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.
Ombudsmen can field and respond to a wide variety of inquiries and complaints, including general questions about real estate practice, transaction details, ethical practices, and enforcement issues. Ombudsmen can also receive and respond to questions and complaints about members; can contact members to inform them that a client or customer has raised a question or issue; and can contact members to obtain information necessary to provide an informed response.
In cases where an ombudsman believes that a failure of communication is the basis for a question or complaint, the ombudsman can arrange a meeting of the parties and facilitate a mutually acceptable resolution.
DMAR works with the Colorado Association of Realtors® (CAR) to provide Ombudsmen services.
Right to Decline Ombudsman Services: While ombudsman services are available to attempt to informally resolve complaints members and the public may decline ombudsman services. Their complaints are then referred to the proper resource for processing.
Confidentiality of Ombudsman Process: The allegations, discussions and decisions made in ombudsman proceedings are confidential.
Mediation is a form of facilitated negotiation in which an impartial third-party attempts to help disputing parties reach a mutually satisfactory solution. DMAR is happy to offer our members the opportunity to use mediation to resolve conflicts, and we ensure that the process is fair, flexible and confidential. Mediation between Realtors® can be requested with CAR.
DMAR offers in-house buyer/seller dispute resolution services for your clients provided by Realtor® members thoroughly trained and experienced in mediation and the real estate industry. There are numerous benefits to choosing mediation. Because the mediation process is collaborative, not adversarial, it can help resolve issues while preserving positive relationships between all parties. Additionally, mediation often takes far less time and money than formal litigation. The goal of a successful mediation is to have both parties come to a mutual agreement in writing upon the mediation's conclusion. Once the agreement is signed, parties are legally bound to abide by its terms.
Realtors® agree as a condition of membership to arbitrate contractual disputes and specific non-contractual disputes as provided for in Article 17 of the NAR Code of Ethics. Arbitration is available to DMAR members through CAR.
The Code of Ethics ensures that Realtors® stick to a higher level of professionalism by outlining industry standards and expectations. This process helps our members, clients and the industry by protecting Realtors® who adhere to principled practices and dealing formally with those who do not.
- Professional Standards Information from NAR
- Professional Standards Information from CAR
- Legal Hotline
If you have questions about ethics complaints or arbitration, please contact CAR at 303-790-7099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.