Code of Ethics and Professional Standards
Indiana Association Of REALTORS®
National Association of REALTORS®
Concerns About a Real Estate Agent.
Disputes occur. Experience tells us misunderstanding is most often the reason. Someone either did not communicate or did not communicate well enough.
If you would like to report what appears to be misrepresentation or misconduct, please contact us:
While we members of the South Bend Area REALTORS® would love for everyone to have a happy carefree home buying experience, we know that is just not the way the world works. We want the public to know that we are here to help if the home buying/selling process does not go the way it should. There are policies and procedures in place to help ensure that your concerns are not only heard but addressed appropriately.
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, after discussing matters with your real estate professional or a principal broker in that firm, you are still not satisfied, you may want to contact the local board or association of REALTORS®. In addition to processing formal ethics complaints against its REALTOR® members, many boards and associations offer informal dispute resolving processes (e.g. ombudsmen, mediation, etc.). Often, parties are more satisfied with informal dispute resolution processes, as they are quicker, less costly, and often help repair damaged relationships.
An ombudsman is a form of moderation that deals with ethics and standards of practice. Should you feel that someone has not lived up to the Code of Ethics or Standards of Practice as laid out by the National Association of REALTORS®. You may contact your local Association of REALTORS® to discuss your situation. Once the local Association assesses your complaint it will then send it to a state-appointed Ombudsman, who will contact the complainant directly, to begin the process.
Mediation like the ombudsman is an informal means of dispute resolution. The primary difference is that mediation is used when there is believed to be monetary damages involved. The process is much like the ombudsman. The complainant should contact their local Association to discuss the situation. Then the required request to mediate forms will be sent to the complainant which will then be filed with the state to assign a mediator.
Ethics complaints must be filed with the local board or association of REALTORS® within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably should have known) that potentially unethical conduct took place (unless the Board’s informal dispute resolution processes are invoked in which case the filing deadline will momentarily be suspended). The REALTORS® 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. Your complaint must cite one or more of the Articles of the Code of Ethics which may have been violated. Hearing panels decide whether the Articles expressly cited in complaints were violated – not whether Standards of Practice or case interpretations were violated. The local board or association of REALTORS®’ Grievance Committee may provide technical assistance in preparing a complaint in proper form and with proper content.