Skip to content

Professional Standards

Professional Standards

The single, most outstanding characteristic that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is the willingness to accept and abide by the Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® adopted the Code of Ethics on July 29, 1913, following the professions of medicine, law, and engineering, The Code has been revised several times through the years to reflect current developments in professional real estate practice.

REALTORS® are real estate professionals who have chosen to join the National Association and abide by its strict Code of Ethics. What does this mean to you? It means that any REALTOR® with whom you work has voluntarily agreed to abide by a Code of Ethics, based on professionalism and protection of the public. REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action and sanctions if they violate the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics is a detailed document that spells out the professional responsibilities of every REALTOR®. Do not hesitate to ask a REALTOR® for a copy of the Code, including the Standards of Practice. The Code is your assurance of dealing with a professional who has your best interests in mind.

This area of our website contains valuable Professional Standards resources. Find out how to file an ethics complaint and/or arbitration request or read about choosing mediation as an alternative to arbitration. You will also find information on completing the mandatory Code of Ethics training.


Source: National Association of REALTORS®


Even REALTORS® who are committed to high standards of conduct occasionally have honest business disputes with other professionals, clients, or customers. There is an ongoing need for efficient and economical mechanisms to resolve such disputes. Arbitration is valuable, but mediation is simpler and easier.


What is Mediation

“The act or process of mediating; intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise.” –Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

Arbitration and mediation are valuable in resolving business disputes. Both mediation and arbitration are private and neutral with expertise. But… Mediation is an attractive alternative to arbitration.


Why Use Mediation


Mediation     Arbitration
Low or no cost     Moderate cost
Little delay     Moderate delay
Win/win outcome     Win/lose/split
Collaborative     Adversarial
Maximum range of solutions    Result limited to monetary award
Improves relationships    May damage relationships



Key Features


Mediation is a voluntary and private process.

  • Parties decide to enter the mediation process.
  • Parties can leave the mediation process at any time.
  • Parties have complete control over the outcome.

Mediation is facilitated by a neutral and impartial mediator.

  • Understands issues quickly because typically, the facilitator is familiar with real estate practices and customs.
  • Mediates only matters in which he/she remains neutral and impartial.
  • Discloses conflicts of interest (parties may agree to continue following disclosure or terminate session).
  • Facilitates and assists with negotiations – controls the process, not the substance.
  • Honors the concepts of self-determination, respect, and civility.
  • Enhances the parties’ abilities to understand their own and each other’s needs.
  • Helps parties understand the alternatives to settling.

Why Mediation Works


  • Most disputes are successfully resolved
  • High speed
  • Low or no cost
  • Flexible
  • Maintains and improves relationships
  • Improves poor communication and clarifies misunderstandings
  • Discovers and addresses the true interests of parties
  • Moves beyond different views of law/fact
  • Allows creative solutions beyond win/lose
  • Respect and civility are the ground rules
  • Solution is just as binding and enforceable as arbitration

Mediation is purely voluntary. No one has to use it, but it can save time and money and can be quicker, easier, and more amicable for resolving business disputes than arbitration.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Arbitration Request

If you are filing an Arbitration Request, please read the following pertinent information before proceeding:

  • Request for Arbitration must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days from the closing date of the transaction or within one hundred and eighty (180) days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter became known.
  • Arbitration disputes can only be filed by a Broker Principal (a non-principal cannot file for arbitration).
  • Form A-1 Request and Agreement to Arbitrate must be signed and completed by the Broker and returned to the Association office along with all supporting documentation and a company check for the deposit.
  • After an Arbitration Request is filed, Mediation is offered to both parties. Should both parties agree to mediate and the mediation is successful, the Arbitration filing fee is refunded.