REALTORS® ascribe to the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The NAR Code of Ethics is the standard to which all REALTORS® are held and keeps REALTORS® a step above a real estate licensee. The Code of Ethics is part of the REALTOR® brand. As such, NAR requires all members to complete a 2.5 hour (minimum) Code of Ethics training every three years to maintain membership.
Members can click here to check your Code of Ethics Status to see if they have completed the course in the current triennial cycle.
Appraisers who are REALTOR® members are required to complete the NAR Code of Ethics course each triennial cycle.
Members still needing to take the Code of Ethics course have several different options:
Online “REALTOR® Code of Ethics Training” offered through NAR:
- Code of Ethics Continuing Education (3 hours CE) Option
- Code of Ethics Course for Existing Members (Free, no CE) Option
*Please note: when taking the course from another provider (not through a Local Association/Board or NAR), check with your Local Association/Board to verify that the course satisfies the requirement. A standard Business Ethics course does not qualify. Then, submit your CE certificate to your Local Association/Board to receive the official Code of Ethics credit with NAR
Having a Dispute
Any person having reason to believe that a REALTOR® is guilty of violating the Code of Ethics may file a complaint. Many ethics complaints result from misunderstandings or a breakdown in communication. Before filing an ethics complaint, you may want to make reasonable efforts to communicate with the REALTOR® or a managing principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.
If these efforts do not resolve the issue, the St. Thomas Board of REALTORS® partnered with VITAR (Virgin Islands Territorial Association of REALTORS®) can provide options for dispute resolution, including the procedures and forms necessary to file an ethics complaint.
Guide to Filing an Ethics Complaint and Form E-1
- Grievance Committee
- Forward the case for a hearing before the Professional Standards Committee panel.
- Dismiss it, if the complaint is determined to be unfounded.
- A Board of REALTORS® has limitations to its authority regarding its members. Below is a list of those limitations:
The Grievance Committee does not determine guilt or innocence. It will either:
- The complaint must be filed within one hundred eighty (180) days of the time that the alleged offense and facts relating to it could have been known by the complainant in the exercise of reasonable diligence.
- The Board cannot try a Board member for violations of Virgin Islands real estate license law or any other alleged violation of the law. It has jurisdiction only over violations of a member’s duty to abide by the Code of Ethics.
- For the same reason, the Board cannot suspend or terminate the license of one of its members.
- The Board can, in the case of an ethics violation being determined, administer discipline to the REALTOR® in one or more of the following ways:
- Send a letter of warning or reprimand to the member
- Direct the member to attend an ethics class or other training appropriate to the violation
- Fine the member up to $15,000 (this fine is not awarded to the complainant)
- Place the member on probation
- Suspend the membership of the REALTOR®
- Expel the member from membership
- Money damages or earnest money disputes cannot be part of an ethics proceeding.