Case #17-4: Dispute Involving REALTOR® Holding Membership in Two Boards

REALTORS® A and B, disputants in an arbitrable issue, both belonged to the X Board of REALTORS®, a large Board in the central city of a metropolitan area. REALTOR® B also maintained a branch office in a nearby suburb and was also a member of the Board having jurisdiction in that area, the Y Board of REALTORS®.

REALTOR® A filed a written request with the X Board of REALTORS® for arbitration. REALTOR® B was notified and advised of the date of the hearing.

REALTOR® B replied that because he considered himself primarily a member of the Y Board of REALTORS®, he would proceed through the Y Board of REALTORS® and would request interboard arbitration as provided for in Article 17 of the Code of Ethics.

How would you decide on REALTOR® B?

Since this is a question of jurisdiction, see how the board decided below.

Regarding the other ethics articles #1 through #16, read this discussion below too.

Ethics Violation of Article 17 in the NAR Code of Ethics? or No Violation?

See below for how this hearing panel ruled…if you think a violation, how much discipline would you impose? Fine of $________ and ____ hours of education.

If you were the respondent (aka defendant) REALTOR® in this complaint would you have considered taking an offered citation (small fine and education) in lieu of a full formal ethics hearing or waiving your right to a full formal hearing and accepting the fine and education imposed by the ethics committee who takes into account your admission of unprofessional behavior (aka take a plea deal)?

SCR is receiving numerous reports of unprofessional behavior. Across the country, unprofessional behavior is the number #1 complaint by REALTORS® about their colleagues in the market.

There are several ways of addressing and trying to correct unprofessional behavior. Lead by example. If you see unprofessional behavior, say something. Discuss with the other REALTOR®. Discuss with the REALTOR®’s Broker-in-Charge (BIC). Consider filing ethics complaints at the appropriate association and filing license law complaints at LLR.

Upon consideration by the Board of Directors of the X Board of REALTORS®, the request for interboard arbitration was refused. Regardless of which of the two Boards REALTOR® B considered to be his primary Board, he was a member of the X Board. Since both parties to the dispute were members of the X Board, there was no need for interboard arbitration and the matter was arbitrated by the X Board.

Posted by: Byron King on 2/17/21 (This information is only accurate as of 2/17/21. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 2/17/21 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at