Filing an Arbitration Request
To file for the arbitration of a commission dispute, you must use the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-1 (PDF) (Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® Members) or Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-2 (PDF) (Non-Members).
On this form you must state the specific amount of your dispute. Your request for arbitration should include a supporting typewritten narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred, as well as copies of any documents you feel will support your claim.
Once you have assembled the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate and supporting materials, submit them to the Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS®, 93 Tennessee St., Murphy, NC 28906 along with a check for $250 payable to the Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS®. A copy of your Request and Agreement to Arbitrate will then be forwarded to the respondent, who will have 14 days to submit their response and deposit. The arbitration request fee of $250 will be collected from both parties to the dispute.
The respondent will be asked at this time to indicate if they desire to mediate (see Mediation Services) the dispute. Should both parties to the dispute agree to mediate, a mediation officer is assigned to meet with both parties to attempt resolution.
Should mediation not be desired by one or both of the parties (or attempted mediation is unsuccessful, the case is forwarded to the Grievance Committee for it to determine if an arbitration hearing is warranted.)
In either case, once the Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® receives the response, you will be forwarded a copy.
The Grievance Committee’s responsibility is to review the case and, based on certain guidelines they must follow, determine if the dispute is properly the subject of arbitration and referred to a Professional Standards Committee for an arbitration hearing.
Once the case is referred to hearing, a panel will be selected from the Professional Standards Committee to hear the case. The formal hearing is set for a time mutually convenient for both parties.
The arbitration process may take between sixty to ninety days, allowing a reasonable time for correspondence, for review by the Grievance Committee, and then for scheduling of the arbitration hearing.
Is there a statute of limitations for filing arbitration requests?
Yes. The timed period is 180 days from the time that you could have known, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, the facts giving rise to the dispute.
I'd like to file a complaint, but what about confidentiality?
All arbitrations are kept strictly confidential. Only staff involved in the administration of cases, members of the Grievance Committee, and those members of the Professional Standards Committees assigned to the hearing panel have access to arbitration cases.
Is there a special form I should use when filing a request for arbitration?
File an arbitration request using Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-1 (Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® Members) or Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-2 (Non-Members), available from the Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS®. This form should be accompanied by a supporting typewritten narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred.
Where do I submit the arbitration request?
Submit the request in care of: Professional Standards Administrator, Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS®, 93 Tennessee St., Murphy, NC 28906.
How do I know whether to file an ethics complaint or request arbitration?
Generally, ethics complaints are filed about behavior; arbitration is requested when there is a dispute over a real estate commission.
Can I file an arbitration request and an ethics complaint at the same time?
Yes. Both case types can be filed at the same time. If both cases are determined by the Grievance Committee to warrant hearings, the arbitration is held first.
Will the person who I'm filing against be notified of my complaint?
Yes. Once your request has been submitted to the Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS®, a complete copy is sent to the respondent for a reply.
Who establishes the rules that the Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® follows in handling arbitrations?
The Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® is required to follow the guidelines and procedures outlined in the Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual of the National Association of REALTORS®.
How long does the process take?
If arbitrations go to hearing, the process may take 2-3 months, allowing for the time for receiving responses, proper notification, review by the Grievance Committee and scheduling of a hearing.
Is arbitration binding?
Yes. Members agree to abide by the Code of Ethics, which includes the duty to arbitrate. And, Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® membership application includes an affirmation by the member to submit business disputes to the association's professional standards procedures. Such arbitrations are binding.
Do I have to use Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® arbitration if I have a commission dispute?
Yes. Article 17 of the Code of Ethics requires members to first submit disputes to arbitration rather than litigation, unless both parties advise the Mountain Lakes Board of REALTORS® in writing that they choose not to arbitrate before the association.