Arbitration and Mediation

If you are involved in a dispute regarding entitlement to a commission or other monetary compensation in a real estate transaction, you can file a request to arbitrate with GCAAR.   Please review Article 17 of the NAR Code of Ethics:

Article 17
In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS® (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as REALTORS®, the REALTORS® shall mediate the dispute if the Board requires its members to mediate. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, or if mediation is not required, REALTORS® shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the policies of the Board rather than litigate the matter.

In the event clients of REALTORS® wish to mediate or arbitrate contractual disputes arising out of real estate transactions, REALTORS® shall mediate or arbitrate those disputes in accordance with the policies of the Board, provided the clients agree to be bound by any resulting agreement or award.

The obligation to participate in mediation and arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of REALTORS® (principals) to cause their firms to arbitrate and be bound by any resulting agreement or award. (Amended 1/12). 

To view Standard of Practice 17-4 definition of specific non-contractual disputes, please refer to the NAR Code of Ethics.

The committees involved in the arbitration request are:

Grievance Committee –This committee acts as GCAAR’S Grand Jury for arbitration requests received by the Association.  

Professional Standards Committee – Members sit on hearing panels for cases involving contractual disputes and specific non-contractual disputes.

Boards of Directors – The Directors manages procedural reviews of arbitration hearings.



Arbitration can be classified under one of two categories:

Mandatory Arbitration

  • REALTOR® Principal vs. REALTOR® Principal of another firm.
  • REALTOR® vs. REALTOR® if REALTOR® Principals are enjoined.
  • Client of a REALTOR® Principal vs. REALTOR® Principal, if Client agrees to be bound by outcome.

Voluntary Arbitration

  • REALTOR® vs. REALTOR® from the same firm IF with the same firm at the same time the dispute arose.
  • REALTOR® Principal vs. Non-member broker, if each party agrees in writing to the arbitration and provided the Board finds the matter properly subject to arbitration in accordance with the provisions of Part Ten, Section 45 of NAR Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual.
  • Customer vs. REALTOR® Principal IF written contractual relationship has been created by a REALTOR® Principal between a customer and client provided all parties to the dispute agree in writing to arbitrate the dispute.


  1. The completed and signed request to arbitrate form is forwarded to the Grievance Committee for review.
  2. If the Grievance Committee determines that the matter is properly arbitrable by the Board, the committee will classify the request (mandatory vs. voluntary) and forwarded it to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing.  The Respondent is informed and a hearing is scheduled.
  3. If the Grievance Committee determines that the matter should not be subject to arbitration, the Complainant can file an appeal to the Board of Directors.
  4. Once a hearing is concluded, all parties are notified of the Award of Arbitrators and will have an opportunity to request a procedural review of the hearing to the Board of Directors.


Mediation is a dispute resolution process which is an alternative to arbitration.  Although mediation is voluntary, it is highly recommend that parties take advantage of this service which is provided by the Association.

Click here to view the NAR brochure entitled “Mediation, the winning solution”.

Contact Yvette Robinson, Professional Standards Manager at 301.590.8774 or via email at for forms and information on arbitration and mediation.