By Kay Wilson-Bolton
March 7, 2006 –
This column is for homeowners and homebuyers who may be unhappy with the behaviors or business practices real estate agents or REALTORS®.
We want the public know that REALTORS® want to help make things right for our members and our clients.
The members of the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS® take seriously our duties to safeguard the Ethics we have agreed to uphold. Sometimes we need reminders and sometime the public needs to understand their role in a misunderstanding or a problem.
We all agree that most problems are resolved with better communication. A heart-to-heart with your agent should take place first. If that doesn’t work, then a similar meeting should be held with the broker or the manager. Most problems are solved at that level.
If a resolution is not reached, call the Association office and you will be given some options.
The Ombudsman Committee is available to talk through the problem. Chaired by Faith Cosby, this experienced group of REALTORS® knows how to get at the heart of the problem quickly.
If you choose to not take advantage of focused dialogue, you have the right to file an official complaint.
The complaint will be reviewed by the Grievance Committee, chaired by Judy Ohaco. She leads a group of seasoned REALTORS® who determine whether or not the problem should be referred to the Professional Standards Committee.
That committee is chaired by Jim Keith, and the members conduct hearings where both sides have a chance to tell their story. Attorneys and witnesses are welcome. It’s a serious time for everyone involved.
REALTORS® want you to know your remedies if one of us acts in an unprofessional manner. If we don’t assist in resolving problems, we know they will be a topic of discussion in an unwanted forum such as the doctor’s office, the grocery store, the neighborhood fence, at church or in the courts.
Simply call our Association Office and ask for Executive Director, Randy McCaslin, or Pamela Ward. The phone number is 981.2100.
If you need Spanish speaking assistance, it will be provided.
We are not the police of good manners, but we are the guardians of our industry. If we fail to remember the privilege we have to serve you, we need to be held accountable. We are willing. Peers helping peers is a good way to grow a community of pros.
Before you hire an agent, be sure to ask if they have REALTOR® status. Otherwise, our forum for Ombudsman, Grievance and Professional Standards is not available to you. Your only option is to contact the Department of Real Estate. Their website is http://www.dre.ca.gov.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is a member of the Ombudsman Committee for the Ventura County Coastal Association of REALTORS®. The Association phone number is 805.981.2100.