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Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

National Association of Realtors® – The Code of Ethics

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. Click HERE for a copy.

REALTORS® are bound by an annually updated Code of Ethics and are guided by the Pathways to Professionalism.

Even with the best intentions, planning and preparation, occasional disagreements arise between REALTORS® and/or between REALTORS® and their clients and customers.  Regardless of the type of disagreement involved, Stark Trumbull Area REALTORS® would like to encourage consideration of our Ombudsman program as a potential starting point for resolving Ethics matters.

There are two types of conflicts that a REALTOR® Association has jurisdiction.

  1. ETHICS COMPLAINTS – An ethics complaint charges that a REALTOR® has violated an Article(s) of the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®. Ethics complaints are filed where the respondent holds membership.  Complaints can be filed by any person, whether a member or not, having reason to believe that a member is in violation of any conduct subject to disciplinary action.  Ethics complaints MUST be in writing.
  1. ARBITRATION – An arbitration request involves an “arbitral” dispute over entitlement to a monetary transaction (e.g., a commission) or a monetary claim arising out of a contractual dispute (Standard of Practice 17-4 of the Code of Ethics).  Request for Arbitration MUST be in writing.

Resolution Options

Mediation - Is a voluntary, private process in which a neutral party helps people resolve commission disputes.  It is a total confidential alternative to the arbitration process.  It is NOT a process where a decision will be made for the disputants, nor a free discovery for an inevitable arbitration.  

Ombudsman Request - The Ombudsman Program in its simplest definition is informal telephone mediation.  In come cases it can address and solve minor complaints from the public.  It can also solve inter-Realtor® conflicts before become serious problems.  Like a mediator, an ombudsman helps parties find solutions.

To proceed with filing a complaint, to make a request for the Ombudsman service, or for Mediation please contact CEO Collene Burgess at (330) 494-5630 or email

Please remember that Association staff administers these program and can answer procedural questions only, we CANNOT give either side legal or other advice.

CLICK HERE for more information about NAR’s Code of Ethics and Professional Standards.