Professionalism/Dispute Resolution

Have a dispute? Illinois REALTORS® can help

Illinois REALTORS® believe in doing business the right way. Part of our commitment to our clients is pledging to help resolve disputes. The association offers several services to its members and their clients.


Consumer/REALTOR Help Line

Ethics Citation Program

     Real estate transactions can be complex. For members of the public it sometimes helps to have someone knowledgeable about real estate practices to answer basic questions or work to resolve minor disputes.
     Sometimes a member is unable to resolve a dispute with another member.  Illinois REALTORS® has a team of Ombudsmen who work with consumers and REALTORS® to resolve disputes.
     Illinois REALTORS® 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 Illinois REALTOR® members which specializes in ethical standards. 
     The complaints, which can be filed anonymously, can come from REALTORS® or REALTORS®’ clients.

     How it works: Any member of the public or an Illinois REALTORS® member who has a question about or dispute with a REALTOR® can get assistance. The case will be assigned to a specially trained Ombudsman who will work with a complainant to resolve the issue.
     Since it was founded in 2013, the program has seen nearly three-fifths of complaints handled to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
     The program does not offer legal advice, but the association's representatives can offer guidance on next steps to take, resources for information and can act as an intermediary in some disputes. The program has been able to clean up numerous misunderstandings and/or communication issues since its inception.

     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.

How to file a complaint

  • Fill out the online form: Fill out a form with contact information and an overview of the facts of your question or dispute. Find the form here.
  • If you have additional questions,  please call  Illinois REALTORS® at 217-529-2600 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Closed major holidays).

How to file a complaint
  • Fill out an online form. It will be reviewed typically within one business day. Find the form here
  • If you have additional questions, please call Illinois REALTORS®: The Ethics Citation Hotline can be reached at 217-529-2600 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (Closed major holidays)

Learn more: Read Illinois REALTORS® FAQ on the service here.


Learn more: Read Illinois REALTORS® FAQ on the service here

Download: A brochure on the Ethics Citation Program here


Breakout Text: 

The Code

REALTORS® take seriously doing business the right way. They operate under a strict Code of Ethics


Not every person who sells real estate is a REALTOR®, a designation that requires aditional training and adherence to the Code of Ethics. IAR has more than 44,000 members. Find a REALTOR® here. 

State regulation

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Division of Real Estate oversees real estate licenses in Illinois.

Does someone have a real estate license? Check here with IDFPR's lookup tool.

The Real Estate Licensing Act, the rules for all real estate practitioners, is here

Other resources

Ethics Complaint Process for filed grievances. This process must be initiated through a local REALTOR® association. 

Legal Action Fund: The association maintains a fund to help fight legal battles of importance to its membership. 

Download the Ethics Citation Brochure: