Oh my! WOW! They did what? Hard to believe!

After nine years on the Grievance and Professional Standards committees, these are some of the comments I whisper under my breath after reading various cases that come before our reviews.

Ethics... common sense... professional courtesy... rules of law, all should come into play when we have a real estate transaction from start to finish, and sometimes months after the closing.

As REALTORS®, we must work daily to maintain our REALTOR® Code of Ethics by always acting in the best interest of clients and treating each other with respect. Timely communication, honesty in advertising, and working in our area of expertise are just a few items that will make transactions go more smoothly.

However, on occasion, a situation will present itself where a client, a fellow member, or even a member of the general public feels it necessary to file a complaint.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) sets forth guidelines designed to provide due process for ethics complaints and your Grievance Committee oversees this process.

Requests to arbitrate are also reviewed by the Grievance Committee These cases are centered on monetary disputes. Commission disputes between brokers are the most typical. Should two or more brokers choose not to mediate, the Grievance Committee shall determine if it can be arbitrated and whether such proceedings shall be mandatory or voluntary per guidelines provided by the NAR.

One glaring observation I have noticed is the lack of communication between agents, brokers and clients. Simple interaction between agents and customers keeping everyone informed as a transaction proceeds could make a difference in having a complaint filed or not. Keep good records!

In addition to reviewing ethic complaints, your Grievance Committee has oversight for the rules and regulations of electronic lock boxes, and renders decisions and levies fines in accordance with guidelines established by the Columbus REALTORS® Board of Directors.

If you need to file a complaint, become the respondent to a complaint, or become involved in an arbitration, know that the Grievance Committee is here to serve and provide the due process you deserve.

Happy New Year and Happy Selling in 2018!