Grievance and Professional Standards
When the National Association of REALTORS® was formed in 1908, there were no license laws at the time. The Code of Ethics was adopted in 1913 to establish a professional standard of conduct, and it formed the basis for license laws. From its inception, the Code of Ethics required arbitration of monetary disputes between REALTORS®. In other words, we police ourselves and solve our problems directly. Ethics deals with the Code Enforcement of REALTOR® members and Arbitration involves the awarding of money in dispute. In brief, the Grievance Committee initially reviews and screens ethics complaints and arbitration requests, operating in a similar fashion to a grand jury. It does not conduct hearings, determine if a violation has occurred or if monies are owed and does not mediate or arbitrate business disputes. If the Grievance Committee finds a possible violation, the complaint is forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing, Mediation is yet another service offered to members. Mediation is a voluntary process in which disputing parties meet with a mediator to create a mutually acceptable resolution of the dispute, rather than having a decision imposed by an arbitration hearing panel.
New Hampshire Association of REALTORS®Ombuds Program
Many “complaints” received by boards and NHAR do not expressly allege violations of specific articles of the Code of Ethics, and many do not detail conduct related to the Code. Some “complaints” are actually transactional, technical or procedural questions readily responded to. The NHAR Ombuds Program is designed to provide a knowledgeable, informed contact when REALTOR® members or members of the public have real estate related questions that have not been addressed by an individual broker.
In addition, many ethics complaints may be averted with enhanced communications and initial problem-solving capacity. The Ombuds person can serve to identify and attempt to facilitate a resolution of misunderstandings and/or disagreements before matters evolve into a formal complaint.
To utilize the Ombuds Program, please call NHAR at (603) 225-5549. A REALTOR® volunteer will return your call within 24 hours.