Occasionally, disputes may arise between REALTORS® or between REALTORS® and their clients or customers during the buying or selling process. Most often, it comes down to a case of miscommunication. We suggest talking to your agent and/or principal broker first thing. An open conversation goes a long way towards resolving the matter and eliminating the need for further action.

If you believe that your agent or the brokerage failed to follow the Code of Ethics, we’re here to help. Below are the steps to complete the grievance process. Be sure to file your dispute within 180 days from when the unethical conduct (or your knowledge of it) occurred.

First, is your agent a REALTOR®?

Not all real estate licensees are REALTORS®. REALTORS® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics that governs their conduct with the public, clients, and other REALTORS®.

The next step is to file a complaint with the local REALTOR® Association

  • If a dispute is unable to be resolved with the REALTOR® and their broker, an Ethics Complaint may be filed with the REALTOR’s® local association. If you do not know who the local REALTOR® Association is, contact MAR.
  • You may also request that your matter be referred to a REALTOR® Ombudsman who is able to act as an intermediary and assist the parties in coming to a successful resolution of the matter prior to the formal filing of a complaint.
  • Please note that the REALTOR® Association can only determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether your REALTOR® has violated licensing laws or  Only the licensing authority or the courts have the power to make decisions related to licensing violations.
  • REALTOR® Associations may not require REALTORS® to pay money to the complainant or take any action against the REALTOR’s® real estate license.
  • To appropriately address your legal and/or licensing concerns, you may be referred to the Division of Professional Licensure Boards of Registration or the Office of the Attorney General.

For more information, learn about the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. You can also check out the National Association of REALTORS® detailed description of the grievance process.

Code of Ethics

Please review the REALTOR® Code of Ethics to identify the Article(s) of the Code of Ethics you believe were violated. The Articles are illustrated through Standards of Practice, but the Standards of Practice may only be used as support for the Article(s) being charged. The Article number(s) must be cited.

Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice

Ethics Complaint Form

Complete, sign, and date this Ethics Complaint Form. Ethics complaints must be filed with the Local Association within 180 days of the time that you knew, or reasonably should have known, that the potentially unethical conduct took place.

Ethics Complaint Form

Questions can be directed to, Catherine Taylor, MAR’s Associate Counsel, and Professional Standards Administrator or mailed to Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®, 18 Washington St, Foxborough, MA 02034.

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