Professional Standards

Code of Ethics Enforcement

REALTORS® are different from non-member licensees in that they voluntarily subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics establishes the foundation of how REALTORS® are to operate as professionals in the Real Estate Industry. Associations of REALTORS® are responsible for the enforcement of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics through the professional standards process.

Many difficulties between real estate professionals (whether REALTORS® or not) result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them or with a principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action. If, after discussing matters with your real estate professional or a principal broker in that firm, you are still not satisfied, you may want to move forward with the professional standards process. In addition to processing formal ethics complaints against its REALTOR® members, CCIAOR also offers informal dispute resolution processes via our Ombudsmen Program. Often, parties are more satisfied with informal dispute resolution processes, as they are quicker, less costly, and often help repair damaged relationships. If you have taken these steps and still feel you have a grievance, you may want to consider filing an ethics complaint.

If you have a question about a possible ethics issue and would like guidance, please contact CCIAOR's Ethics Advisor Karen Jaworksi.

File an Ethics Complaint

If you are ready to file a complaint, you can access the information below:

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The Code of Ethics Process

Arbitration & Mediation

If a monetary dispute arises between members or between members and their clients, CCIAOR offers an arbitration process that can be used in resolving complaints. Arbitration services help resolve contractual issues and questions that arise between members, between members and their clients, and, in some cases, between parties of a transaction brought about through the efforts of REALTORS®.

For arbitration issues between two CCIAOR members, arbitration and an attempt at mediation are mandatory. Mediation is CCIAOR's preferred method of resolving disputes. While Arbitration can be time-consuming and costly, there is another choice - mediation, which is a simpler and easier process. It is an efficient and economical mechanism to resolve arbitration disputes. With mediation, there is no cost, little delay, no hearing panel, use of one or two neutral/impartial mediators and the solution is just as binding and enforceable as arbitration. Both parties decide to enter the process, can leave the process at any time (at which time a hearing can be convened). The parties have complete control over the outcome, as opposed to relinquishing that authority to a third party.

If you have a question about a possible arbitrable issue and would like guidance, please contact CCIAOR's Ethics Advisor Karen Jaworksi.

File an Arbitration Request

If you are a REALTOR® and wish to file an arbitration request against a member of CCIAOR, you can access the form below:

*Note: Members of the public (non-REALTORS®) are also able to file arbitration requests against members of the Cape Cod & Islands Association of REALTORS®. If you would like more information, please contact Karen Jaworski.