Ethics Complaint

How to File a Grievance

There are two types of complaints which can be processed by the Rockford Area Association of REALTORS®.

The first is against a member, and alleges violation of one or more of the articles stated in the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics. This type of complaint may be filed either by a member of the public or by another REALTOR®.

If it is felt a REALTOR® has violated one or more articles of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics, there may be a basis for a complaint. Any perceived violation of the law or the real estate rules or regulations of the State of Illinois are NOT matters which can be considered by the Rockford Area Association of REALTORS®.

The second type of complaint occurs when a RAAR member has a dispute regarding procuring cause on the sale or lease of a property. This type of complaint may only be filed by a REALTOR® member.

How do I File My Ethics Complaint?

The first step in filing a complaint is to call the Association office (815/395-6776) and ask for the staff member responsible for grievances and complaints. You will be advised as to how to file a complaint, and you will be sent the proper forms and information. When filing a grievance, a written explanation of the complaint must accompany the completed form, accompanied by any copies of any documents relevant to your complaint.

The Grievance Panel

The Grievance Panel of REALTOR® members, none of whom are affiliated with the company involved, will review your complaint. The panel members hear both sides of the complaint and act to:

  1. Dismiss the complaint, or 2) Forward the complaint to a Professional Standards Committee for a hearing.

The Grievance Panel makes no decisions regarding ethical violations. It merely reviews the complaint and decides whether or not one of the articles of the Code of Ethics MAY have been violated.

The Grievance Panel may also assist the complainant in the final formulation of the charges by deleting or adding to the charges originally filed.

The Professional Standards Committee

In the event the Grievance Panel decides there is the possibility of a violation of the Code of Ethics, a Professional Standards Panel composed of at least three REALTOR® members will be convened to hear the complaint with both complainant and respondent attending. The Professional Standards Panel then will decide whether to dismiss the charges or impose the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken against the REALTOR®, if an ethical violation has occurred. No monetary damages are awarded by a Professional Standards Panel. However, a fine may be imposed.


Arbitration involves monetary disputes in situations where a written contract exists between REALTOR® members, or there is a dispute regarding procuring cause. The complaint is first heard by a Grievance Panel. If it is the decision of the panel that the complaint should go to arbitration, then an Arbitration Panel is formed to judge the complaint. Both parties must pay a filing fee of $250.00, which may or may not be returned, depending on the findings of the Arbitration Panel. The decision of the Arbitration Panel is binding and is an alternative to filing a civil suit or going to small claims court.

For a complete explanation of ethics and arbitration procedures, steps to the filing process, and printable forms please click here.

What to know Before You File a Complaint.

Illinois Association of REALTORS? National Association of REALTORS? Realtor MLS Equal Opp