How Do I File an Ethics Complaint?

There are some important considerations when filing an ethics complaint that you should be aware of. We highly encourage reading “Before You File An Ethics Complaint” to better understand the Ethics Complaint process. If you would like to file an Ethics Complaint, please contact our Professional Standards Administrator, Katherine Smith – or 205-802-6072.

Before You File and Ethics Complaint   Code of Ethics & Standards of Practice

Ethics Complaint Process

Only REALTORS® are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®. If you have questions about filing a Code of Ethics complaint, please contact our Professional Standards Administrator, Katherine Smith – or 205-802-6072.

Learn more about the REALTOR® Code of Ethics:

Need assistance with a legal question? AAR has a Legal Helpdesk who can assist:

Ethics Complaint vs MLS Complaint

Ethics Complaint vs MLS Complaint

Ethics Complaint

  • Violation of a specific article
  • Treating all parties fairly
  • Misrepresenting, concealing, or exaggerating pertinent facts
  • Failure to cooperate with other REALTORS® (does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or compensate another broker)
  • Failure to disclose you are a REALTOR® or hold interest in the property
  • Provide professional services concerning a property or its value where they have a present or contemplated interest unless such interest is specifically disclosed to all affected parties
  • Not abiding by Standard of Practice 10.5: 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.

  • Compensated by more than one party
  • Accepting payment or rebates other than commission unless disclosed to all
  • Failure to use a trust account
  • Not putting things in writing
  • Denied professional services based on minority status
  • Practicing outside of competence
  • False advertising
  • Practicing law without a license
  • Refusal to present evidence in a hearing
  • Bad-mouthing other REALTORS®
  • Soliciting other REALTOR® clients
  • Refusing to participate in (or pay from) arbitration hearing

MLS Complaint

To submit an MLS Complaint please send a detailed explanation to  When requested by a complainant, the MLS will process a complaint without revealing the complainant’s identity. If a complaint is subsequently forwarded to a hearing, and the original complainant does not consent to participating in the process, the MLS will appoint a representative to serve as the complainant.

  • Violation of an MLS rule
  • Any violation of Supra lockbox/key policy
  • Abusing coming soon status (i.e., marketing and showing the property without entry in the MLS)
  • Violation of the Clear Cooperation policy (i.e., putting a sign in the yard when the listing is not in the MLS after 1 business day)
  • Listing brokers misrepresenting the availability of access to show or inspect listed property

  • Showing the home without permission
  • Failure to identify as a limited-service listing
  • Change in listing status not reported
  • Prohibited use of the term MLS in any medium
  • Sharing of MLS user ID and password

Reasons for Arbitration

  • Dispute over commission
  • Procuring cause
  • Not paying what was listed in the MLS
  • Not paying a referral fee
  • Contact your Professional Standards Administrator, Katherine Smith – or 205-802-6072.

Contact AREC

  • Violation of the law
  • Not returning earnest money
  • Fraud

Contact Your Attorney

  • Independent contractor agreement disputes
  • Legal question with a Commercial issue