“The Preamble to the Code is the aspirational basis for the ethical concepts that REALTORS® believe in. Included are the core concepts of honesty, integrity, fairness, and moral conduct in business relations. Near the end of the Preamble, the timeless, universal principle of the Golden Rule is cited. Because the Code sets the ideals that we strive to attain, it is subjective in nature. As such, it cannot be used as a basis for disciplinary action against a REALTOR®. Only the Articles of the Code are used as the basis for discipline of REALTOR® membership.”
The professional standard that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is their acceptance and adherence to the Code of Ethics. The Code was first adopted by the National Association of REALTORS® in 1913 and has been revised many times through the years to reflect current developments in professional real estate practice. But even with the best of intentions, planning and preparation, occasional disagreements arise between REALTORS® and/or between REALTORS® and their clients or customers. As civil litigation becomes increasingly costly, time consuming, and burdensome, there has been a trend among private parties to settle disputes and conflicting claims through alternative means.
The Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS®, Professional Standards office offers its members and their clients a vehicle to economically expedite ethics complaints and/or arbitration requests without going to court. Plus our Association offers alternative dispute resolution options as well such as the Ombuds program and Mediation.
Ethics complaints brought before a local association give those parties involved an opportunity to be educated about the Code, and REALTORS® are judged by their peers as opposed to others who may be far less familiar with the practices and customs of the real estate industry. Find out how to file an ethics complaint.
For information on obtaining Code of Ethics training, click here.
Arbitration of business disputes with other REALTORS® is a valuable service provided by the REALTOR® association, ensuring that the dispute will be dealt with by peers who have a better understanding of the real estate business than most other adjudicators. The Code of Ethics requires that REALTORS® file a request for arbitration, before they litigate. Find out how to file an arbitration request.
Mediation is a voluntary process which people in dispute can use to reach agreement. With the help on an impartial mediator they work toward a mutually acceptable solution. To find out how to file a mediation request, download our Mediation information package for Brokers or for the Public.
The Ombuds Program in its simplest definition is an informal telephone 'mediation' process. It is helpful in addressing and solving complaints from the public and has proved to be an effective tool in resolving REALTOR® to REALTOR® conflicts as well. Like a mediator, an Ombuds is neutral facilitator who assists parties in finding options and solutions they can live with. This free program is available to GAAR members, their clients and customers. Visit the Ombuds page to find out more.
For a copy of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, click here.
If you have questions regarding any of the above Professional Standards processes, please call 505-724-3466.