To file for arbitration of a dispute that occurs in the business of real estate, you will use the Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-1 (Columbus REALTORS® Members) or Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-2 (Non-Members). On this form you must state the specific amount of your dispute.
The request for arbitration must also 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 materials, please submit them by regular mail to Professional Standards, Columbus REALTORS®, 2700 Airport Dr., Columbus, Ohio 43219, or by email to [email protected], along with a check for $250 payable to Columbus REALTORS®. The arbitration fee of $250 will be collected from both parties to the dispute. The prevailing party’s fee will be refunded after the panel’s decision is rendered.
Should both parties to the dispute agree to mediate, a mediation officer will be appointed to meet with them as soon as possible to seek resolution on mutually agreed terms.
Should the parties fail to agree to mediation (or if mediation is unsuccessful), the case is forwarded to the Grievance Committee for a recommendation regarding arbitrability of the matter based on certain guidelines the committee must follow.
Should the Grievance Committee refer the case for a hearing, a panel will be chosen from the Professional Standards Committee to hear the case. The formal hearing, usually held at the Columbus REALTORS® office, 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 mediation, review by the Grievance Committee, and scheduling of the parties to arbitration hearing.
Is there a statute of limitations for filing arbitration requests?
Yes. The timed period is 180 days from the time of the event or 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, the parties themselves, 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 (Columbus REALTORS® Members) or Request and Agreement to Arbitrate Form A-2 (Non-Members), available from Columbus REALTORS®. This form should be accompanied by a supporting typewritten narrative or chronological summary of the events that occurred, and any exhibits that support your claim.
Where do I submit the arbitration request?
Submit the request in care of: Professional Standards Administrator, Columbus REALTORS®, 2700 Airport Drive, Columbus OH 43219, or via email to [email protected].
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 monetary dispute between REALTOR® principals arising from the business of real estate.
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. If after review the Grievance Committee determines a hearing is warranted, the respondent is notified of the committee's decision and participates in selection of the hearing date.
Who establishes the rules that Columbus REALTORS® follows in handling arbitrations?
Columbus 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 this process take?
If arbitrations go to hearing, the process may take 2-3 months, allowing for the time for review by the Grievance Committee, proper notification and scheduling of the parties.
Is arbitration binding?
Yes. Members agree to abide by the Code of Ethics, which includes the duty to arbitrate. Also, Columbus REALTORS® membership application includes an affirmation by the member to submit business disputes to the association's professional standards procedures. Such arbitrations are binding under Ohio law.