Code Of Ethics
File A Complaint
Southwestern Illinois Board of REALTORS®
Code of Ethics and Filing a Complaint
Did you know? Not all real estate licensees are REALTORS®. A REALTOR® is a real estate licensee who had chosen to take an extra step toward professionalism and high ethical standards by joining the local, state and national Associations of REALTORS®. And while all licensees must follow licensing laws, only those licensees who have chosen to hold REALTOR® membership are subject to the National Association of REALTORS®’ Code of Ethics.
WHAT IS THE REALTOR® CODE OF ETHICS?
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics imposes duties above and beyond those imposed by law or regulation. The REALTORS® Code of Ethics is comprised of seventeen Articles. The Articles are explained through accompanying Standards of Practice. The duties imposed by many of the Articles are explained and illustrated through accompanying Standards of Practice or case interpretations. To view the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, click the button below.
WHO ENFORCES THE REALTOR® CODE OF ETHICS?
As the local association, we are responsible for enforcing the Code of Ethics and can administer discipline to a REALTOR® found to be in violation of the Code of Ethics.
THIS DISCIPLINE COULD LOOK LIKE THIS
Placing a letter of warning or reprimand to the member, with a copy placed in the member’s personal file.
Directing the member to attend an ethics class or other training appropriate to the violation.
Fining the member up to $15,000.
Placing the member on membership probation.
Suspending their membership and/or MLS access.
Expelling the member from membership and/or MLS access.
WHO’ SUBJECT TO THE REALTOR® CODE OF ETHICS?
Only REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATES® are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
I AM NOT A REALTOR®, CAN I STILL REPORT A VIOLATION?
Yes. Members of the Public can report a violation against a REALTOR® Member.
I FEEL MY REALTOR® BROKER THE LAW, BUT I DON’T SEE THEIR SPECIFIC VIOLATION LISTED IN THE CODE OF ETHICS?
The local association only administers and enforces the REALTOR® Code of Ethics and its 17 Articles. REALTOR® Associations determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken. REALTORS® are also bound by the Illinois Real Estate License Act which is governed by IDFPR. Only IDFPR or the courts can make a determination on whether a law or real estate regulation was broken. To file a complaint with the State Licensing Authority, IDFPR, click the button below.
Below are general instructions for filing a Code of Ethics Complaint.
FILE A COMPLAINT:
All ethics complaints must be filed with the REALTOR® Association within 180 days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably should have known) that potentially unethical conduct took place. Complaints must be in writing and submitted using the Ethics Complaint Form E-1. A complaint should cite one or more Articles of the Code of Ethics which may have been violated and a narrative description or summary of events that occurred leading to the belief the Code of Ethics may have been violated.
The Complaint Form E-1 and supporting documents should be emailed to the Southwestern Illinois Board of REALTORS®. Please email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the complaint is received, it will be reviewed by the association’s Grievance Committee. The job of the Grievance Committee is to determine if the allegations made, if taken as true might support a violation of the Article(s) cited in the complaint. The Grievance Committee, based on specific guidelines, determines if a case should be referred to hearing or dismissed.
The Grievance Committee may also issue a citation for certain and specific violations of the Code of Ethics. The Grievance Committee will review all appropriately-filed ethics complaints to determine if an allegation classifies as a citable offense and is eligible for a citation. The Grievance Committee may only issue a citation for complaints that allege a citable offense. A citation allows the REALTOR® to pay a pre-determined fine for the violation instead of going to hearing. If an allegation qualifies for a citation, the Complainant will remain anonymous from the citation. A REALTOR® may request a hearing instead of electing to participate in the citation. If the REALTOR® makes such an election, the Complainant name will no longer remain anonymous.
Citations may only be issued for alleged violations that are specifically outlined in the Citation Schedule of Fines. Citations may not be issued when a complaint alleges some violations that are covered in the Citation Schedule and some that are not; these complaints will be referred to a hearing. Only the Grievance Committee may issue the citation; Complainants and Respondents may not request a citation be issued. If a REALTOR® receives a citation they have ten (10) days to respond or twenty (20) days to request a hearing.
If the Grievance Committee forwards the complaint to hearing, or if a REALTOR® who receives a citation requests a hearing, the Professional Standards Committee panel will hear the case. The hearing panel makes the determination if the Code of Ethics has or has not been violated. The hearing panel may discipline a REALTOR® found to have violated the Code of Ethics. Disciplinary action may include requiring education, a fine, letters of warning or reprimand, and suspension or termination of membership.
BEFORE YOU FILE
It is recommended that you review the following document prior to filing a complaint to better understand the process.
Illinois REALTORS® Ethics Citation Program
The Illinois REALTORS® Ethics Citation Program is limited to specific violations of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. Other ethics complaints which fall outside of the articles listed below should be handled through the regular complaint process.