Dispute Management

Dispute Management

The New Castle County Board of REALTORS® is not licensed to practice Delaware law here at the Board Office, but is able to offer our Ombudsman Program and Ethics Complaint Process to assist your dispute management needs. If you feel there has been a violation of State Licensing Law, please contact the Delaware Real Estate Commission.

  • Ombudsman Program: The Ombudsman Program in its simplest definition is informal telephone mediation. If you decide to proceed with an Ombudsman, they will serve as a mediator between both parties. An Ombudsman will listen to your concerns and explain possible avenues that might resolve the issue or reach a desired outcome. If you are unsatisfied or unable to come to a resolution, than you may proceed with an Ethics Complaint. 

  • Ethics Complaint: New Castle County Board of REALTORS® is responsible for enforcing the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics ensures that consumers are served by requiring REALTORS® to cooperate with each other in furthering clients' best interests. 
  • Please read the following important background information:

    • Boards and associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics is a Code of Conduct expected of real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®.
    • Many disputes result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them directly or with a principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for a formal complaint.
    • In addition to processing formal ethics complaints against its REALTOR® members, many boards and associations offer informal dispute resolving processes (e.g. ombudsmen, mediation, etc.). Often, parties are more satisfied with informal dispute resolution processes, as they are quicker, less costly, and often help repair damaged relationships.

    You will want to keep in mind:

    • Only REALTORS® are subject to the Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS®.
    • Associations determine whether the Code of Ethics has been violated, not whether the law or real estate regulations have been broken.
    • Associations cannot require REALTORS® to pay money to parties filing ethics complaints; cannot award "punitive damages" for violations of the Code of Ethics; and cannot suspend or revoke a real estate professional's license.
    • Ethics complaints must be filed within 180 days after the facts constituting the matter complained of could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence or within 180 days after the conclusion of the transaction, whichever is later.


Additional Information on Ethics Complaints, Arbitration Requests and Related Information from the National Association of REALTORS® HERE

Any questions can be directed to:

Ramona Lesher

302.762.4800 ext. 116