When there is a procuring cause issue over a sale or there exists some other dispute between REALTORS® as defined in Article 17 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, brokers are encouraged to attempt to reach an agreement before filing for arbitration. However, if this is not possible, REALTOR® members are required to arbitrate as part of their membership duties, prior to seeking legal justification. Arbitration cannot be filed until the closing, and up to 180 days after closings.
Arbitration requires a deposit of $500 from each party. If the parties agree to mediate ORRA will provide a trained mediator, and if the parties reach a settlement both parties will have their deposits refunded. If mediation fails the arbitration request will be scheduled for a hearing and only the prevailing party will receive a refund of their deposit.
When formulating a Request and Agreement to Arbitrate, please follow the steps below:
- Complete, sign, and date the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate A-1. (Form package includes the A-1 form, the Code of Ethics and Outline of Procedures for an Arbitration Hearing).
- Attach a written timeline summary of what transpired.
- Include any supporting documentation, such as copies of listing(s)/sales contract(s), lease agreements, emails, text messages, and/or any pertinent material showing your position in the dispute. (Text messages must be printed and in document form).
- Number the pages at the bottom center of each page.
- DO NOT use staples, office index tabs, professional binding, 3-ring binders, 2-sided copies, or sticky notes when formulating the complaint. If highlighting information use only yellow hi-lighter.
- Black and white and/or color copies are acceptable.
- Email to the Professional Standards Manager, DonnaW@orlandorealtors.org or U.S. Mail Certified Return Receipt is recommended. Or you may submit in person at our office.
Upon receipt of an arbitration request, the following is the applicable procedure:
- Mediation services will be offered to the disputants prior to the review of the arbitration request by the Grievance Committee.
- If mediation is not requested or is unsuccessful your arbitration request will be forwarded to Grievance Committee for determination as to whether the issue is subject to arbitration, based on the information in the “Request and Agreement to Arbitrate” form and any exhibits or supporting materials you provide.
- After review by the Grievance Committee, if the matter is found to be arbitrable, the Request will be sent to the Respondent for a reply.
- The Response will be forwarded to the Complainant upon receipt, and a date will be set for the arbitration hearing before a panel of the Professional Standards Committee.
Panels, when determining procuring cause refer to the Arbitration Guidelines for Procuring Cause attached here for your information.
If you feel that a violation of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics may have occurred as well as arbitration, an ethics complaint can be filed at the same time as your arbitration request. When an ethics complaint and arbitration request are filed at the same time and arise out of the same facts and circumstances, the arbitration procedures will take place first and the ethics procedures will follow the conclusion of the arbitration process.
If you have any questions please contact the Professional Standards Manager, Donna Willey, at DonnaW@orlandorealtors.org or 407.513.7263