An ombuds is an individual appointed to receive and resolve disputes through constructive communication and advocating for consensus and understanding.


Boards and associations of REALTORS® are charged with the responsibility of receiving and resolving ethics complaints. This obligation is carried out by local, regional and state grievance committees and professional standards committees.

Many “complaints” received by boards and associations do not expressly allege violations of specific Articles of the Code of Ethics, and many do not detail conduct related to the Code. Some “complaints” are actually transactional, technical, or procedural questions readily responded to. It is the belief of the National Association’s Professional Standards Committee that many ethics complaints might be averted with enhanced communications and initial problem-solving capacity at the local level. These ombuds procedures, which may be adopted and utilized at the discretion of boards and associations, are intended to provide that capacity.

Role of Ombuds

Qualification and Criteria for Ombuds

Insurance Coverage

Involving the Ombuds

Right to Decline Ombuds Service

Resolution of Complaints

Failure to Comply With Agreed Upon Resolution

Referrals to the Grevance Committee or to State Regulatory Bodies