REALTORS® set themselves apart from real estate licensees by agreeing to observe a REALTOR® Code of Ethics which holds them to a higher standard of ethical conduct. RAR hears complaints from members and the public about possible violations of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Penalties for such violations can result in monetary fines, increased educational requirements or suspension or loss of membership.
Here are some general principles to keep in mind as you begin the process:
Ethics complaints must be filed with the appropriate REALTOR® association 180 days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably could have known) that potentially unethical conduct took place.
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics consists of seventeen (17) Articles. The duties imposed by many of the Articles are explained and illustrated through accompanying Standards of Practice or case interpretations.
Your complaint should include a narrative description of the circumstances that lead you to believe the Code of Ethics may have been violated. Please be as specific as possible about the actions that the REALTOR® took or did not take that you believe were unethical.
Your complaint must cite one or more of the Articles of the Code of Ethics that may have been violated by the actions (or inactions) you have identified as potentially unethical. Hearing Panels decide whether the Articles expressly cited in complaints were violated – not whether Standards of Practice or case interpretations were violated.
Once you have completed your ethics complaint paperwork, the complaint form, narrative and supporting documentation should be forwarded to:
If a legal dispute arises between members or between members and their clients, RAR’s arbitration services help resolve contractual issues and questions that arise between members, between members and their clients, and, in some cases, between parties to a transaction brought about through the efforts of REALTORS®.
Mediation is a voluntary process which brings parties together with a neutral facilitator who helps them reach a mutually acceptable resolution. RAR provides Mediation services to Members involved in arbitrable business disputes. REALTORS® filing for arbitration may initiate the mediation process by downloading completing the Mediation Agreement and submitting it along with their arbitration paperwork.
The CVR MLS Purchase Agreement requires non-binding mediation in the event of a dispute involving the parties to a real estate transaction. To begin the mediation process, the party requesting mediation can download and complete the mediation request form. The requesting party would then engage a mediator and provide them with the completed form. A link to the Virginia Judicial System Mediator database is provided below.