The single most outstanding characteristic that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is their willingness to accept and abide by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®. The Code, which was first adopted in 1913, is a living document, responsive in its contents to changes in law and industry.
Accepting this standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to observe its spirit in all of their activities whether conducted personally, through associates or others, or via technological means, and to conduct their business in accordance with the tenants set forth.
The Ombudsman Program is the first step in conflict resolution. It is an informal, neutral, independent, and highly confidential way for GTR members as well as their clients and customers to express their concerns and explore options to help resolve those concerns. An ombudsman is an individual appointed to receive and resolve disputes through constructive communication and advocating for consensus and understanding.
Traditionally, real estate industry disputes rely on negotiation for solutions. Mediation is a process in which one or more neutral third party mediators assist disputing parties to reach an agreement. If negotiation fails, litigation is often initiated in arbitration (see below).
NAR: Appendix VI to Part Ten — Mediation as a Service of Member Boards
Boards and Associations of REALTORS® provide arbitration to resolve contractual issues and questions and specific non-contractual issues and questions that arise between members, between members and their clients, and, in some cases, between parties to a transaction brought about through the efforts of REALTORS®. Disputes arising out of any of the four above-referenced contractual relationships may be arbitrated.