Elevating and Protecting Professionalism
GPAR is committed to upholding the highest level of professional standards for our members. The National Association of REALTORS®’ Code of Ethics lies at the heart of being a Realtor®. Since its adoption in 1913, the Code has promoted time-honored principles that are generally defined as:
- Loyalty to clients
- Fiduciary duty to clients
- Cooperation with competitors
- Truthfulness in statements and advertising and non-interference in exclusive relationships that other REALTORS® have with their clients
Please visit here to learn more about the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics, professional standards, and mediation resources.
The Professional Standards Committee of GPAR is a “proper tribunal” that fulfills the procedural due process that is required by the Code of Ethics. Due process requires a fair and diligent search for the truth with an opportunity for all facts to be gathered, all views to be heard, all defenses to be raised and all prejudice or bias to be expunged. The Professional Standards Committee promotes honesty, integrity, fairness and competency to resolve controversies on the basis of the informed judgment of one’s peers. Please visit here to learn more about the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics, professional standards, and mediation resources.
Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics is a viable, living, developing guide for REALTORS® and it also provides a source of protection for the public. The Code of Ethics refines, on a continuing basis, the obligations that REALTORS® and REALTOR® ASSOCIATES to the highest and best standards of personal and professional conduct in their practice of real estate. The term REALTOR® represents competency, fairness, and high integrity in business relations. Enforcing the Code of Ethics will eliminate practices that may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession.
Accepting this high standard as their own, REALTORS® pledge to conduct their business and observe in all of their activities whether personally, through associates or others, or via technological means the observance of the Articles of the Code of Ethics.
In November 2020, NAR approved changes to Professional Standards Rules. REALTORS® must not use harassing speech, hate speech, epithets or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. Please check out this PAR article on the changes.
Complaints Information and Filing Information
The majority of real estate transactions close without incident. For those times when there is an issue, GPAR is equipped to help in the below ways depending on the situation as specified by the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics.
Each year, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® holds a series of Professional Standards training seminars to help train members involved in the Professional Standards enforcement process. These seminars are intended for members who serve on the Grievance or Professional Standards Committees at either the local or state level, as well as members who serve on the local or state Board of Directors.
Attendance at one of the yearly seminars is mandatory because GPAR participates in the Statewide Professional Standards Cooperative. Grievance and Professional Standards Committee members must complete the training to be eligible or continue to serve on the committee.
If only an individual REALTOR® (principal is named as the respondent in an arbitration request, can a Hearing Panel make an award against the respondent’s firm?
No. Awards can only be made against named parties in the arbitration request and agreement.
If only an individual REALTOR® (principal) is named as the complainant in an arbitration request, can a Hearing Panel make an award in favor of the complainant’s firm?
No. Awards can only be made in favor of parties named in the arbitration request and agreement.
If an award is made against an individual REALTOR® (principal), is it enforceable against the respondent’s firm?
Awards are generally enforceable against parties named in the award.
Can I name both a REALTOR® (principal) and his firm as respondents in an arbitration request?
What is the advantage to naming both a REALTOR® (principal) and his firm as respondents in an arbitration request?
Naming a REALTOR® (principal) as respondent lets the complainant know who will appear at the hearing, and naming the firm as respondent increases the chances of collecting any resulting award.
If a REALTOR®’s firm is named as the respondent in an arbitration request and refuses to arbitrate, who can be named as respondent in a complaint alleging that Article 17 has been violated?
Any REALTOR® (principal) who holds membership locally or who enjoys MLS participatory rights through the association can be named as respondent.
If only a REALTOR® firm is named as respondent in an arbitration request, who is served with notices?
Any REALTOR® (principal) in the firm may be served with notices.