You make a mistake. Maybe, you didn’t know the rules. And, the next thing you know, a formal complaint arrives in your inbox. Now, you need to take the time to file a formal response, participate in a hearing at the Board office and wait to learn the outcome. Well, beginning July 1, 2015, no more…at least for some infractions of the Code of Ethics.
The Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS® has adopted a voluntary Citation System that can address certain complaints related to violations of the Code of Ethics, when there is clear and convincing evidence to support the allegation. This system provides a quick method for addressing complaints that have been identified by the National Association of REALTORS® as not always needing a full hearing before a panel of the Professional Standards Committee in order to be resolved. If, when a member receives a complaint along with a citation, the member chooses to accept the citation and sanction, the matter is concluded once the sanction is completed. If the member declines the citation, the matter is forwarded to the Professional Standards Committee for processing.
This system offers benefits to all of those involved. First: The process can be reduced from approximately 120 days (or more) to 30 days (or less). Second: There is no obligation to prepare for and come to the Board office for a hearing. Third: Member volunteers are not required to hear the case and any potential appeal. Fourth: Less staff time is required. And, finally….the member will know the sanction that goes along with the citation. Whereas, in a hearing, the panel has a wide range of sanctioning options that can be imposed for the offense.
The Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS® has a variety of methods for addressing inquiries and complaints about its members and the handling of real estate matters. The CABR Citation System is the newest method and will go into effect on July 1, 2015. We also provide Ombudsman and Mediation services and full Professional Standards hearings. Detailed information on these services can be found at the CABR website under the Professional Standards Code of Ethics Enforcement section.