NAR’s 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 award. 

Steps in the Arbitration Request Process

An arbitration request must be filed within 180 days after the closing of the transaction, if any, or within 180 days after the facts constituting the arbitrable matter could have been known in the exercise of reasonable diligence, whichever is later. The request is reviewed by members of the Tennessee REALTORS® Grievance Committee to determine if the matter is the type of case that the association may arbitrate and whether the matter is subject to mandatory or voluntary arbitration.  (  Either party may appeal the Grievance Committee’s decision within twenty (20) days of transmittal of that decision.

Earnest money disputes are not the proper subject of a request for arbitration.

The burden of proof at an arbitration hearing is on the complainant or requestor of the arbitration and the standard is “by a preponderance of evidence.”  An arbitration decision is not subject to appeal, but rather a Request for Procedural Review may be filed which must be based on a deprivation of fundamental “due process.”

Note: Grievance tribunals will only consider the arbitration request and documents uploaded with the arbitration request at the time of submission. Additional documents added to the arbitration request after submission may be admitted at hearing subject to the hearing officer’s determination of relevancy.

There is a $250 arbitration deposit required of each side of the arbitration. Please contact Professional Standards Director Andrea Huddleston at  for further instruction on remitting your deposit.

Please review the following NAR Arbitration Guidelines for more information regarding arbitration.

Continue with your arbitration request