Professional Standards & Code of Ethics

Professionalism is of paramount importance to the REALTOR organization, and every new REALTOR must complete training for and pledge to uphold the REALTOR Code of Ethics.  All REALTORS also agree to abide by the dispute resolution processes in the REALTOR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.

Occasionally, disputes arise between a consumer and a REALTOR whether monetary in nature, regarding business practices or at times both.  Fortunately, local REALTOR board offices each have a Professional Standards Committee that can often help consumers and REALTORS to resolve their disputes.

The dispute resolution processes offered by the Northwoods Association of REALTORS (NWAR) include ethics hearings and  arbitration as well as voluntary ombudsman and mediation services.  To learn more about these processes and to access the forms necessary to initiate a dispute or complaint, please read on below or visit Wisconsin REALTORS Association website at: https://www.wra.org/professionalstandards/

Ombudsman & Mediation

Ombudsman

Ombudman service is essentially an informal type of mediation wherein a neutral ombudsman contacts both parties by telephone to see if an amicable resolution can be reached without the need for filing paperwork and meeting in person.

Ombudsman services are free and may be requested at the local REALTOR association where the REALTOR holds membership.  To lookup a REALTOR's local association, click here.  If the REALTOR is a member of the Northwoods Association of REALTORS, contact us at 715-356-3400 or staff@northwoodsrealtors.org to initiate an ombudsman request.

Mediation

Mediation is a process where parties, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, attempt to resolve their dispute by mutual agreement during a face-to-face meeting.  REALTOR mediation is a free alternative dispute resolution technique used as an alternative to litigation or formal ethics or arbitration hearings.

Mediation services may be requested at the local REALTOR association where the REALTOR holds membership.  To lookup a REALTOR's local association, click here.  If the REALTOR is a member of the Northwoods Association of REALTORS, complete and submit the following two forms to staff@northwoodsrealtors.org:

Ethics

If you believe a REALTOR has violated one or more articles of the REALTOR Code of Ethics, a complaint alleging a violation of the Code of Ethics may be filed with the local REALTOR association where the REALTOR holds membershiprealtor.org
or participates in a REALTOR association owned or operated MLS.  If found at fault, REALTORS may face mandatory education, fines and/or potential suspension for repeated offenses.  There is no award given to the complainant whether or not the REALTOR is found at fault, though a monetary settlement for an Ethics complaint may be possible via the voluntary mediation/ombudsman service.

How to File an Ethics Complaint
There is no cost to file an ethics complaint, but we recommend you first read more information about the process in the National Association of REALTORS publication Before You File an Ethics Complaint.

Ethics complaints may be filed with the local REALTOR association where the REALTOR holds membership.  To lookup a REALTOR's local association, click here.  If the REALTOR is a member of the Northwoods Association of REALTORS, complete and submit the following form to staff@northwoodsrealtors.org:

Arbitration

REALTORS agree as a condition of membership to arbitrate contractual and certain non-contractual disputes in accordance with Article 17 of the Code of Ethics. Although there may be additional filing options, similar to filing an ethics complaint, an arbitration request may be filed with a member’s local association of REALTORS.  Whereas Ethics hearings may result in a REALTOR being disciplined by his/her association, Arbitration requests are filed to resolve a monetary dispute between the parties.

How to File an Arbitration Request
Arbitration requests may be filed with the local REALTOR association where the REALTOR holds membership.  To lookup a REALTOR's local association, click here.  If the REALTOR is a member of the Northwoods Association of REALTORS, complete and mail the following form to NWAR with a $250.00 filing fee (prevailing party will receive a refund):

Additional Resources