Arbitration is a process by which an individual seeks reimbursement for monies they feel they are owed based on a contractual agreement or a specific non-contractual agreement.

Standard of Practice 17-4 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics addresses entitlement to commissions and compensation in cooperative transactions that arise out of the business relationships between REALTORS® and between REALTORS® and their clients and customers.

NAR’s Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, Part Ten, Section 44, Duty and Privilege to Arbitrate.

Steps in the Arbitration Request Process

An arbitration request must be filed within 180 days after the closing of the transaction, if any, or within 180 days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever is later. The request is reviewed by a grievance tribunal comprised of members of the state’s professional standards committee to determine if the matter is the type of case that the association may arbitrate.

The grievance tribunal may forward the request to a hearing panel or dismiss the request. If the grievance tribunal finds the request is lacking in form or is not, as alleged, the type of case the association may arbitrate, the grievance tribunal will have the request returned to the complainant with information regarding the procedures by which the complainant may appeal the grievance tribunal’s decision.

The burden of proof at an arbitration hearing is “preponderance of evidence.”

An arbitration decision may not be “appealed”, but rather a Request for Procedural Review may be filed, which must be based on a deprivation of fundamental “due process.”

Note: Grievance tribunals will only consider the arbitration request and documents uploaded with the arbitration request at the time of submission. Additional documents added to the arbitration request after submission may be admitted at hearing subject to the hearing officer’s determination of relevancy.

File arbitration request