Earnest Money Arbitration

The Earnest Money Arbitration program was developed by the CINCINNATI AREA BOARD OF REALTORS® and Cincinnati Bar Association Realtor®/Lawyer Committee. The purpose of the program is to provide a public service for buyers and sellers of real estate who find themselves in a dispute over who is entitled to receive the earnest money that has been deposited with a CABR member broker in regard to a Contract to Purchase that does not close. The program has been in effect since 1990.

The volunteers who donate their time to facilitate this service are members of the CABR/CBA REALTOR®/Lawyer Committee and the CABR Arbitration Committee. They are trained in arbitration procedures and interpreting the contractual obligations of parties to real estate transactions.

Earnest Money Arbitration is voluntary. The service is provided at no cost to clients and customers of CABR members as an alternative to small claims court or other legal proceedings. In order for a request for Earnest Money Arbitration to be processed, all parties must agree to participate in the arbitration and sign a release/agreement indicating so. Arbitration hearings are scheduled once completed forms, signed by all parties to the contract, supporting documentation and the earnest money deposit are received at the CABR office. No litigation or other dispute resolution may be pending at the time of filing.

If you would like to participate in, or if you have a client or customer that you feel could benefit from, the Earnest Money Arbitration program, contact Cindy Henninger at chenninger@cabr.org.