|Professional Standards & Ethics|
We take our commitment to professional and ethical business very seriously. Because we promise to uphold the Code of Ethics, we are prepared to review ethics complaints and requests for arbitration in order to serve our members, their clients, and the real estate industry more effectively.
After a complaint or request has been filed, the Grievance Committee reviews it and determines if it should proceed to a hearing. If needed, a Professional Standards Hearing will occur, consisting of members from the Professional Standards Committee. These committees are responsible for ensuring due process in hearings to enforce the Code of Ethics, and in arbitration of disputes from the business of real estate.
The Code of Ethics ensures that REALTORS® stick to a higher level of professionalism by outlining industry standards and expectations. Complaints about violations of the Code of Ethics must cite the Article(s) of the Code perceived to be violated using Ethics Complaint Form E-1. Complaints should include a supporting document in the form of a narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred. This process helps our members, clients, and the industry by protecting REALTORS® who adhere to principled practices and dealing formally with those who do not.
The Ombudsman Program in its simplest definition is informal telephone mediation. In some cases it can address and solve minor complaints from the public. It can also solve inter-REALTOR® conflicts before they become serious problems. Like a mediator, an ombudsman helps parties find solutions.
The following types of cases cannot be handled through the Ombudsman Process:
To access our Ombudsman services, contact NEAR Professional Standards Coordinator Sharon Sarvela (Sharon@NortheastRealtors.com or 978-577-6138).
Mediation is a form of facilitated negotiation in which an impartial third party attempts to help disputing parties reach a mutually-satisfactory solution to their problems. NEAR is happy to offer our members the opportunity to use mediation to resolve conflicts, and we ensure that the process is fair, flexible and confidential.
In order to file an arbitration, a request must be filed using Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-1(Member Form | Non-member Form). Your Request and Agreement to Arbitrate should include a supporting document in the form of a narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred. Once the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate and supporting document are complete, submit it to NEAR Professional Standards Administrator Sharon Sarvela (Sharon@NortheastRealtors.com), along with a check for $500 payable to the North Association of REALTORS® for the arbitration deposit.