The purpose of the Ombudsman is to provide a knowledgeable, informed contact when REALTOR® members or members of the public have real estate related questions that have not been addressed by an individual broker.
The role of the Ombudsman is to identify and attempt to facilitate a resolution of misunderstandings and/or disagreements before matters evolve into a formal complaint.
Ombudsman Procedures adopted by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are intended to provide enhanced communications and initial problem-solving capacity to the professional standards process. Associations are charged with the responsibility of receiving and resolving ethics complaints, and hearing arbitration disputes. The Ombudsman can respond to general questions regarding real estate practices, transaction details, ethical practices and enforcement issues. Members may request the services of an Ombudsman prior to initiating an Ethics and/or Arbitration request.
The ombudsman’s role is primarily one of communication and conciliation, not adjudication. Ombudsmen do not determine whether ethics violations have occurred or who is entitled to what amount of money, rather they anticipate, identify, and resolve misunderstandings and disagreements before matters ripen into disputes and possible charges of unethical conduct. The allegations, discussions and decisions made in ombudsman proceedings are confidential and shall not be reported or published by the board, any member of a tribunal, or any party under any circumstances except those established in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of the National Association as from time to time amended.
Please contact the Board of REALTORS offices at 518-828-7871 to find out more.