Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association of REALTORS®

The local professional standards review process is one of the most important benefits of REALTOR® membership. Those who pledge to uphold the Code of Ethics, depend on the Alliance to enforce the Code and educate Alliance members of their obligations of REALTOR® membership.


Options for Code of Ethics Enforcement & Addressing Complaints

The REALTOR® Alliance of Greater Cincinnati has various options for Code of Ethics enforcement and addressing complaints that may or may not be possible infractions of the Code.

Formal ethics complaints must fall under the Code of Ethics and filed with the REALTOR® Alliance of Greater Cincinnati using the ethics complaint form. When a formal ethics complaint is filed, options for addressing the complaint are available – Ombudsman, Citation, Mediation or Hearing.

Ombudsman Program

The REALTOR® Alliance of Greater Cincinnati has implemented an Ombudsman program that can address issues which are generally initiated via email or phone call to the Alliance and may or may not have been submitted on the Alliance’s official ethics complaint form. An Ombudsman helps parties find solutions, as some complaints are transactional, technical or procedural questions. Some may not fall under the scope of the Code of Ethics, however in being addressed, can produce a positive outcome for all parties involved.

Citation System

The REALTOR® Alliance of Greater Cincinnati has a Citation System in place for some violations of the Code of Ethics.  This process is voluntary on the part of the REALTOR® (Respondent), who has the option to either accept the citation and pay the fine or decline the citation and proceed with the remaining options for addressing complaints.

Ethics Mediation

Another optional method for addressing complaints filed with the Alliance is Ethics Mediation. Ethics mediation can be initiated via a written request by the complainant by selecting Ethics Mediation on the ethics complaint form or by submitting a request using the online form detailed on the Filing an Ethics Complaint page.  Ethics Mediation is more formal than the Ombudsman service, but less formal than a hearing.  With Ethics Mediation, the parties come together and a mediator assists them in reaching a resolution to the matter.  If no agreement is reached, the complaint can proceed to a formal hearing.

Formal Ethics Hearing

When the parties to a formal complaint pertaining to the Code of Ethics either do not want to participate in mediation or the respondent does not accept a citation and makes a request to be heard by a hearing panel, a formal ethics hearing is scheduled.


Filing an Ethics Complaint and the Ethics Hearing Process

If you are experiencing a problem with a REALTOR® that you feel falls under the scope of the Code of Ethics, visit our Filing an Ethics Complaint page, which provides details regarding the time limit to file, the 3-Step procedure to file to a complaint as well as the ethics hearing process and potential discipline outcomes.

Legal Complaint

If you are experiencing a problem with a REALTOR® that is legal in nature or if it pertains to the interpretation of a contract, it is suggested you contact an attorney.