Many difficulties between real estate professionals (whether REALTORS® or not) result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them or with a principal broker in the firm.
If, after discussing matters, you are still not satisfied, you may call the Guam Association of REALTORS®. In addition to processing formal ethics or arbitration complaints against a REALTOR®, the association offers informal dispute resolving processes (e.g. ombudsmen, mediation, etc.). Often, parties are more satisfied with informal dispute resolution processes, as they are quicker, less costly, and often help repair damaged relationships.
If, after considering the above steps, you still feel you have a grievance, you may consider filing an official complaint with the Guam Association of REALTORS®. You will want to keep in mind that . . .
- Only REALTORS® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®s are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
- The Guam Associations of REALTORS® determines whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken. Those decisions can only be made by the licensing authorities or the courts.
- Boards of REALTORS® can discipline REALTORS® for violating the Code of Ethics. Typical forms of discipline include attendance at courses and seminars designed to increase REALTORS®' understanding of the ethical duties or other responsibilities of real estate professionals. Additional examples of authorized discipline are a letter of reprimand and appropriate fines. For serious or repeated violations, a REALTOR®’s membership can be suspended or terminated.
- Grievance complaints must be filed with the Guam Association of REALTORS® within one hundred eighty (180) days from the time a complainant knew (or reasonably should have known) that potentially unethical conduct took place (unless the Board’s informal dispute resolution processes are invoked in which case the filing deadline will momentarily be suspended).
- Your complaint should include a narrative description of the circumstances that lead you to believe that one of the 17 Articles of the Code of Ethics may have been violated and your complaint must cite one or more of the Articles of the Code of Ethics.
- Technical assistance in preparing a complaint in proper form and with proper content may be provided.