Dispute Resolution

The single, most outstanding characteristic that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate practitioners is the willingness to accept and abide by the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®. The St. Charles REALTORS®  prides itself on maintaining a high level of integrity through thoughtful and fair enforcement of the Code of Ethics. The Association has in place a comprehensive Professional Standards process to protect the public from unethical REALTOR® activities.

But even with the best of intentions, planning and preparations, occasional disagreements arise between REALTORS® and/or between REALTORS® and their clients and customers. As civil litigation becomes increasingly costly, time consuming, and burdensome, there has been a trend among private parties to settle disputes and conflicting claims through alternative means.

The Association of REALTORS® offers its members and their clients and customers a vehicle to economically expedite ethics complaints and/or arbitration requests without going to court.


All the St. Charles REALTORS®  members are required to settle their monetary disputes (usually a commission issue) through the use of our Arbitration program. Members submit to the Association an Arbitration Request, including a summary of the events, and pay a $500 filing fee. The process will begin and a hearing will be scheduled to settle the matter. Mediation, which is a faster and cost-free alternative, is always offered before the hearing is scheduled.  For more information on the process, please read our “How to File a Complaint” brochure.

Ethics Complaints

Violations of the Code of Ethics or other membership rules by one of our members should be reported to the Association. Any person, Member or nonmember, may file an ethics complaint (complaint form here) against a REALTOR Member alleging a violation of the Code of Ethics. A complaint must be filed within 180 days from the time that the alleged offense and relating facts could have been known. You must submit a typed summary of the events that took place and identify which Article(s) of the Code of Ethics you believe were violated. There is no charge to file an Ethics complaint. For more information on the process, please read our “How to File a Complaint” brochure.

Ombudsman Services

The Association offers Ombudsman Services for those who would like assistance in resolving an issue but are not ready to file a complaint yet.  The purpose of the Ombudsman is to provide an impartial knowledgeable, informed contact when REALTOR members or members of the public have real estate-related questions or issues that have not been addressed by an individual broker.

The role of the Ombudsman is to identify and attempt to facilitate a resolution of misunderstandings and/or disagreements before matters evolve into a formal complaint. The Ombudsman Service Request Form is available here.

Discuss The Ethics Complaint Process

Mindy West (2023 President Elect)


Matthew Becker (2022 President)

Discuss The Ethics Complaint Process.

NAR’s Code of Ethics, Professional Standards, and Mediation Resources

Additional resources are available from the National Association of REALTORS®.


How do I file an ethics complaint?

Follow these steps:
1) Complete and sign the complaint form (supplied by the St. Charles REALTORS® staff). This form requests you to name the REALTOR® in question as the Respondent.

2) List the Articles of the Code of Ethics that you think the REALTOR® violated.

3) Attach an explanation about the situation surrounding the complaint. Be as specific as possible, referring at all times to the specific Articles of the Code. State what, when, where, why, and how you think the REALTOR® violated each Article.

4) Attach copies of any and all pertinent documents such as listing agreements, purchase agreements, correspondence, etc. If you have notarized statements from witnesses, include those also.

5) Keep a copy for your records and send the entire package to:

St. Charles REALTORS®
110 Point West Blvd.
St. Charles, MO 63301

The Grievance Committee will then process your complaint. This process may take up to 90 days before you hear whether or not the complaint is being forwarded to a hearing.

What can the St. Charles REALTORS® do to a REALTOR?

The St. Charles REALTORS® can administer discipline to a REALTOR®. This would happen only in the case of a violation of the Code of Ethics as determined by an ethics hearing panel. The St. Charles REALTORS® can use one or more of the following ways to discipline a member:

a) A letter of warning or reprimand to the member
b) Direct the member to attend an ethics class or other training appropriate to the violation
c) Fine the member up to $15,000 (not awarded to the Complainant)
d) Place the member on probation
e) Suspend the membership of the member
f) Expel the member from membership.

An Association of REALTORS® possesses limited authority regarding its members. Note the following limitation:

The St. Charles REALTORS® cannot charge a member with violations of the Missouri real estate license law or any other law. Its jurisdiction covers only violations of membership duties. The Missouri Real Estate Commission controls the agent’s license to sell real estate. If you think a person has violated the license law, you should contact this agency. The number is (573) 751-2628.

For the same reason, the St. Charles REALTORS® cannot suspend or terminate the license of one of its members.