REALTOR® vs. Licensed Broker
Real estate transactions are complicated. They involve the single most expensive purchase a majority of people will ever make. And they involve strong emotions. Think about the reasons for the sale and purchase of property, and ask yourself if you need another worry during this stressful time. It’s wise to have a licensed Broker on your side. But it’s best to have a REALTOR® on your side – a licensed Broker who also belongs to a local, state, and national professional development association and follows a strict Code of Ethics.
The REALTOR® Code of Ethics is a lengthy document that includes numerous standards of practice. It’s also a living document, so REALTORS® are required to review the Code on a regular basis. Currently every 4 years. That changed to every 2 years in 2017.
REALTOR® Code of Ethics At-a-Glance
- Truthfulness in statements and advertising
- Loyalty to and fiduciary (financial and legal) duty to clients
- Cooperation with competitors, including non-interference in exclusive relationships that other REALTORS® have with clients
The Grievance Process
Disputes occur even with the help of a REALTOR®. And experience tells us that misunderstanding is most often the reason. Someone either did not communicate or did not communicate well enough. Talk with your REALTOR® and/or their Managing Broker. Open, constructive discussion usually resolves the matter and eliminates further action. But not always.
If you feel your REALTOR® and/or their Managing Broker failed to act according to the Code of Ethics, we want to know about it. Here are the steps to our grievance process, which is for both clients and fellow REALTORS®. You must file a complaint within 180 days from the time you knew or reasonably should have known that potentially unethical conduct took place.
- Is your/the Broker a REALTOR®?
• If yes, proceed to #2.
• If no, contact the Office of the Attorney General
- Talk with your/the REALTOR® and/or their Managing Broker.
- File a complaint with the appropriate local REALTOR® association.
Staff may need to refer you to the state of Indiana’s Real Estate Commission or the Office of the Indiana Attorney General.