Code of Ethics
Anyone can place a "For Sale" sign on a front lawn, but it takes a REALTOR® to understand and comply with the National Association of REALTOR® Code of Ethics. It is this Code that distinguishes genuine REALTOR® from anyone carrying a lawn sign.
NAR’s professional standards policies include a defined process of checks and balances to protect members and evaluate potential Code violations. The presentation above describes this process.
We have expanded our online information about both the ethics and arbitration services available from GMAR.
The Ombudsman Program is the first step in conflict resolution. It is an informal, neutral, independent, and highly confidential way for Realtors® and their clients and customers to express their concerns and explore options to help resolve those concerns. An Ombudsman is appointed to receive and resolve disputes through constructive communication and advocating for consensus and understanding. Read the ombudsman process FAQs below.
Filing a Complaint
Before you File an Ethics Complaint
Boards and Associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. 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®.
Download the PDF: Before You File an Ethics Complaint
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 you are still not satisfied after discussing matters with your real estate professional or a principal broker in that firm, you may want to contact the local Board or Association of REALTORS®, where the REALTOR® holds primary membership to learn more about filing a complaint and the process.
Visit the dropdown below to learn about the process for Filing an Ethics Complaint. Download the General Instructions and Information for Filling and Replying to Complaints Form.
For questions, please contact GMAR’s Professional Standards Administrator via email at Pauline@gmaronline.com or by phone at 248-522-0340.
The duty of REALTORS® to arbitrate is based in the Code of Ethics, specifically, Article 17, which provides:
- In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS® (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as REALTORS®, the REALTORS® shall submit the dispute to arbitration by following the regulations of their Board or Boards rather than litigate the matter.
- The obligation to participate in arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of REALTORS® (principals) to cause their firms to arbitrate and be bound by any award.
- While many disputes that arise between REALTORS® will involve contractual questions, there may also be related "non-contractual" issues or questions that arise under certain circumstances. For that reason, the duty to arbitrate encompasses not only contractual issues but also several specific non-contractual issues enumerated in Standard of Practice 17-4.
Visit the dropdown below to learn about the process for Arbitration Process.
Mediation as a preliminary, voluntary alternative to arbitration. The Greater Metropolitan Association of REALTORS® provides mediation services to assist the resolution of disputes.
Although no party to an arbitrable matter can be required to submit to mediation (unless REALTORS® [principals] are required by their Board to mediate otherwise arbitrable disputes pursuant to Article 17) and mediation is not intended to be a substitute for the arbitration procedures, mediation can be a useful tool in resolving the conflicts that arise involving Board Members and their clients and customers.
Learn more by downloading our Mediation Brochure.
Download the Request for Mediation Form.