St. Louis REALTORS® manages a systematic process to handle disputes regarding the professional conduct of its members.
At its heart, St. Louis REALTORS® Dispute Resolution Center offers members and consumers a vehicle to resolve complaints of violations of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Code of Ethics as efficiently and economically as possible.
The Code of Ethics sets forth a REALTOR®'s obligation to clients and customers, to members of the public, and to one another. The Code consists of 17 articles, one of which (Article 10) expands upon federal fair housing policy. It requires REALTORS® to pledge that they "shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity."
St. Louis REALTORS® Dispute Resolution Services include arbitration hearings, ethics hearings, mediation, and ombudsman services. Arbitration is reserved for monetary disputes between REALTOR® Principals, whereas ethic complaints may be filed by consumers or other REALTORS® against any St. Louis REALTOR® member. At these hearings, REALTORS® are judged by their peers instead of others who may be far less familiar with the real estate industry's practices.
Upon filing a complaint, the St. Louis REALTORS®' Grievance Committee reviews the facts asserted in the complaint and its accompanying narrative to determine whether any potential violations are possible.
If the Committee concludes that a violation of the Code of Ethics is likely, the complaint is then forwarded to the St. Louis REALTORS®' Professional Standards Committee for a due process hearing on the charges, allowing the member to present his or her case. The Hearing Panel, which consists of Professional Standards Committee members, votes on the charges to determine if there has been a violation of the Code of Ethics.
Violations of the Code of Ethics can result in disciplinary action against a REALTOR®, ranging from a warning, requirement of educational training, fines of up to $15,000, suspension, or even expulsion from St. Louis REALTORS® (or any combination thereof).
For a comprehensive review of St. Louis REALTORS® dispute resolution services and the process to file a complaint, CLICK HERE.