REALTORS® Pledge of Performance and Service
Article 1: REALTORS® protect and promote their clients' interests while treating all parties honestly.
Article 2: REALTORS® refrain from exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts related to property or transactions.
Article 3: REALTORS® cooperate with other real estate professionals to advance their clients' best interests.
Article 4: When buying or selling on their own account or for their families or fims, REALTORS® make their true position or interest known.
Article 5: REALTORS® do not provide professional services where they have any present or contemplated interest in property without disclosing that interest to all affected parties.
Article 6: REALTORS® disclose any fee or financial benefit they may receive from recommending related real estate products or services.
Article 7: REALTORS® receive compensation from only one party, except where they make full disclosure and receive informed consent from their client.
Article 8: REALTORS® keep entrusted funds of clients and customers in a separate escrow account.
Article 9: REALTORS® make sure that contract details are spelled out in writing and that parties receive copies.
Article 10: REALTORS® give equal professional service to all clients and customers irrespective of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.
Article 11: REALTORS® are knowledgeable and competent in the fields of practice in which they engage or they get assistance from a knowledgeable professional, or disclose any lack of expertise to their client.
Article 12: REALTORS® paint a true picture in their advertising and in other public representations.
Article 13: REALTORS® do not engage in the unauthorized practice of law.
Article 14: REALTORS® willingly participate in ethics investigations and enforcement actions.
Article 15: REALTORS® make only truthful, objective comments about other real estate professionals.
Article 16: Respect the exclusive representation or exclusive brokerage relationship agreements that other REALTORS® have with their clients.
Article 17: REALTORS® arbitrate financial disagreements with other REALTORS® and with their clients.
Before You File an Ethics Complaint
In Michigan, the state issues and regulates the licenses of real estate sales agents and brokers. A REALTOR® is a state licensed real estate sales agent or broker who has chosen to become a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and has agreed to abide by the Code of Ethics.
Local boards and associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics, which applies only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®, imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation.
Many difficulties in a real estate transaction result from misunderstanding or failure in
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®. Many boards and associations have informal dispute resolving processes
available to consumers (e.g. ombudsmen, mediation, etc.).
If, after taking these steps, you still feel you have a grievance, you many want to consider filing an ethics complaint. You will want to keep in mind that . . .
- Only REALTORS® are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
- If the real estate professional (or their broker) you are dealing with is not a REALTOR®, your only recourse may be the state real state licensing authority or the courts.
- Boards and associations of REALTORS® determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken. Those decisions can only be made by the licensing authorities or the courts.
- Boards of REALTORS® can discipline REALTORS® for violating the Code of Ethics. Typical forms of discipline include attendance at courses and seminars designed to increase REALTORS®' understanding of the ethical duties or other responsibilities of real estate professionals. REALTORS® may also be reprimanded, fined, or their membership can be suspended or terminated for serious or repeated violations. Boards and associations of REALTORS® cannot require REALTORS® to pay money to parties filing ethics complaints; cannot award "punitive damages" for violations of the Code of Ethics; and cannot suspend or revoke a real estate professional's license.
- The primary emphasis of discipline for ethical lapses is educational; to create a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the duties the Code imposes. At the same time, more severe forms of discipline, including fines and suspension and termination of membership may be imposed for serious or repeated violations.
Filing an ethics complaint
Please read "Steps to Follow When Filing a Complaint” (a separate document) before filling out the complaint form.
Each year in Michigan, tens of thousands of real estate transactions take place. Occasionally disputes develop over these business transactions. Over the years, a number of efficient, voluntary procedures to resolve these disputes privately, promptly and economically have developed.
Advantages to Alternative Dispute Resolution
- It solves problems, rather than simply deciding the dispute.
- It resolves disputes quickly, usually within weeks, rather than years.
- It prevents future conflicts, as well as resolving present ones.
- It emphasizes constructive relationships, rather than adversarial positions.
- Customer relationships survive, so goodwill and potential referrals are preserved.
- It allows parties to negotiate based on their interest, to understand their own needs, and decide what they are willing or not willing to concede.
- It is confidential, not a public proceeding or a matter of public record.
- It allows those most familiar with the problem, the disputing parties, to create the solution, which ensures that the solution will work.