Mediation of Ethics Disputes
Mediation offers a process for disputing parties to work collectively with the aid of an impartial, third-party REALTOR® volunteer to resolve their dispute. Mediation offers:
- Speedier results than the hearing process
- Participants create their own mutually agreeable settlement
- More amicable results
- Sense of personal accomplishment
Compare Different Dispute Resolution Approaches
|Both parties must appear at the session?||Yes||Perhaps. Call AAR for more information.|
|Who makes decisions?||Parties||Panel of REALTORS®|
|Settlement is fashioned from AAR Code of Ethics?||Not all the time. Parties decide resolution.||Yes|
|Decisions are known the same day?||Yes||No|
|Results are confidential?||Yes||Yes|
|Is legal representation permitted?||Yes||Yes|
What is ethics mediation at Arizona Association of REALTORS®?
If a party believes a REALTOR®’s conduct to be unethical as set forth in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, the party may request ethics mediation as an alternative dispute resolution option. AAR offers mediation as a voluntary process which may be requested before or after filing of a formal ethics complaint.
What is the mediation process?
Each party will be given an opportunity to address their position at the mediation conference (meeting). Discussion of positions and possible solution take place at the meeting.
Where is the mediation held and who will be there?
A mediation is usually held at a REALTOR® association office close to where the transaction occurred. The parties involved in the dispute, and a mediator, will be present to discuss the complaint and possible solution.
Who are the mediators?
A REALTOR® member specifically trained in mediation is there to facilitate the meeting with the parties. Mediators are effective listeners who encourage open communication and help parties resolve their issues.
What are the results of mediation? Possible results can be any agreement that satisfies the dispute and may include results not available in a formal ethics hearing. The parties involved in the dispute, not a hearing panel, will determine the resolution to the dispute.
What if we can’t agree?
If an agreement cannot be negotiated between the parties, a formal ethics complaint may be referred to a hearing.
How do I initiate a mediation session? Complete and return an Ethics Mediation Request form and include a narrative describing the dispute. Once the request has been submitted to AAR, the offer will be extended to the other party.
The Mediation Process
During the Session
- Parties to the mediation may be accompanied by legal counsel. If it is your intent to have legal counsel present at the meeting, the other parties and AAR staff should be advised of this fact, in writing, at least ten (10) days prior to the meeting.
- Parties to a mediation may withdraw from the process at any time prior to reaching an agreement. The complainant is free to have their dispute considered through the formal ethics complaint process should either party withdraw from mediation prior to reaching an agreement.
- In the event the agreement is not upheld by the terms agreed to by the parties, the dispute may be submitted to the formal ethics complaint process.
To ensure impartiality and to avoid the possible appearance of bias a Mediation Officer cannot refer concerns regarding the conduct of any party to a mediation to the Grievance Committee, to the state real estate licensing authority, or to any other regulatory body.
Mediation Agreement Options
- Parties to the mediation may agree to a mutual resolution of the dispute at any time during the meeting. The parties have considerable latitude in fashioning a mutually agreed upon settlement.
- With the mediator’s assistance, parties may explore and refine workable solutions. The mediator will help the parties put their agreement in writing. Once the agreement is signed by all parties, then all related claims or suits are also resolved. The mediation agreement becomes binding, and the mediation is concluded.
- If the parties are unable to resolve their dispute, the mediation will be terminated. Any proposed resolutions or offers of settlement that were not accepted will not be introduced as evidence nor considered as part of a formal ethics complaint.