December 29, 2011

Sacramento Association of Realtors Implements Ombuds Program

The realtor group for the California state capital has unveiled an Ombudsman service. It appears that the program follows the National Association of Realtors standards, which is based on the IOA standards of confidentiality, neutrality, independence and informality. One potential deviation is the role of the Ombuds as a complainant's representative at an ethics mediation.

According to the SAR website:
The Association has identified and trained members with a thorough knowledge of the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Care in the Sacramento real estate industry, as well as the willingness and patience to help others, to provide ombudsmen services. When a phone call from a SAR member or client of a member comes into the Association, the caller may be offered the ombudsman service. The ombudsman may advise the complainant on possible avenues of resolution or simply answer questions. If the matter might be better resolved in a meeting with the respondent, the ombudsman may encourage the complainant to request ethics mediation. If the complainant wishes to file a complaint, the ombudsman can assist the complainant with the preparation of written statements and an understanding of what the burden of proof for a hearing might entail. The ombudsman may also be the disputant's REALTOR® representative at any ensuing hearing. The complainant is assured of complete confidentiality during this process.

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