Missouri REALTORS® are held to the standards of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. REALTORS® must complete at least 2.5 hours of Code of Ethics training within an established four-year period. Failure to complete this requirement means membership suspension or even termination of membership. NAR offers a free online class. This option is perfect for busy professionals, with the ability to save coursework and return to it later. Proof of completion is provided by email.
There is a professional standards process that handles ethics complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics. If you believe that a REALTOR® has violated the Code of Ethics, you may file a complaint. An ethics complaint must cite which articles of the Code of Ethics you believe the REALTOR® has violated. Some of the possible disciplines, if found in violation of the Code, include relevant education classes and fines. We cannot require an apology, impact the REALTOR®’s license, or get you out of the contract.
If you do not want to file a formal complaint but would like some assistance to try to work out an issue between you and a REALTOR®, you may choose to have an ombudsman work with you and the REALTOR® to facilitate communication and help you in coming to a resolution. Complete this form if you are interested in having an ombudsman contact you.
Effective 1/22/16, Missouri REALTORS® adopted an Ethics Citation Policy. Only certain Articles & Standards of Practice are subject to possible citation. You can view the Citation Policy in its entirety (and current schedule of “citable offenses” and fines) by clicking here. Given the time-consuming and confrontational nature of a contested hearing, the Citation Program is designed to save time, money, and other resources by possibly eliminating the need for a hearing in certain circumstances.
The process to file a complaint remains the same, but following initial review by a panel of the Grievance Committee, it will be forwarded to determine if it is a “citable offense” and otherwise covered by the Citation Program. If so, a fine (and possibly education requirements) may be imposed by issuing a “citation.” A respondent can elect to either pay the fine (and take any required classes), or request to proceed to a full hearing. For more information on how the Missouri REALTORS® Ethics Citation Program operates, please click here.
From time to time, a REALTOR®
may become involved in a commission dispute with another REALTOR®
. The Professional Standards process also offers an Arbitration procedure for resolving such disputes. At the same time you file an Arbitration Petition
, Missouri REALTORS®
recommends that you try Mediation
(simply include this Mediation Request form
along with your Arbitration Petition), because it could be a superior means of resolving commission disputes.
If your dispute is successfully mediated, any applicable monetary deposits will be refunded to all parties, making mediation a FREE and faster solution that helps to keep relationships intact, and also allows for creative solutions. If the dispute is not successfully mediated, the matter will proceed to the Missouri REALTORS®
Grievance Committee to determine if there are sufficient grounds to move to an Arbitration Hearing. At an Arbitration Hearing, the entire disputed amount is generally awarded to a single party (i.e., the Arbitration Committee will not split the disputed commission). Decisions arrived at by both arbitration and mediation are binding and enforceable by law.
The Missouri Real Estate Commission (MREC) is the governmental body overseeing real estate rules, regulations and licensing for the State of Missouri.
The MREC performs duties necessary to carry out the provisions of Missouri real estate license law. The MREC has its own complaint procedure, which is completely separate from the Missouri REALTORS®. Other responsibilities of the MREC include investigating complaints generated by consumers against the acts of a real estate licensee. The Commission also approves all real estate prelicensing and continuing education courses. Visit their website or call 573-751-2628 for more information.
If you have questions regarding Professional Standards and the Code of Ethics, please contact Kriston Singh – Kriston@morealtor.com or call 800-403-0101 ext. 137.