© 2019 by West Volusia Association of REALTORS

425 South Volusia Avenue, Orange City FL 32763

386-774-6433  info@westvolusiarealtor.org

Ethics Citation System for Code of Ethics and Lockbox Violations

To uphold professionalism in our industry, the West Volusia Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors adopted a new Ethics Citation System to improve the process, and help protect buyers and sellers.

How the Ethics Citation System Works

  • A REALTOR® or member of the public can file a complaint against a West Volusia REALTOR®. The complaint can be anonymous.
     

  • A WVAR Citation panel will meet to review the complaint.
     

  • If the panel determines there is enough evidence, it will fine the REALTOR® based on the Citation Violation Schedule.
     

  • The REALTOR® has 10 days to appeal.
     

  • After an appeal, the complaint will proceed to the Code of Ethics hearing process.
     

In lieu of an appeal, payment is due.

  • If payment isn’t submitted within the time-frame allotted for the specific violation, WVAR membership privileges will be revoked – possibly including MLS access.

     

Why Use the Ethics Citation System?

For Complainants: The Ethics Citation System enables WVAR to more quickly discipline unethical conduct. Under the program, a complaint can be filed anonymously. The program is limited to certain Code of Ethics Articles (See schedule below).

To file a complaint, the complainant must support the alleged unethical conduct with written or other documented evidence. If the respondent chooses a hearing, WVAR would encourage the complainant to attend.

For Respondents: West Volusia REALTORS® who participate in the Ethics Citation System by paying the fine can avoid a time-consuming hearing process. This a confidential process that can save the embarrassment of a hearing process yet still provide due process rights to all parties.

REALTORS® who want to appeal will proceed to an ethics hearing. The hearing panel will then consider all evidence and make a determination whether a violation occurred.

Code of Ethics – Citation Violation Schedule

Article/Rule

Description

Fine Schedule

Article 1:

Supported By: SOP 1-16

Accessing or using, or allowing others to access or use, a property managed or listed on terms other than those authorized by the owner or seller.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 3:

Supported By: SOP 3-9

Providing access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or listing broker.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 3:

Supported By: SOP 3-2

As a listing broker, attempting to unilaterally modify the offered compensation with respect to a cooperative transaction after a REALTOR has submitted an offer to purchase or lease that property.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1,200.00

Article 3:

Supported By: SOP 3-6

Failing to disclose existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to cooperating brokers.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 3:

Supported By: SOP 3-8

Misrepresenting the availability of access to show or inspect a property.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 3:

Supported By: SOP 3-4

Failing to disclose existence of dual or variable rate commission arrangements.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 3:

Supported By: SOP 3-2

Failure to communicate a change in compensation for cooperative services prior to the time that a REALTOR submits an offer to purchase/lease the property.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1,200.00

Article 4:

Supported By: Second sentence of Article 4

Failing to disclose REALTOR ownership or other interest in writing to the purchaser or their representative.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 5:

(Limited to present interest, not contemplated)

Providing professional services without disclosing REALTORS present interest in property.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 6:

Supported By: 2nd Paragraph

Failure to disclose to a client or customer REALTORS financial benefits or fees as a direct result of recommending real estate products or services.

Article 6:

Supported By: 1st Paragraph

Accepting any commission, rebate, or profit on expenditures without client's knowledge or consent.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 6:

Supported By: SOP 6-1

Failure to disclose REALTORS direct interest in an organization or business entity when recommending a client or customer that they use the services of that organization or business entity.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1200.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-4

Advertising property for sale/lease without authority of owner and or listing broker.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 12:

Supported By: Art 12

Failing to present a true picture in real estate communications and advertising.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-6

Failing to disclose status as both owner/landlord and REALTOR or licensee when advertising property in which REALTOR has ownership interest.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-8

Failure to take corrective action when it becomes apparent that information on a REALTORS website is no longer current or accurate.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-1

Failure to provide all terms governing availability of a "free" product or service in an advertisement or other representation.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-2

Failure to disclose potential to obtain a benefit from third-party when REALTOR represents their services as "free" or without cost.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-3

Failure to exercise care and candor when communicating the terms and conditions of premiums, prizes, merchandise discounts or other inducements to list, sell, purchase or lease.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-10

Misleading consumers through deceptive framing, manipulating content, deceptively diverting internet traffic, or presenting others content without attribution or permission.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-12

Registering or using of deceptive URL or domain name.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 12:

Supported By: Article 12

Failing to disclose status as real estate professional in advertising and other representations.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1,200.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-5

Failing to disclose name of firm in advertisement for listed property.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1,200.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-7

Falsely claiming to have "SOLD" property.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1,200.00

Article 12:

Supported By: SOP 12-13

Representing that the REALTOR has a designation, certification, or other credential they are not entitled to use.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1,200.00

Article 14:

Supported By: Article 14

Failing to cooperate in a professional standards proceeding or investigation in circumstances when cooperation has been demanded by the Association, and Association has advised REALTOR consequences of non-cooperation through Art 14.

1st - $300.00

2nd - $600.00

3rd - $1,200.00

Article 16:

Supported By: SOP 16-16

Conditioning submission of a buyers offer on additional compensation from a listing broker.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Article 16:

Supported By: SOP 16-19

Placing sale/lease sign on property without permission of seller/landlord.

1st - $100.00

2nd - $200.00

3rd - $400.00

Article 16:

Supported By: SOP 16-16

Conditioning submission of a buyers offer on additional compensation from a listing broker.

1st - $500.00

2nd - $1,000.00

3rd - $1,500.00

Lockbox System

Rules

Failure to return the contents of a lockbox after a showing (keys, cards or otherwise), or the removal of a lockbox without prior consent. 

$150.00 per offense

Lockbox System

Rules

Use or allowing use of a lockbox key or device to open an lockbox by any individual who is not authorized to use the device.  This includes not safeguarding a P.I.N/CBS Code or the disclosure of a P.IN./CBS Code that would result in unauthorized use.

1st - $1,000.00

2nd - $1,500.00

3rd - $2,500.00