Not all real estate licensees are REALTORS®. Membership in the local, state and national associations of REALTORS® distinguishes REALTORS® from real estate agents who do not subscribe to a code of ethics or have access to the educational, business and market information advantages of the Realtor counterparts. All REALTORS® must take comprehensive training on the Code of Ethics, which is considered a living document that protects sellers, buyers, tenants and others who place their rust in REALTORS®.
Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics is designed to establish a public and professional consensus against which the practice and conduct of Realtors may be judged. A violation of the Code of Ethics involves an offense against the Board and its members. An ethics proceeding has two essential purposes: education and vindication (discipline). It is educational in that it raises the consciousness of members to the meaning and significance of the Code. Many ethics violations occur inadvertently or through ignorance, and the hearing proceeding serves as an educational tool.
By becoming a member, every Realtor binds himself or herself and agrees to submit to arbitration all disputes as defined by Article 17 of the Code of Ethics.
- In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS® (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as REALTORS®, the REALTORS® shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the regulations of their Board or Boards rather than litigate the matter.
- The obligation to participate in arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of REALTORS® (principals) to cause their firms to arbitrate and be bound by any award.