Professional Standards – Code of Ethics
EPCAR prides itself in providing guidance and support to both members of our Realtor® association and members of the public on matters of the Realtor® Code of Ethics. Realtors® abide by the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics.
Before you file a formal complaint, please review NAR’s Code of Ethics. There are a couple of viable options to consider that will save you time and possibly save you money. To file a formal complaint – the professional in question must be a Realtor® member of a Realtor® association. Often misunderstandings between real estate professionals result from miscommunications or lack of sufficient communication. If you have a problem with a Realtor® member of our association, you may want to speak with him/her or speak directly with the Broker in the firm of said Realtor® member. If you are still not satisfied, you may want to contact the local board or association of that Realtor®. Usually, an open, effective discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.
In addition to processing formal ethics complaints filed on its Realtor® members, EPCAR offers informal dispute-resolving processes (such as, ombudsmen, mediation, etc.). Often, parties are more satisfied with the informal dispute resolution proceedings, as these techniques are timely, less costly, and often provide quicker resolutions.
As a member Board (Association) of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), EPCAR adopts and accepts its duty to enforce NAR’s Code of Ethics as part of our governing rules or Bylaws. As described by the Florida REALTORS®, “The Code of Ethics” and “Standards of Practice” of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) defines the bylaws by which Realtors must oblige in both performance and service.
Formal Ethics or Arbitration complaints take time and do follow a process that includes the NEW Ombudsman Program, Grievance Committee, and may involve the Professional Standards Committee. For additional questions or a list of Ombudsman volunteers, please contact Marisol Espinoza, Association Executive.
The purpose of the Ombudsman Program is to provide enhanced communications and initial problem solving to caller concerning REALTORS® and real estate related transactions.
The Ombudsman may answer, or seek the answer to, calls concerning transactional, technical, procedural or practical issues with respect to REALTORS® or real estate transactions. Our volunteers are here to help.
Discussion between parties where said parties agree to a decision that is a Win-Win for both sides.
EPCAR’s Mediator is a trained Mediator and long-time member of the Association.
For more information on how to start your Mediation process, please contact the EPCAR Office at your convenience.
Matters regarding dispute over monies like commission or fees are referred to Arbitration. Basic questions to consider to help identify an issue of arbitration are – is this a money dispute or is this an arbitratibale matter? If the issue is arbitratable, please complete the request forms and submit with the filing fee. Please contact the Association Executive for any additional questions.
Ethics refer to the behaviors of an individual as they relate to the Code of Ethics. Only the Articles of the Code can be violated and as such must be cited in a formal complaint. Ask the basic question, Is there a possible violation of the Code of Ethics in this situation? If so, please proceed by calling the association and completing the complaint package.
Anyone can file a complaint- a member of the public or a member of the association but only complaints against members of the association can be handled by EPCAR. A REALTOR® member of another association must contact that association for assistance.