Commission Disputes

Mandatory Arbitration

What is Mandatory Arbitration?

Mandatory Arbitration is a process where parties in a dispute have agreed in advance* to let an unbiased hearing Panel resolve any real estate related dispute arising between a:

  • Realtor® member and principal who participates in a board’s MLS, but is not a board member
  • Realtor® in dispute with a Realtor® or Realtor® Associate at your firm or another firm
  • Non-member broker or licensed or certified appraiser who participates in the board’s MLS

*As a Realtor® member and principal, you have agreed to arbitrate any contractual dispute—including specific non-contractual disputes—that arises with another Realtor®.

What Happens During Mandatory Arbitration?

Hearing Panels are composed of volunteer Realtors® who serve on MNR’s Professional Standards Committee. They arbitrate disputes between brokers, or between brokers and their clients.

During the process, the Hearing Panel follows Arbitration Guidelines established by the National Association of Realtors. This involves examining evidence, hearing arguments from both sides, and making a binding decision that settles the matter.

An MNR staff attorney is always present to help lead and structure the hearing but does not influence or vote on the Hearing Panel’s decision.

How to File a Request for Mandatory Arbitration

Step 1: Complete this form online: A-1: Request and Agreement to Arbitrate. Note: A Realtor® principal must sign the complaint.

Step 2: Attach a written statement of the situation, marked as Exhibit I, and any other documentation, including:

  • Listing agreements
  • Purchase agreements
  • Buyer representation agreements
  • MLS datasheets
  • Or any other evidence that supports your request

Minnesota Realtors® online filing software lets you upload any documents or exhibits.

Step 3: File your request within 180 days after closing the transaction, or within 180 days of when the issue leading to the complaint became known—whichever is later. Note: the 180-day timeline continues to run if a request is not properly filed.

Step 4: Pay the $250 filing fee online

Arbitration Request

Depending on the outcome, the fee is:

  • Fully refunded to the winning party
  • Partially refunded to each party in a split decision
  • Partially refunded to parties who settle more than 24 hours before the hearing and provide immediate notice to Minnesota Realtors®*

*These refunds are only given in certain circumstances. See our Fee Schedule for more information.

Learn More Before You File

You can learn more by reading the following documents in the National Association of Realtors® Code of Ethics:

You can also download the complete Code of Ethics from the National Association of Realtors®.