REALTOR® Professional Standards

REALTORS® voluntarily agree to abide by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. If a real estate agent has joined the REALTOR® association, they pledge to meet the Code of Ethics’ high standards of professional conduct. The Code of Ethics includes 17 Articles: Articles 1-16 relate to ethical conduct, and Article 17 creates the duty and privilege for REALTORS® to arbitrate contractual and certain non-contractual disputes.

Enforcement of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics is the responsibility of local REALTOR® associations. Associations provide dispute resolution service and professional standards enforcement services including but not limited to mediation services, ethics hearings and arbitration hearings.

The WRA provides professional standards enforcement procedures for the following local associations:

  • Central Wisconsin Board of REALTORS®
  • Door County Board of REALTORS®
  • Jefferson County Board of REALTORS®
  • La Crosse Area REALTORS® Association
  • Lake Superior Area REALTORS®
  • Lakes Area REALTORS® Association
  • Lakeshore REALTORS® Association
  • Manitowoc County Board of REALTORS®
  • Northwoods Association of REALTORS®
  • REALTORS® Association of Northeast Wisconsin
  • REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin
  • REALTORS® Association of South Central Wisconsin
  • Rock Green REALTORS® Association
  • Southshore REALTORS® Association
  • Western Wisconsin REALTORS® Association

To find a REALTOR®'s local association, click here. If the primary local board is the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, an ethics complaint may be filed with the WRA.


Mediation is a process in which parties, with the assistance of a neutral mediator, attempt to resolve their dispute by mutual agreement. REALTOR® mediation is a free alternative dispute resolution technique used as an alternative to litigation or formal ethics or arbitration hearings. Mediation services may be requested at the local REALTOR® association where the REALTOR® holds membership.


If you believe a REALTOR® has violated one or more articles of the Code of Ethics, a complaint alleging a violation of the Code of Ethics may be filed with the local REALTOR® association where the REALTOR® holds membership or participates in a REALTOR® association-owned or operated MLS.

How to file an ethics complaint

Prior to filing an ethics complaint, find more information about the process in the National Association of REALTORS®' "Before You File an Ethics Complaint" brochure.

Citation policy effective January 1, 2024

Members who belong to a local association participating in the statewide enforcement program are subject to the WRA citation policy. This policy allows the association to issue fines and education requirements for violations of specific articles of the Code of Ethics. 

Ethics complaints received by the association are forwarded to a grievance panel for review. If it is determined the alleged violations in the complaint are citable offenses, the panel will issue a citation based on a predetermined fine schedule. The policy limits the number and type of citations a member may receive. Respondents can choose to either comply with the citation or request an ethics hearing. The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential unless the respondent requests a hearing.


REALTORS® agree as a condition of membership to arbitrate contractual and certain non-contractual disputes in accordance with Article 17 of the Code of Ethics. Although there may be additional filing options, similar to filing an ethics complaint, an arbitration request may be filed with a member’s local association of REALTORS®

Mediation of monetary dispute required

The statewide professional standards program requires REALTOR® parties to participate in mediation prior to a dispute being heard by an arbitration panel when the requested arbitration relates to a mandatory arbitrable issue, one where the controversy arises out of a real estate transaction and their relationship as REALTORS®

Mediation is being offered to parties prior to submission of an arbitration request and review by a grievance panel of the professional standards committee. If either party questions whether the dispute would be considered a mandatory arbitrable issue, they may request that mediation be deferred until after an arbitration request is reviewed by a grievance panel. If the named respondent requests review, the complainant will be asked to file a request for arbitration that will be submitted to a grievance panel to determine if an arbitrable issue exists, and whether arbitration would be voluntary or mandatory. See Article 17 of the Code of Ethics for further details.

Additional resources

WRA Professional Standards Administrator

Phone number: 608-242-2299

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