute. Once LCAR receives the response, all related case materials are forwarded to the Grievance Committee for their review. The Grievance Committee's responsibility is to review the case and, based on certain guidelines they must follow, determine if the dispute is properly the subject of arbitration and referred to a Professional Standards Committee for an arbitration hearing. Once the case is referred to hearing, a panel will be selected from the Professional Standards Committee to hear the case. The formal hearing, held at the LCAR office, is set for a time mutually convenient for both parties.
The arbitration process may take between sixty to ninety days, allowing a reasonable time for correspondence, for review by the Grievance Committee, and then for scheduling of the arbitration hearing. Some cases that may involve more than one REALTOR® Association could take longer. Note: Because commissions are paid directly to brokers, if an agent has concern for an arbitration they must understand that the brokers must be the individuals to file for arbitration, not the agent involved in the transaction. Note: Once the Request for Arbitration is forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee, the dispute is eligible for the alternative board mediation service.
National Association of REALTORS® Links for Professional Standards wwwrealtor.org/topics/professional-standards
National Association of REALTORS® Links: