OFFSITE UPDATE-   The Association office building is closed, but we are still here for you by phone or email. We still receive our office emails and office calls to support your needs. At this time, our building will remain closed until further notice. We will update as things progress. Be safe and follow for more information and our Covid19 page below for daily and weekly updates.

Ombudsmen Program

A member that wants to resolve an issue by filing an Ethics or Arbitration complaint are advised to first consider the services of an Ombudsman. An Ombudsman helps resolve misunderstandings and disagreements through communication and conciliation, not adjudication.

Ombudsmen are trained REALTOR® members who are familiar with the SBAOR Bylaws, MLS Rules & Regulations, Code of Ethics, California real estate regulations, and current real estate practices. They can respond to a wide variety of inquiries and complaints, including general questions about real estate, transaction details, ethical practice, and enforcement issues.  Ombudsmen can also respond to questions and complaints about members; contact members to inform them that a client or customer has raised an issue; and contact members for details that will provide an informed response.


If a party does not wish to attempt resolution with an Ombudsman, or the Ombudsman is unable to facilitate a resolution for the parties, the parties may progress to a formal Ethics or Arbitration Complaint.

If you would like to resolve your issue through the Ombudsman Program, start by submitting the Ombudsman Intake Form Ombudsman Intake Form by fax or email.

If you have any questions, contact the Professional Standards Administrator, Stephanie Garrow-Caballero at (805) 884-8613 or 

Ombudsman Program - Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®



Occasionally, a member of the public or SBAOR members find themselves embroiled in a dispute with another member.  Grievances between a member of the public and a REALTOR® or grievances between REALTORS® can include claims of possible ethics violations and communication issues, such as misrepresentation, lying or failure to communicate at all, as well as complaints surrounding cancellation of a contract, listing, or escrow.  The SBAOR Ombudsman Program is here to help.


SBAOR Ombudsmen receive and respond to questions and complaints about members; can contact members to inform them that a member of the public or another REALTOR® has raised a question or issue; and can contact members to obtain information necessary to provide an informed response to the person complaining.


The Ombudsman’s role is primarily one of communication and conciliation, not adjudication. Ombudsmen do not determine whether ethics violations have occurred, rather they anticipate, identify, and resolve misunderstandings and disagreements before matters ripen into more significant disputes


Ombudsmen are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice or answer legal questions.


To learn more about this program, please watch these videos:


**Please note**  Please call SBAOR at (805) 963-3787, not the number shown in the video.


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