File a REALTOR® Ethics Complaint
Many REALTOR® ethics complaints result from a misunderstanding or failure in communication. Before filing an ethics complaint, please make reasonable efforts to communicate with your real estate professional or a principal broker in their firm. If these efforts are not fruitful, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® can give you the procedures and forms necessary to file a REALTOR® ethics complaint.
The Chicago Association of REALTORS® is responsible for enforcing the National Association of REALTORS®’ REALTOR® Code of Ethics, which imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation. The Code applies only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®. Licensees who are not REALTORS® are bound solely by the License Act of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).
Keep in mind: the Chicago Association of REALTORS® can only determine whether the Code of Ethics has been broken by a CAR member. Only licensing authorities (IDFPR) and the courts can decide whether a law or real estate regulation has been violated.
If a REALTOR® is found to have violated the Code of Ethics, typical forms of discipline include:
- attendance at courses and seminars designed to increase the REALTOR®’s understanding of the ethics duties or other responsibilities of real estate professionals.
- formal reprimand
- membership suspension or terminated (in cases of serious or repeated violations)
The Chicago Association 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.