Professional Standards

Professional Standards

Click here to read the 2024 Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice established by the National Association of REALTORS® that holds REALTORS® to a higher ethical standard than other real estate professionals.

The California Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual can be accessed by clicking here.

If it is believed that an ethics violation was committed, please click here to read about the procedure that should be taken prior to filing an ethics complaint.

Filing an Ethics Complaint

Any person, whether a member or not, having reason to believe that a member is in violation of any conduct subject to disciplinary action may file a complaint in writing with the Central Valley Association of REALTORS® where the Respondent is a member or where the property at issue is located. The Complainant has burden of proof, they must show clear and convincing evidence. Central Valley Association of REALTORS® cannot investigate an issue.

A complaint meeting all filing requirements must be filed within one hundred and eight (180) calendar days after the facts constituting the matter complained of could have been known or one hundred eighty (180) days after the conclusion of the transaction, or event, whichever is later.

Ombudsman Program

The Ombudsman’s role is primarily one of communication and conciliation, not adjudication. Ombudsmen do not determine whether ethics violations have occurred, rather they anticipate, identify, and resolve misunderstandings and disagreements before matters ripen into disputes and possible charges of unethical conduct.

If a matter complained of is resolved to the mutual satisfaction of all parties through the efforts of an ombudsman, the formal ethics complaint brought initially (if any) will be dismissed. If not, the complaining party will then file an ethics complaint.

Please note, the time the matter was originally brought to the board or association’s attention will be considered the filing date for purposes of determining whether an ethics complaint is timely filed.

Please review the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics by clicking here.

Ethics Advocate Program

An Ethics Advocate (EA) are a sub-committee of the Professional Standards Committee, comprised of REALTORS®, and are specially trained to represent parties during the disciplinary process.

An Ethics Advocate role may include preparation for hearing, including the preparation of forms and assembly of evidence; representation at the hearing, including the making of opening and closing statements on behalf of the party represented at the hearing, examining, and cross-examining witnesses, and introducing affidavits, documents and other relevant evidence, and representation at any review hearings, but does not include testifying as a witness. An Ethics Advocate can be requested by all parties, the Complainant and/or the Respondent. Please note: Even though the EA performs a role similar to legal counsel, the EA is not an attorney and is not allowed to practice law.

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