Ethics
Ethics

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File an Ethics Complaint

REALTOR® Code of Ethics

The Code establishes time-honored and baseline principles that come from the collective experiences of REALTORS® since the Code of Ethics was first established in 1913. Those principles can be loosely defined as:

  • Loyalty to clients;
  • Fiduciary (legal) duty to clients;
  • Cooperation with competitors;
  • Truthfulness in statements and advertising; and non-interference in exclusive relationships that other REALTORS® have with their clients.

Download the Code of Ethics for more detailed information.

Before You File an Ethics Complaint

Boards and associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation which apply only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®.

Many difficulties between real estate professionals and consumers result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them or with a principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.

Central Mississippi REALTORS® offers both informal and formal dispute resolution systems to REALTORS® and consumers.  If after being offered the informal processes a REALTOR® or consumer wishes to file a formal complaint, the process is available.

Ombudsman Services

When a consumer or REALTOR® has a situation involving a REALTOR® and they do not wish to file an official ethics complaint yet, the individual can request the services of a trained staff or REALTOR® Ombudsman who will listen to the situation, determine if the matter involves potential violations of the Code of Ethics, license law or is simply a misunderstanding and offer assistance to help resolve the matter.  If the Ombudsman service is unsuccessful the individual REALTOR® or consumer can file an official ethics complaint.

Filing an Ethics Complaint

Please download the document "Before You File an Ethics Complaint" and review prior to filing a complaint.

An Association Professional Standards Administrator can provide you with information on the procedures for filing an ethics complaint. Below are some general principles to keep in mind.

  • Ethics complaints must be filed with the Jackson Association of REALTORS® within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably should have known) that potentially unethical conduct took place (unless the Board's informal dispute resolution processes are invoked in which case the filing deadline will momentarily be suspended).
  • The REALTORS® Code of Ethics consists of seventeen (17) Articles. The duties imposed by many of the Articles are explained and illustrated through accompanying Standards of Practice or case interpretations.  Only an Article is subject to violation.  Standards of Practice under each Article can be used by a complaint to demonstrate a potential violation.
  • Your complaint should include a narrative description of the circumstances that lead you to believe the Code of Ethics may have been violated.
  • Your complaint must cite one or more of the Articles of the Code of Ethics which may have been violated.
  • The burden of proof is on the complaint to prove that violations occurred through a due process hearing.
  • A Hearing panel will decide whether the Articles expressly cited in complaints were violated.
  • The Association of REALTORS'® Grievance Committee may provide technical assistance to ensure a complaint is in proper form and with proper content. However, they cannot advocate for the complainant.

If, after reviewing the above materials, you would like to file an Ethics Complaint, download the Ethics Complaint Form and submit it to Central Mississippi REALTORS®.

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