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 Code of Ethics, a complaint alleging a violation of the Code of Ethics may be filed in any jurisdiction where the REALTOR is a member or MLS participant.  However, REALTORS shall not be subject to disciplinary proceeding in more than one Board of REALTORS with respect to alleged violations of the Code of Ethics relating to the same transaction or event.

If found at fault, REALTORS may face mandatory education, fines, suspension and/or expulsion.  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 services.

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 in any jurisdiction where the REALTOR is a member or MLS participant.  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.  An arbitration request may be filed in any jurisdiction where the REALTOR is a member or MLS participant.  Whereas Ethics hearings may result in a REALTOR being disciplined by his/her association, Arbitration requests are filed to resolve a contractual monetary dispute between the parties.

How to File an Arbitration Request
Arbitration requests may be filed in any jurisdiction where the REALTOR is a member or MLS participant.  To lookup a REALTOR's local association, click here.  To file an arbitration request with the Northwoods Association of REALTORS, complete and mail the following form to NWAR with a $250.00 deposit check (deposit refunded to prevailing party):

Additional Resources