Professional Standards - what makes you different from other real estate professionals.

The professional standard which sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate professionals is their acceptance and adherence to the Code of Ethics. Created in 1913, the Code has been updated many times through the years to reflect current developments in our profession. Even with the best of efforts, occasional disagreements arise between REALTORS® and / or their peers and clients.

Together, the Professional Standards Committees (Professional Standards, Mediation and Grievance) are charged with the responsibility for the enforcement of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics, the MLS Rules that do not have automatic fines, and all other membership duties and obligations. Bay East Professional Standards Committee has several programs in place to assist you in resolving ethics or arbitration issues, by quickly and economically settling these disputes without going to court.

Complaints & Disputes

The Bay East Professional Standards Program is available to help you resolve difficult disputes on ethics and arbitration issues.

Bay East offers two methods to help you resolve a commission dispute.

Mediation: A neutral mediator panel helps all of the parties reach a voluntary, negotiated agreement.

Arbitration: A settlement process in which a third party reviews the dispute and imposes a decision that is legally binding for all of the parties.

Bay East offers affordable ways for members and their clients to resolve real estate transaction disputes at any point during or after the transaction.

Our Professional Standards Committee is responsible for enforcing NAR’s Code of Ethics, MLS Rules and membership responsibilities. There are two different types of complaints for alleged violations of these standards.

Ethic Complaints are alleged violations of the Code of Ethics as well as our MLS and Membership Rules.

The Professional Standards Committee with approval of the Board of Directors implemented a schedule of fines for certain Code of Ethics violations effective January 2015. A REALTOR® receiving a citation may either (1) pay the amount specified on the citation; 2) complete specified training when applies; or (3) request a full hearing. A list of applicable Citations and fees.

Ethics Complaints can be emailed to Bay East. Please attach the complaint to this form.

Anonymous Complaints allow agents to file a complaint without identifying themselves. The most important criteria is that the alleged violation must be "touched, heard or seen" without testimony or witnesses.

If you feel a violation has occurred, the following information can help you file a complaint.

Not all real estate licensees are the same.

REALTORS® are members of the National Association of REALTORS® and adhere to a strict code of ethics.
  • Code of Ethics

    In 1913 the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) adopted a list of professional guidelines which established ethical standards on the exchange of real estate information and reasonable public policies on members’ behavior.
    Watch the history of the Code of Ethics created by Doreen Roberts.
  • Ethics Course

    The California Association of REALTORS® offers a one-hour online course that can help you stay informed of key sections in the Code of Ethics. In addition to being an invaluable resource, “A Word About The NAR Code of Ethics” includes a final exam to test your comprehension of the material and a downloadable certificate for your office. If this course is taken as a sanction for an ethics violation, the certification can be submitted as proof of completion.

Governing Documents

Stay out of trouble by keeping up-to-date on the rules and regulations that govern our profession.


Show your REALTOR® pride.

The term "REALTOR®" is a registered trademark owned by NAR and protected by federal law. This valuable NAR membership benefit reminds consumers and other real estate professionals that you adhere to a strict code of ethics.

The following information will help you use this powerful branding resource and remain in compliance.