Dispute Resolution & Code of Ethics
A REALTOR® is more than a real estate agent; REALTORS® have training in ethics for both their dealings with the public and with the real estate community. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics is the cornerstone of the National Association of REALTORS® ethics training. It guides REALTORS® and also shows the public the level of commitment, education and dedication to their profession that each member of NAR possesses.
What to do if you have a complaint against a REALTORS® member? There are two processes available to you: An Ombudsman Process and an Ethics Complaint. You may choose the Ombudsman process first, and then file a complaint if the dispute was not resolved.
What is an Ombudsman Policy: The Ombudsman process is a way to help resolve disputes through constructive communication. Many complaints do not expressly allege violations of specific articles of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and may not concern conduct related to the Code; they might be transactional, technical or procedural questions that can be readily responded to. Some complaints are due strictly to lack of communication. These types of issues may be appropriate for the Ombudsman program.
The role of the Ombudsman is primarily one of communication and conciliation – not adjudication. Ombudsmen do not determine whether ethics violations have occurred or whether a REALTOR® may be entitled to a commission; rather, they anticipate, identify, and resolve misunderstandings and disagreements before matters ripen into disputes and possible charges of unethical conduct or formal requests for arbitration.
The Ombudsman process is confidential. All communications made to the ombudsman or NC REALTORS® – whether written or oral – shall be confidential and may not be disclosed (other than communicating information and results between staff and the ombudsman) to any other person for any reason.
Watch this quick video that outlines how the ombudsman process works:
The North Carolina REALTORS® has an Ombudsman Program which we participate in. This service is available to you if you choose not to use the Jacksonville Board of REALTORS® Ombudsman Resource.
Code of Ethics/Ethics Complaint Process
If you believe that a REALTOR® member has violated one or more articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint. Here are some resources to help you understand and start the Complaint process.