Professional Standards


The professional standard that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is their acceptance and adherence to the Code of Ethics. The Code has been revised many times through the years to reflect current developments in professional real estate practice. But even with the best of intentions, planning and preparation, occasional disagreements arise between REALTORS® and/or between REALTORS® and their clients or customers. As civil litigation becomes increasingly costly, time consuming, and burdensome, there has been a trend among private parties to settle disputes and conflicting claims through alternative means.

The Code of Ethics is your pathway to professionalism. Make sure you understand what separates you, as a REALTOR®, from other real estate professionals, and get your office talking about and living by the Code. NAR Resources

Ethics Complaints, Arbitration Requests and Related Information

To contact our Professional Standards representative CLICK HERE...

Mandatory Mediation

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The Board of Directors has now adopted the National Association of REALTORS® mandatory mediation requirement which requires that all parties who file for mandatory arbitration attempt to resolve their dispute through mediation prior to going to arbitration.

As we have seen an over high success rate in resolving commission disputes through mediation, we are extremely excited for this new change! Beginning January 1st, any arbitration request filed at the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association and approved by our Grievance Committee will have a mediation scheduled. If mediation is not successful, an arbitration hearing will then be scheduled.

There are a plethora of advantages to choosing mediation over arbitration, including: maintaining positive working relationships, as well as saving time and money. Please see below for additional advantages.

Arbitration Introduction

According to Section 44 of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual an arbitrable matter exists when there is a monetary dispute between two managing brokers of two separate offices as it relates to co-op commissions. By becoming and remaining a member of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor® Association every member agrees to submit to arbitration by the Board’s facilities as defined in Article 17 of the Code of Ethics.

To contact our Professional Standards representative CLICK HERE...

Ombudsman Introduction

Boards and associations of REALTORS® are responsible for receiving and resolving ethics complaints, usually as a function of local, regional and state grievance committees and professional standards committees.

Many “complaints” do not expressly allege violations of specific Articles of the Code of Ethics, and many do not detail conduct related to the Code. Some “complaints” are actually relatively easy transactional, technical, or procedural questions.

It is the belief of the National Association’s Professional Standards Committee that many ethics complaints can be averted with enhanced communications and initial problem-solving at the local level. This is accomplished by what we call ombudsman procedures.

Role of Ombudsmen

The ombudsman’s role is primarily one of communication and conciliation, not adjudication. Ombudsmen do not determine whether ethics violations have occurred, rather they anticipate, identify, and resolve misunderstandings and disagreements before matters ripen into disputes and possible charges of unethical conduct.

Qualification and Criteria for Ombudsmen

We have appointed and trained select volunteers to serve as ombudsman. These individuals are well established as real estate experts with a commitment to the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, who understand the role communication plays in making any real estate transaction work.

At a minimum, our ombudsmen are thoroughly familiar with the Code of Ethics, state real estate regulations and current real estate practice. They also serve on either the Grievance or Professional Standards committee, and are certified by the National Association of REALTORS® as mediators. Ombudsmen may be REALTORS®, staff members, or others acting on behalf of the local board/association.

Involving the Ombudsman

Boards and associations have considerable latitude in determining how and when to use ombudsmen. For example, ombudsmen can field and respond to a wide variety of inquires and complaints, including general questions about real estate practice, transaction details, ethical practice, and enforcement issues. Ombudsmen can also receive and respond to questions and complaints about members; contact members to inform them that a client or customer has raised a question or issue; and contact members to obtain information necessary to provide an informed response.

In cases where an ombudsman believes that a failure of communication is the basis for a question or complaint, the ombudsman can arrange a meeting of the parties involved and facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution.

Written ethics complaints in the appropriate form can be initially referred to an ombudsman who will attempt to resolve the matter. (The exception is complaints alleging violations of the public trust, as defined in Article IV, Section 2 of the NAR Bylaws, which may not be referred to an ombudsman.)

If an ombudsman concludes that a potential violation of the public trust may have occurred, the ombudsman process shall be immediately terminated, and the parties shall be advised of their right to pursue a formal ethics complaint, or other options.

Ethics Classes

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