Arbitration and Mediation
Mediation Offered Before Arbitration
According to Section 44 of the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual, an arbitrable matter exists when there is a monetary dispute between two managing brokers of two separate offices as it relates to co-op commissions.
By becoming and remaining a member of the North Central MA Association of REALTORS®, every member agrees to submit to arbitration by the Board’s facilities as defined in Article 17 of the Code of Ethics. Keep in mind that NCMAR offers voluntary mediation prior to arbitration. Therefore, once our Grievance Committee has determined that an arbitrable matter exists, a mediation conference will be offered. If the mediation is not successful, an arbitration hearing will then be scheduled. As we have realized a 90% success rate for mediations, we hope that we can avoid arbitration!
What Do I Need to Include to File for Arbitration?
- A timeline of events leading up to the closing are included
- Dates of events are included so that Grievance can determine if the request is filed on time
- All appropriate parties are named
- The Managing Broker is filing and signing the complaint
What Will Happen to My Case Next?
Your case will go to the Grievance Committee which acts as a grand jury and reviews each case to determine if it should go to a hearing. You will need to supply enough information for the Grievance Committee to determine if a co-op (between two brokerages) dispute exists and or to determine if there was unethical conduct on the part of the REALTOR® you are complaining about.
Mediation is offered to all parties who file for mandatory arbitration in an attempt to resolve their dispute through mediation prior to going to arbitration. As we have seen an over 90% success rate in resolving commission disputes through mediation, we are extremely excited to provide this option.
Mediation allows for an informal conversation and an opportunity for each side to understand the other party’s position. Often an agreement is reached that is acceptable to both sides. If an agreement cannot be reached, an arbitration hearing will be scheduled.
Filing for Arbitration:
General Instructions and Information for Filing and Replying to Complaints
(1) Complaints must be typewritten and submitted with a sufficient number of copies to enable the Board to provide one to each Respondent plus one copy for the Board’s records. Any reply must be typewritten and submitted with a sufficient number of copies to enable the Board to provide one to each Complainant plus one copy for the Board’s records.
(2) Complaints must include a narrative including the date of the closing or the date the lease was executed (arbitration). In addition, supply all documents and evidence that support your request for arbitration.
(3) Complaints will be referred to the Executive Officer. If the Grievance Committee finds the matter to constitute a proper cause of action, it will be referred to the Executive Officer to arrange a hearing; if not found to constitute a proper cause of action, it will be returned to the Complainant with the decision of the Grievance Committee together with information advising the Complainant of the procedures by which the Grievance Committee’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Directors.
(4) If there is to be a hearing, Respondent will have fifteen (15) days from service of copy of the complaint, date, and place of hearing will be set and the charges may be taken as true, by default. The date for hearing will be set and all parties will be notified of the date and place of hearing at least twenty-one (21) days in advance.
(5) If no reply is received from Respondent within fifteen (15) days from service of copy of the complaint, date, and place of hearing will be set and the charges may be taken as true, by default. Complainant, the Board President, and Professional Standards Committee Chairman will be advised that no reply has been filed.
(6) All parties may be represented by legal counsel provided that notice of intention to be represented is transmitted to all other parties and to the Hearing Panel at least fifteen (15) days prior to the hearing. Failure to provide timely notice may result in a continuance of the hearing.
(7) It is the responsibility of each party to arrange for their witnesses to be present at the hearing.
(8) The notice of hearing will contain the names of members of the tribunal who will hear the case and should be accompanied by an “Outline of Procedure for Ethics or Arbitration Hearing.” Either party may file with the Executive Officer, not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of hearing, a written request for disqualification of any member for any of the following reasons:
(a) Is related by blood or marriage to either Complainant or Respondent.
(b) Is an employer, partner, or employee, or in any way associated in business with either Complainant or Respondent.
(c) Is a party to the hearing, or a party, or a witness in another pending case involving Complainant or Respondent.
(d) Knows any reason acceptable to the Hearing Panel or tribunal that may prevent him from rendering an impartial decision.
(9) The parties shall not discuss the case with any member of the Hearing Panel or the Board of Directors at any time prior to the announcement of a decision in the case.
(10) Both parties should be present in person at the hearing.