The REALTOR® Code of Ethics has been the cornerstone of the REALTOR® membership for over 100 years and provides REALTORS® a process to police themselves and to raise the bar of professionalism. It is your duty as a REALTOR® to help enforce the Code of Ethics by filing complaints when necessary.
It is always refreshing when REALTORS® are willing to work out their disputes amicably and when learning takes place. Sometimes, however, the issue can be resolved only through a written complaint. When your efforts to resolve a dispute fail, or when a blatant violation occurs, the process is as follows:
- A complainant files a written complaint naming the Article(s) of the Code that is allegedly violated and includes a narrative clearly describing the behavior(s) that violated the Article(s).
- The complaint is reviewed by the Grievance Committee who then determines if (1) it meets the criteria to be forwarded to a Hearing Panel or (2) the Articles named are included in the Citation Policy.
- If the allegations are covered under the Citation Policy, a citation will be issued to the Respondent who determines if he/she wants to (1) admit guilt and pay the citation or (2) have a due process hearing letting a hearing panel determine guilt or innocence.
- If a hearing is warranted, the Respondent is notified, and the complaint and response are forwarded to MAR’s Professional Standards Committee who then schedules a hearing.
- At the hearing, both complainant and respondent can call witnesses, have an attorney present, present their cases in full, and cross-examine any witnesses.
- After the hearing, the Panel deliberates and creates a detailed Findings of Fact and a Conclusion.
- If the conclusion is that a violation occurred, the panel recommends specific discipline that can include one or more of the following:
The discipline determined by the hearing panel is a recommendation to the Board of Directors.
- The attendance at an education class
- A permanent letter of reprimand or warning that remains in the member’s membership records
- A fine up to $15,000
- A suspension from membership
- The termination of membership
- Parties have the right to appeal the decision of the Hearing Panel within 20 days following the hearing.
- If no appeal is filed or when the appeal process is complete, the CMR Board of Directors reviews the Decision and renders a final action: (1) to adopt the decision verbatim, (2) to send it back to the Panel to reconsider the discipline imposed or (3) to overturn and be heard by a different panel. In addition to any discipline imposed by a Hearing Panel and ratified by the Board of Directors, the Respondent is required to pay a $500 administrative fee to the Association within 30 days of receiving the final action.
- The CMR staff is responsible for ensuring any discipline imposed has been carried out as a membership duty.
Contact Jo Usry at email@example.com for questions.