Professional Standards & Filing Complaints

Code of Ethics Enforcement – An Association Service

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 Code of Ethics, which was first adopted on July 29, 1913, is a living document, responsive in its content to changes in the law and industry. The Code has been revised several times to reflect current developments in professional real estate practice. The term REALTOR® has come to represent competency, fairness, and high integrity. These qualities stem from voluntary adherence to an ideal of moral conduct in real estate business practices.

But even with the best of intentions, 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 Southwest Iowa Association of REALTORS® offers its members and their clients and customers a vehicle to economically expedite ethics complaints and/or arbitration requests without going to court. If a monetary dispute arises from a real estate transaction or if you believe a REALTOR® may have acted in an unethical manner, seek a resolution through the Iowa Association of REALTORS®! Ethics complaints brought before the board give those parties involved an opportunity to be educated about the Code. In addition, REALTORS® are judged by their peers as opposed to other individuals who may be far less familiar with the practices and customs of the real estate industry.

Code of Ethics Enforcement – Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an ethics complaint and an arbitration request?

An ethics complaint charges that a REALTOR® or REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® has violated an Article(s) of the Code of Ethics. An arbitration request involves a dispute over entitlement to a monetary transaction (e.g., a commission).

Who can file an ethics complaint?

Whether a member or not, any person has reason to believe that a member violates any conduct subject to disciplinary action.

Who can file an arbitration request?

A customer, client, or REALTOR® principal. A REALTOR® non principal can also request arbitration with his current or former REALTOR® principal.

Is there a time limit?

Yes. Ethics complaints must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days of the time that the complainant could have known the alleged offense and related facts in the exercise of reasonable diligence. Requests for arbitration must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days after the transaction’s closing if any, or within one hundred eighty (180) days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever is later.

How Do You File an Ethics Complaint?

We have made filing an ethics complaint easy. All you need to do is submit your complaint on our online form here. This form allows you to submit up to 10 supporting attachments as well.