Boards and associations of REALTORS® are responsible for enforcing the REALTORS® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation which apply only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®.
Many difficulties between real estate professionals (whether REALTORS® or not) result from misunderstanding, miscommunication, or lack of adequate communication. If you have a problem with a real estate professional, you may want to speak with them or with a principal broker in the firm. Open, constructive discussion often resolves questions or differences, eliminating the need for further action.
If, after discussing matters with your real estate professional or a principal broker in that firm, you are still not satisfied, you may want to contact the local board or association of REALTORS®. Many boards and associations have informal dispute resolving processes available to consumers (e.g. ombudsmen, mediation, etc.).
If, after taking these steps, you still feel you have a grievance, you may want to consider filing an ethics complaint. You will want to keep in mind that…
The local board or association of REALTORS® can provide you with information on the procedures for filing an ethics complaint. Here are some general principles to keep in mind:
Newport Beach Association of REALTORS®
401 North Newport Blvd. Newport Beach, CA 92663 (949) 722-2300
Department of Real Estate (916) 227-0864
Arbitration is simply the name used to describe a particular method for resolving disputes between two or more parties. Just as problems may be resolved through negotiation or, in extreme cases, litigation, so, too, may problems be resolved by the use of arbitration. As a matter of fact, generally speaking, arbitration may be used to resolve any type of dispute unless restricted by the arbitration agreement itself.
In an arbitration, a neutral person who is otherwise uninvolved in the dispute (the arbitrator) listens to the parties express their points of view and then renders the decision (called an award) based upon the presentation of evidence.
The process, in some respects, is similar to what takes place in a court of law. For instance, any party to an arbitration may be represented by an attorney. However, unlike a court process, formal rules of evidence and procedure are not required and the dispute will not be decided by an active judge or jury. Nevertheless, the award issued by the arbitrator is binding upon the participants and can be enforced as if it were rendered in a court.
When disputes are resolved through arbitration, use of the judicial system is avoided. In many counties throughout the state the courts are backlogged with an overabundance of lawsuits. Progress of a court case comes slowly, the formal rules are cumbersome, and a trial may not take place for many months or even many years. The delays inherent in litigation create an emotional and financial hardship on almost all parties.
An arbitration, on the other hand, will almost always be resolved sooner than a court action. The entire process from start to finish is often completed in a few months.
Furthermore, because of the advantages of speed and informality, attorney fees and costs are usually lower than in litigation.
Arbitrations are also private. Thus, the testimony and any sensitive information will take place behind doors that are not open to the public.
Additionally, individual arbitrators can be selected with an expertise in the particular field of dispute. This helps to ensure that the decision will be made by a knowledgeable and informed person.
Lastly, arbitration awards are final, binding and legally enforceable.
Members have agreed to arbitrate through the Association with their application for membership. Please contact the Association at (949) 722-2300.
Non-Members: If you have signed the arbitration clause you may file an arbitration through one of the following agencies:
American Arbitration Association:(949) 474-5090