Ethics and Arbitration

Metro South Association of REALTORS® participates in the Georgia Association of REALTORS® Statewide Professional Standards Program. This means that all ethics and arbitration requests and processes are administered at the state level. Below, you can find information about the ethics and arbitration processes, including how to apply for arbitration or submit an ethics complaint, sourced from


REALTOR® Code of Ethics

Boards and Associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTOR Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation. The Code of Ethics applies only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®.

Many difficulties between real estate professionals (whether REALTORS® or not) result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them or with a principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.


To File an Ethics Complaint

  1. Please review the "Before You File an Ethics Complaint" section below.
  2. Please review the Code of Ethics.
  3. Click HERE to start filing your complaint.
  4. If you have any additional questions, please email


Before You File an Ethics Complaint

If, after taking these steps, you still feel you have a grievance, you may want to consider filing an ethics complaint. You will want to keep the following in mind:

  1. Only REALTORS® and REALTOR®-Associates are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
  2. If the real estate professional (or their broker) you are dealing with is not a REALTOR®, your only recourse may be the state real estate licensing authority or the courts. 
  3. Boards and Associations of REALTORS® determine 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.
  4. Boards of REALTORS® can discipline REALTORS® for violating the Code of Ethics. Typical forms of discipline include attendance at courses and seminars designed to increase REALTORS®' understanding of the ethical duties or other responsibilities of real estate professionals. REALTORS® may also be reprimanded, fined, or their membership can be suspended or terminated for serious or repeated violations. Boards and Associations of REALTORS® cannot require REALTORS® to pay money to parties filing ethics complaints; cannot award "punitive damages" for violations of the Code of Ethics; and cannot suspend or revoke a real estate professional's license.
  5. The primary emphasis of discipline for ethical lapses is educational; to create a heightened awareness of and appreciation for the duties the Code imposes.



Please contact Malikita Hall, Legal Affairs Coordinator, at 678-597-4139 if you have any questions or to confirm that the real estate professional you have a complaint against is a REALTOR® member that the Georgia Association of REALTORS® has jurisdiction over.



The Code of Ethics was adopted by the National Association of REALTORS® in 1913. Since then, REALTORS® everywhere have agreed to meet its high standards. Enforcement of the Code of Ethics is a very important part of the REALTOR® organization and helps to ensure honorable, faithful, and competent service to clients, customers, other members of the public, and fellow REALTORS®. This brochure was prepared to help you understand the process of arbitration.

Click here to download Arbitration Form A-1

Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts. The parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the “arbitrators”, “arbiters,” or “arbitral tribunal”), whose decision (the “award”) they agree to be bound. It is a settlement technique in which a third party reviews the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding for both sides.

A Request for Arbitration must be filed: 1) after the real estate transaction giving rise to the dispute has been completed; 2) within six months after the facts constituting the Arbitration matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence; 3) by the broker of a real estate agency.


Steps for Filing an Arbitration Request

  1. The obligation to participate in arbitration contemplated by Article 17 of the Code of Ethics includes the obligation of REALTOR® principals to cause their firms to arbitrate and be bound by any award.
  2. Please read the Arbitrable Issues and print the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-1 to file an Arbitration Request.
  3. To file an Arbitration Request, please complete and submit the Form A-1, a typed detailed description of the events, and any other relevant documentation to as a single attachment.
  4. Pay the $250 Arbitration Fee. Invoices with instructions for payment submission will be sent via email after your Arbitration Request has been received.
  5. If the circumstances giving rise to the arbitration request are subject of civil litigation, the request will be held in abeyance until these matters have been resolved.
  6. Once your Arbitration request has been received, you will be notified by email. The Georgia REALTORS® has at least one scheduled Grievance meeting per month. You will be notified of the findings and the next step in the process within 48 hours of the meeting being held.
  7. If the Grievance Panel pushes the arbitration request forward to a hearing, then the parties are required to attempt mediation through the Georgia REALTORS®. If the parties are unable to resolve the dispute through mediation, then the arbitration request will be pushed forward to a hearing.
  8. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lillie McLean, Professional Standards Administrator and Legal Affairs Specialist, at 678-597-4114.

To find out more about the Ethics and Arbitration process from the National Association of REALTORS®, please click:

NAR Professional Standards.