Ethics Citation Program


Quincy Association of REALTORS® members operate under the REALTOR® Code of Ethics which outlines standards of professional practice.
If a dispute arises with a REALTOR® regarding several provisions of the Code, complaints may be filed for review by a panel of IAR members which specializes in ethical standards.
The complaints, which can be filed anonymously, can come from REALTORS® or REALTORS®’ clients.


How it works

If a filing is found to meet the program’s standards, a Citation Panel will review the case. If the Citation Panel believes a violation has occurred, a citation will be issued to the Respondent, along with a set fine.

The Respondent has the opportunity to pay the fine within 30 days or request a hearing before an Ethics Hearing Panel.

Fines range from $250 to $1,000 depending on the nature and severity of the violation.

If a hearing is requested by the Respondent, the complaint will be sent to the Grievance Committee for review.

            Download: A brochure on the Ethics Citation Program here

What won’t this program address?

The Ethics Citation Program focuses on violations of certain articles of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, specifically, Articles 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 14 and /or 16. If the complaint falls outside of those Articles, the Citation Panel will dismiss the complaint. If the complaint is in regards to a license law violation, the complainant should file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation. (Online Complaint Form)



Please note that the Ethics Citation Program is limited only to these violations listed below. Other Code of Ethics violations and arbitration/mediation services follow the regular complaint process.

Article 1

  • Accessing or using listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller (SOP 1-16). $1,000

Article 3

  • Failure to disclose existence of dual or variable rate commissions (SOP 3-4). $500
  • Failure to disclose existence of accepted offers to any broker seeking cooperation (SOP 3-6). $250
  • Providing access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker (SOP 3-9). $1,000


Article 4

  • Failure to provide written disclosure of REALTOR’S® interest in property being bought or sold. $500

Article 5

  • Providing professional service without disclosing interest in property. $500

Article 6

  • Accepting any commission, rebate or profit on expenditures without client’s knowledge or consent. $500

Article 12

  • Failure to present a true picture in real estate communication, marketing and advertising. $250
  • Failure to disclose status as a real estate professional in advertising, marketing and other real estate $250
  • Failure to disclose potential compensation or benefit received from a third party for services provided free to a client (SOP 12-2). $250
  • Advertising or offering to sell/lease property without authority of owner or owner’s authorized agent (SOP 12-4). $500
  • Failure to disclose name of real estate firm in advertising in a readily apparent manner (SOP 12-5). $250
  • Failure to disclose status of both owner/landlord and REALTOR® or licensee when advertising property in which Realtor® or licensee has ownership interest (SOP 12-6). $500
  • Falsely claiming to have “sold” property (SOP 12-7). $250
  • Failure to disclose on a website the firm’s name and state of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner (SOP 12-9). $250
  • Failure to present a true picture in advertising and representations to the public including Internet content posted and the URLs and domain names used. (SOP 12-10). $250
  • Registration or use of deceptive URL or domain name (SOP 12-12). $500
  • Representing that the REALTOR® has a designation, certification or other credential that the Realtor® is not legitimately entitled to use (SOP 12-13). $500

Article 14

  • Failure to cooperate in any professional standards proceeding or investigation. $500

Article 16

  • Use of terms of an offer to modify listing broker’s offer of compensation (SOP 16-16). $500
  • Placement of for sale/lease sign on property without permission of seller/ landlord (SOP 16-19). $250

How to file a complaint

Fill out the form: Please find the form here.

Or you can file the complaint online using this link:

A narrative outlining the events must be included with this form. Please detail all facts, including sufficient documentation and dates.

FAQ: The Ethics Citation Program

What is the Ethics Citation Program?

The Ethics Citation Program allows REALTORS® and consumers working with REALTORS® to file complaints stemming from violations of certain Articles and Standards of Practice of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. All complaints filed will be sent to a panel to review and if the panel finds the complaint has merit and falls within the parameters of the program, a citation will be issued with the accompanying fine.

Who can use the program?

A REALTOR® or a consumer using a REALTOR® can file.

Do I have to give my name?

No. All complaints will be evaluated and investigated if they fall within the program’s parameters regardless if they come to the Citation Panel anonymously or not.

What happens if the complaint has merit?

If a complaint is found to have merit, the Respondent will get a citation outlining the charge(s). The Respondent will receive all relevant information about the complaint.

What if the person found in violation wants due process?

If the Respondent disputes the complaint, he or she has the option to seek a hearing before an ethics hearing panel. If a hearing is sought by the Respondent, the complaint will be sent to the Grievance Committee for review. The Grievance Committee has the authority to add other Articles to the complaint.

Where can I learn more about this program and the fines?

This document  approved by IAR’s Board of Directors, provides the details of the program.

Why does this program exist?

Because doing business the right way matters. REALTORS® pride themselves on adhering to a Code of Ethics that goes above and beyond what is required by the state law. Operating in an ethical way serves    both the industry and the client.

Why should a complainant elect to use this system?


Electing to pay a citation avoids an uncomfortable and often time-con­suming hearing process. Respecting the right for due process, a Respondent may instead elect to request a hearing. The Ethics Cita­tion Program is as confidential as the hearing process.


Why should a respondent elect to use this system?


There may be less time involved, yet justice will still be served there­by protecting the industry from unethical behavior. If the respondent elects to have a hearing, the complainant, if named, would need to be prepared to attend.