Code of Ethics
The Greater Lansing Board of REALTORS® holds member REALTORS® to the highest standards of conduct. In doing so, we have established a "Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice" that should provide an ethical framework for all parties in the real estate transaction. If you have a question or issue regarding a transaction or the application of these standards, please read the Frequently Asked Questions below. If you still have questions, or need to file a grievance, please use the appropriate form attached or call our office to discuss the issue.
FAQ’s – Things to know before you file an ethics complaint.
1. WHAT RESPONSIBILITY DOES THE ASSOCIATION HAVE IN REGARD TO THE CODE OF ETHICS?
Boards and associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation which apply only to real estate professionals who
choose to become REALTORS®.
2. WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE FILING AN ETHICS COMPLAINT?
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.
3. WHAT IF TALKING TO THE REALTOR® OR BROKER DOESN’T HELP?
If, after taking these steps, you still feel you have a grievance, you many want to consider filing an ethics complaint.
4. WHO IS SUBJECT TO THE CODE OF ETHICS?
Only REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®s are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
5. WHAT IF MY COMPLAINT IS AGAINST SOMEONE NOT SUBJECT TO THE CODE OF ETHICS?
If the real estate professional (or their broker) you are dealing with is not a REALTOR®, your only recourse may be the state real state licensing authority or the courts.
7. WHO DETERMINES IF A CODE OF ETHICS HAS BEEN VIOLATED?
Boards and associations of REALTORS® determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken.
8. WHO DETERMINES IF A LAW OR REAL ESTATE REGULATION HAS BEEN VIOLATED?
The licensing authorities or the courts decide if any laws or real estate regulations have been violated.
9. WHAT FORM OF DISCIPLINE CAN SOMEONE RECEIVE IF FOUND IN VIOLATION OF THE CODE OF ETHICS?
Boards of REALTORS® can discipline REALTORS® for violating the Code of Ethics. Typical forms of discipline include attendance at courses and seminars designed to increase REALTORS®' understanding of the ethical duties or other responsibilities of real estate professionals. REALTORS® may also be reprimanded, fined, or their membership can be suspended or terminated for serious or repeated violations. Boards and associations of REALTORS® cannot require REALTORS® to pay money to parties filing ethics complaints; cannot award "punitive damages" for violations of the Code of Ethics; and cannot suspend or revoke a real estate professional's license.
10. WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE DISCIPLINE?
The primary emphasis of discipline for ethical lapses is educational, to create a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the duties the Code imposes. At the same time, more severe forms of discipline, including fines and suspension and termination of membership may be imposed for serious or repeated violations.