Professional Standards/Filing Complaints

Grievance & Professional Standards
SAR is committed to holding our REALTOR® members to the highest standards of ethical, professional, and fair business practices. The term “REALTOR®” signifies membership in the National Association of REALTORS® (“NAR”). In addition to NAR membership, REALTORS® hold membership in a local and a New York State Association of REALTORS®.

The Code of Ethics of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is the promise to the public that when dealing with a real estate agent that is a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction related matters. Only REALTORS® pledge to abide by the Code of Ethics and only REALTORS® are held accountable for their ethical behavior.

Some of the basic principles of the Code of Ethics include:

  • Absolute fidelity to clients
  • Avoiding misrepresentation and concealment of pertinent facts to clients and fellow brokers
  • Respecting other agency relationships
  • Cooperation with other brokers and hearing panels
  • Making your true position known by disclosing your agency relationship to all parties involved in the transaction along with any self-interest or dual representation
  • Safeguarding entrusted funds
  • Assuring that agreements and commitments are in writing
  • Providing equal, competent service to all
  • Portraying a true picture in advertising
  • Not engaging in the practice of law
Filing an Ethics Complaint
If you believe that a REALTOR® member of the Southern Adirondack Realtors Association of REALTORS® is guilty of unethical conduct, you may file a complaint with the Association.  Please note that SAR cannot process complaints dealing with real estate law nor revoke or suspend the real estate license of its members.  SAR cannot assist with release of earnest money deposits nor can we award money to a Complainant in the event, following a hearing, a member of SAR is found to be in violation of the Code of Ethics.

Ethics complaints serve to educate members as well as provide a disciplinary process when violations have occurred.  Any person having reason to believe that a member is guilty of any unethical conduct subject to disciplinary action may file a complaint in writing (see form below) with the Local Board/Association of REALTORS® that the member holds membership in.  It is the policy of the Southern Adirondack REALTORS® (local association) to offer Ombudsman and/or Mediation services prior to commencement of a formal hearing process.

If you are interested in filing a Code of Ethics or Arbitration Complaint as set forth in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of the National Association of REALTORS® here is some additional information that you may want to know before you file an ethics complaint.

For information and instructions on filing an ethics complaint, please contact Luisa Craige-Sherman, Association Executive & Professional Standards Administrator via email or by calling her at the SAR office 518-798- 3425.

Links to Information & Specific Forms about Filing an Ethics Complaint, Mediation Request and Arbitration Request.

Ombudsman Program and Mediation Services
Even REALTORS® who are committed to high standards of conduct occasionally have honest business disputes with other professionals, clients or customers. Ombudsman or Mediation are the best alternative to expensive, lengthy, and unpredictable litigation.  There is no fee for Ombudsman or Mediation services.  These services are optional but have proven to be both effective and often result in a more timely outcome.  For Ombudsman or Mediation services call the Association CEO, Luisa Craige-Sherman at our Association Board Office at 518-798-3425 to request.  Regarding mediation, any agreement signed by the parties following a successful mediation process shall be binding.