Code of Ethics
Realtors® pledge to abide by a strict Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation on real estate professionals.
File an Ethics Complaint
If you believe a Realtor® has acted unethically, you have the right to file a formal complaint. Anyone can file an ethics complaint. With that complaint, the Board determines whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken. Those decisions can only be made by the licensing authorities or the courts. If the real estate professional or their broker you are dealing with is not a Realtor®, your only recourse may be to contact the Utah Division of Real Estate or the courts through private civil litigation to pursue your complaint.
The Board can discipline Realtor® members for violating the Code of Ethics. Typical forms of discipline include attendance at educational courses, monetary fines, or suspension or termination of membership for serious or repeated violations. The Board cannot require Realtors® to pay money to parties filing ethics complaints, award “punitive damages” for violations of the Code of Ethics, nor suspend or revoke a real estate professional’s license. Ethics complaints must be filed with the Board within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant reasonably should have known potentially unethical conduct took place.
Mediation (Between Realtor® Members Only)
Mediation is a facilitated negotiation. It is a method of resolving disputes by bringing the disputing parties together with a neutral third party (the mediator) and negotiating through the mediator to come to a mutually acceptable resolution. The Board will mediate any dispute that could also be arbitrated under Article 17 of the Code of Ethics, mainly contractual disputes between opposing brokers which arose out of their relationship as Realtors®. The Board will also arbitrate certain non-contractual disputes between opposing brokers (procuring cause disputes).
When the parties come to an agreement they will put the terms of that agreement into a contract with the help of the mediator. The contract then becomes legally enforceable. The Board does not mediate disputes between buyers and sellers, but Realtor® members only. If a buyer and seller would like to mediate, or their contract dictates that they “shall” mediate, a list of potential mediators in the state of Utah can be found on the Utah Courts web site: http://www.utcourts.gov/mediation/roster/bios.asp
Arbitration (Between Realtor® Members Only)
If the parties do not come to a resolution during the mediation, then the matter could be taken to arbitration. Mediation is often preferred to arbitration because involved parties may walk away at any time should they not be satisfied with the mediation proceedings. Arbitration, on the other hand, is a formal hearing. The decision reached by the hearing panel cannot typically be overturned or appealed. All Realtor® members are required to Arbitrate under Article 17 of the Code of Ethics. Frequently, when a request to arbitrate is received by the SLBR, and both parties involved agree, mediation is attempted before the case is taken to formal arbitration. Again, mediation for members is optional, while arbitration is not. Contact staff to further discuss your particular case.