REALTORS® are different from non-member licensees in that they voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics
If you believe that a REALTOR® has violated one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics, you can file an ethics complaint alleging a violation(s) through the local association of REALTORS® where the REALTOR® holds membership, or participates in a REALTOR® association-owned/operated MLS. Click the link below to review more information about N.A.R Ethics Complaints, Arbitration Requests, Related Information
Below is a link to the several resources that C.A.R. has to help you understand what filing and processing an ethics complaint and arbitration request entails, and the general process you can expect when filing an ethics complaint or arbitration request with EDCAR. C.A.R. Professional Standards Information
You will find more detailed information in the sections below with further information from EDCAR.
Complete, sign and date the Ethics Complaint Form, which you may download and print below. (Ethics complaints must be filed with the Association within 180 days of the time the complainant knew-- or reasonably should have known—that potentially unethical conduct took place).
Check the Article(s) of the Code of Ethics below you believe were violated. The articles are illustrated through Standards of Practice, but the Standard of Practice may only be used as support for the Article(s) being charged. The Article number(s) must be cited.
Include a narrative description of the circumstances and facts surrounding the complaint, being as specific as possible.
Attach copies of all relevant documents such as listing and sales contracts, letters etc. labeling these as Exhibit 1, etc.
Make 3 copies of the complaint package and forward it to the Professional Standards Coordinator of the Association which has jurisdiction over the complainant.
The Ombudsman Committee will try to identify and resolve misunderstandings before they develop into charges of misconduct. They do not determine whether ethics violations have occurred; those issues are handled by the Grievance and Professional Standards Committees. Members are named to this committee through a referral and education process which requires that each member have at least 5 years experience as a full time REALTOR®; display a good knowledge of the Code of Ethics and demonstrate strong negotiation, mediation, communication and problem solving skills. Committee members must also complete an education course in this field.C.A.R. Ombudsman Service
In an effort to make ethics violations and the disciplinary process more transparent, starting August 1, 2014, C.A.R. will be publishing the names - and the other information listed below - of members who are found in violation of the Code of Ethics. If a member is found in violation of the Code, and the discipline is anything other than a letter of warning or stand-alone education, the following information will be published by C.A.R.:
1. The name and photo of the member found in violation If the member's name is similar to another member's, their real estate license number and/or office address may also be included in the publication;
2. A list of the Articles of the Code of Ethics that were violated and possibly the applicable standards of practice;
3. A brief factual synopsis of the matter, with the names of other parties removed;
4. The discipline imposed;
5. The effective date and duration of discipline imposed; and
6. The hearing Panel's rationale for the discipline imposed, if applicable.
The name of the real estate firm will not be published. The name of the responsible broker will be published, only if the broker was also named and found in violation. This information will be published on the members-only section of car.org and local associations will be free to republish the information in their local members-only publications. Local associations will begin requiring respondents named in an ethics complaint to submit a photo at the time of filing a response to the complaint, or allow their picture to be taken before the hearing begins.
Now is the time to make sure you know the rules. There are three free or low cost options for becoming more familiar with the requirements of the NAR Code of Ethics. First, you can take an ethics course as part of your 12 FREE Hours of Online CE Courses as a member benefit from C.A.R. This satisfies the Ethics requirement for your CA license renewal, http://store.car.org/12freece
Or, if you have already used your 12 free hours, you can purchase the California Ethics course in the CE Catalog or through C.A.R. Education at OnlineEd at a member price of $19.99, http://store.car.org/car-education/onlineed/licenserenewal/ethics.html
Another option, is the free Code of Ethics Course through NAR, however it does not offer CE credit and does not fulfill the CA license renewal requirement,
http://www.realtor.org/code-of-ethics/code-of-ethics-training-homeDid you know that most violations are related to advertising violations? However, members surveyed overwhelmingly cite problems with failure to cooperate with other agents (unavailability to show, misrepresent availability, give their buyers priority, failure to present all offers, etc.). Make sure you know the rules, so your name is not on the list!