When you have an important issue with another REALTOR® that you can’t seem to resolve on your own, the Illinois REALTORS® Ombudsman Program could provide a quick, fair and confidential solution.

Maybe you wonder if your client’s offer has been presented to the seller or you want to know the status of your client’s earnest money. You could be frustrated because another REALTOR® will not respond to your request for a showing appointment. Or perhaps you are anxious because you have not yet received a commission check after finding a tenant for a rental property.

In these instances – and many others – the Ombudsman Program could provide the solution! After all, the program was created to help members resolve transaction-based issues and questions as well as possible Code of Ethics violations and commission disputes. The Ombudsman Program is a confidential process.

The process begins when a REALTOR® fills out and submits a form. Within 24 hours, an Illinois REALTORS®-trained Ombudsman will contact the member, request permission to contact the other REALTOR® and confirm the information you would like to share with the other party. The Ombudsman will then begin the process of trying to resolve the dispute.

Of the 265 Ombudsman requests filed in 2020, 73 percent were resolved to the satisfaction of the people filing the requests, says Becky Carraher, Director of Ethics and Professional Standards.

“As you can see, this process has been highly successful,” says Carraher. “However, if a satisfactory result does not occur, the parties are free to pursue other processes, such as filing a traditional ethics complaint, a complaint at the state licensing authority or a lawsuit if the circumstances warrant.”

For more information on the Ombudsman Program, the NAR Code of Ethics and the Professional Standards Toolkit, visit the Ethics page of our website.