Effective November 15, 2022
REALTORS® and Professionalism
The reputation of REALTORS® is critical to their success, and the REALTOR® Code of Ethics serves to inspire great business practices for all REALTORS®. When a REALTOR® engages in poor business practices, it not only affects their own reputation but the reputations of all REALTORS®. It is important for REALTORS® to do their part in correcting unethical behavior.
Ideally, a civil conversation with the agent and/or their broker will correct the unethical behavior. Wyoming REALTORS® also offers an ombudsman program to assist parties looking to resolve their disputes outside of a formal complaint process.
An ethics complaint may still be filed if the conversation is unsuccessful, or a Complainant otherwise prefers to participate in the disciplinary process.
Purpose & Function of a Citation System
The ethics complaint process exists to provide due process to the parties, but it can be time-consuming and adversarial. The Wyoming REALTORS® Board of Directors adopted a Citation Policy to allow for a more efficient resolution of eligible violations of the Code of Ethics. Why are some violations eligible and not others? The National Association of REALTORS® only allows for certain straightforward and uncomplicated violations to be eligible for citation.
When used effectively, the Citation Policy allows the Respondent to acknowledge the behavior and pay the citation, in lieu of a hearing. When an eligible complaint is filed, the Grievance Committee may forward eligible complaints to the Citation Panel to issue a citation. A Respondent is not required to participate in the Citation system and may request a hearing if a citation is issued. Ethics hearings are time consuming, and require extensive costs, documentation, witnesses and counsel. The Citation Policy also allows formal hearings to be scheduled timely as fewer cases will require more time and resources.
The updated Citation Policy reflects Wyoming REALTORS®'s continued efforts to increase professionalism in the industry, streamline the ethics hearing process and protect the interest of consumers.