How to File a Complaint: Ethics and Arbitration

Information on Filing a Complaint, Ethics and Arbitration

Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice (PDF)

Resources and Links Below:

Complaint Forms

Professional Standards and Code of Ethics Links


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. You may search for a member’s local affiliation here.

In addition, REALTORS® agree as a condition of membership to arbitrate contractual disputes and specific non-contractual disputes as provided for in Article 17 of the NAR Code of Ethics.

Below are several resources 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 a local association of REALTORS®. Check with the local association of REALTORS® to ensure you have the proper forms required by that association.


  • Code of Ethics
    View the current NAR Code of Ethics here.
  • Before You File an Ethics Complaint
    This brochure explains alternatives to consider before filing an ethics complaint, as well as what to expect after filing a complaint.
  • Initiating an Ethics Hearing
    Procedures for processing complaints alleging violations of an Association’s bylaws.
  • Key Ethics Forms
    View or download forms for initiating an ethics complaint.
  • Sanctioning Guidelines
    While NAR does not recommend specific discipline for certain offenses, it does outline key points to be considered with respect to discipline.


Statements of Professional Standards Policy

Resources for Professional Standards Administrators

  • Sample Chronology of an Ethics Complaint
    A guide to the ethics complaint process.
  • Hearing Officers: Arbitration
    Four options that may be adopted locally to supplement the arbitration hearing procedures established in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.
  • Hearing Officers: Ethics
    Four options that may be adopted locally to supplement the ethics hearing procedures established in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.
  • Procuring Cause Arbitration Worksheet
    This worksheet is for use at local association hearing panels when identifying relevant issues and facts in determining questions of entitlement to disputed funds.
  • The Five E’s of Due Process
    The right of a private organization to discipline members and to conduct dispute resolution is conditioned by law on ensuring due process to all parties as recognized by the five elements explained in this article.

Related Content


     Ethic Complaints Form #E-1
     Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form #A-1
     Request and Agreement to Arbitrate (NON-MEMBERS) Form #A-2

NAR Code of Ethics
NYSAR Professional Standards