Dispute Resolution Services - Mediation, Ethics and Arbitration


The professional standard that sets REALTORS® apart from other real estate licensees is the REALTORS’®pledge to abide by the Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® sets forth a REALTOR’S® obligations to clients and customers, to the members of the public and to one another.

The Topsail Island Association of REALTORS®, Inc. (TIAR) is responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics by offering its members and their clients or customers and member of the public certain services to economically resolve disputes without going to court. These services include mediation, and the handling of ethics and arbitration complaints.

Occasional disagreements arise between REALTORS® and/or between REALTORS® and their clients or customers. When this occurs, ethics complaints and/or arbitration requests can be brought before the Professional Standards Department of TIAR to give those parties involved the opportunity to attend hearings and be educated about the Code of Ethics and for REALTORS® to be judged by their peers as opposed to others who may be far less familiar with the practices and customs of the real estate industry.

Our full time Professional Standards Department Staff can be reached at (910)329-1406 to answer any of your questions. Please see below for further details about each of the services.


Mediation is mandatory prior to the filing of an Arbitration request.

Mediation is an informal dispute resolution process where the parties attempt to settle their financial differences before they are required to attend a formal Arbitration Hearing.

Mediation is a structured negotiation facilitated by a trained Mediator. The Mediator assists the parties in a dispute to arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement. The Mediator clarifies issues while remaining dispassionate and focused. He or she guides the discussions between the parties. By providing a forum in which the parties can tell their sides of the story in a non-confrontational way, the Mediator helps find common ground on which to resolve the dispute.

Mediation is less adversarial than arbitration or litigation. The arbitration process produces a decision imposed upon the parties whether they like it or not. With mediation, the parties will optimally settle their financial differences by consensus rather than by the decree of a hearing panel.

Mediation provides a casual forum in which the parties can design a creative resolution to their dispute. The parties have a vested interest in the successful outcome of the mediation and may be more likely to comply with the settlement than if the decision is imposed on them. If the parties cannot reach a settlement, arbitration is still available to them.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please call the Professional Standards Department at 910-329-1406


TIAR is responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation. Only real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS® are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.

All REALTORS® pledge to abide by the Code of Ethics which sets forth a REALTOR’S® obligation to clients and customers, to members of the public and to one another.

The REALTORS® Code of Ethics consists of seventeen (17) Articles. The duties imposed by many of the Articles are explained and illustrated through accompanying Standards of Practice or case interpretation. Ethics Hearings determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken.

Sometimes difficulties between or with REALTORS® may result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a REALTOR®, you may want to speak with him or her or with the principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.

If after discussing matters with the REALTOR® you are still not satisfied, you may want to file an ethics complaint.

Please contact the TIAR Professional Standards Staff at 910-329-1406 for additional information.



By becoming a member of TIAR, you agree that in exchange for the benefits of membership in TIAR, you will be bound by the duties imposed by the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics, including the duty to arbitrate.

Arbitration is a legally binding process by which REALTOR® principals may request a hearing before members of the TIAR Professional Standards Committee when there are contractual or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTOR® principals who are associated with different firms arising out of real estate transactions.

Arbitration under Article 17 of the Code of Ethics is binding on all parties. Unless there is evidence of procedural deficiency, it is not subject to further review or appeal.

Please contact the TIAR Professional Standards Staff at 910-329-1406 for additional information.