Before You File (or Respond to) a Request for Arbitration
Requesting Arbitration is a REALTOR® membership privilege provided to Designated REALTORS® (REALTOR® Principals). Arbitration is a dispute resolution system provided when disputes arise over commissions or other contractual (and certain non-contractual) issues between REALTOR® Principles from different offices as established in Article 17 of the Code of Ethics. (CMR does not offer arbitration for in-house disputes or when the Parties were in-house at the time the dispute arose).
Both Complainant and Respondent are required to put up at the time of filing (and Responding) a $500 deposit to partially cover the costs of the hearing. The deposit of the prevailing party will be returned.
At the point at which the Grievance Committee determines that the arbitration request meets the criteria established by NAR to be arbitrable, both parties will be offered the voluntary opportunity to mediate rather than arbitrate. While a five-member arbitration hearing panel determines the outcome in an arbitration hearing (one winner and one loser); the two parties, assisted by one mediator, determine their own outcome. Mediation is quicker, less stressful, and is not required to follow the rules of procuring cause. If mediation is successful, the deposits of both parties are returned.
Suggestions for Complainants and Respondents relative to arbitration:
- Review the sections in the current year Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual relating to Arbitrable Issues and Procuring Cause. (Appendix II to Part 10).
- Review the items listed below that the Grievance Committee will consider in determining whether the request should be forwarded to a hearing panel:
- Did the complainant clearly articulate the contractual or non-contractual matter that exists as established in Article 17, Standard of Practice 17-4.
- Are both Complainant and Respondent members of the Central Mississippi REALTORS® or members of its MLS and are they Principals?
- Is the complaint form and narrative in its proper form (i.e. typed, dated, signed).
- Did the filings include the Association’s required filing fee of $500?
- Is the amount of funds in dispute indicated on the Request for Arbitration?
- Is the matter clearly a Request for Arbitration and not an Ethics complaint?
- Is the matter clearly between Principals in two different offices?
- Was the matter filed within 180 after the closing of the transaction?
- If the Complainant is an out-of-state broker, was the Mississippi-required Cooperating Agreement with Out-of-State Brokers executed?
- Suggestions for the Complainant and Respondents in preparing the narrative:
- If the matter is that of procuring cause, review Part 10 of the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, especially the section entitled Procuring Cause.
- The Burden of Proof is on the Complainant to prove he/she is procuring cause (or is entitled to the disputed funds if the matter is not one of procuring cause).
- If you are including a timeline, include all pertinent dates and times.
- Use caution in your use of “he” and “she” in your narrative making sure a third party can tell who “he” and “she” are. When possible use identifying terms such as listing agent, listing broker, selling agent, selling broker, buyer, and seller.
- Include any supporting documentation you wish that defends your position.
If, after reviewing the above materials, you would like to file or respond to a Request for Arbitration, download the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate document, located in the Documents section to the right, and submit it to Central Mississippi REALTORS®.