In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in the Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS® (principals) associated with different firms arising out of their relationship as REALTORS®, the REALTORS® can submit to mediation (optional) or submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the regulations of GPAR rather than litigate the matter in court.
In the event clients of REALTORS® wish to arbitrate contractual disputes arising out of real estate transactions, REALTORS® shall mediate or arbitrate those disputes in accordance with the policies of GPAR, provided the clients agree to be bound by any resulting agreement or award.
How to File a Request for Arbitration
• Download and fill out the Request for Arbitration form.
• Include a typewritten summary of the transactions.
• Any evidence that would support your case.
• A check for $350 for the filing fee.
• Mail to GPAR.
Request will be referred to the Grievance Committee for their consideration as to whether or not an arbitrable matter exists. If the Grievance Committee finds the matter to constitute a proper cause of action, it will be referred to the Professional Standards Committee to arrange a hearing; if not found to constitute a proper cause of action, it will be returned to the complainant with the decision of the Grievance Committee, together with information advising the complainant of the procedures by which the Grievance Committee’s decision may be appealed to the Board of Directors.
Although the vast majority of real estate transactions close without incident, the possibility that a problem or dispute will occur cannot be eliminated. Generally, these difficulties are successfully resolved through normal channels of communications and negotiations. Your real estate broker or agent can provide valuable assistance in this regard. Occasionally, a dispute arises which cannot be resolved through negotiations. In the past, when negotiations failed both parties took their cases to court.
Court costs, attorney’s fees and long delays have made traditional litigation an unattractive method of resolving disputes. These problems can be avoided through the Home Buyers/Home Sellers Dispute Resolution System mediation program.
Review the material below. Please forward a copy of the fully executed (initialed by seller and buyer) Standard Agreement of Sale with the DRS Transmittal Form and review the List of Mediators and cross off any Mediator that you do not wish to mediate your case.
Forward a check in the amount of $100.00 (non-refundable) made payable to GPAR (for the Administrative Filing Fee), along with the transmittal form, list of mediators, and a copy of the fully executed Standard Agreement of Sale.
You will need the forms to file for the Dispute Resolution System Mediation:
Introduction, Guide to Initiating, and Rules and Procedures
DRS Transmittal Form
List of DRS Mediators
The Greater Philadelphia Association of REALTORS® is responsible for enforcing the REALTOR® Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics imposes duties above and in addition to those imposed by law or regulation which apply only to real estate professionals who choose to become REALTORS®.
If you feel there is an alleged violation of the Code of Ethics, you may file an Ethics Complaint. Ethics complaints must be filed within 180 days from the time the complainant knew (or reasonably should have known) that there was potentially unethical conduct or 180 days after the conclusion of the transaction or event, whichever is later. The Code of Ethics consists of 17 Articles. You must read through the articles and decide which article you feel that you were violated against and list them on the Ethics Complaint form along with narrative description of the circumstances that lead you to believe a possible violation has occurred. The complaint will be submitted at the next scheduled Grievance Committee for their review. The Grievance Committee will either pass the complaint on to a Professional Standards hearing because they feel that what you allege in your complaint is found to have occurred by the Hearing Panel, that panel may have reason to find that a violation of the Code of Ethics occurred. Please be aware, if that occurs, your presence will be required at the hearing.
The other decision of the Grievance Committee could be to dismiss the Ethics Complaint not because they do not believe you rather it means that they did not feel that your allegations would support a Hearing Panel’s conclusion that the articles cited in your complaint had been violated.
If a member is found in violation of the Code of Ethics by a Professional Standards Hearing Panel, the decision could possibly be letter of warning, fine imposed or even suspension from the association, depending upon how severely the panel felt that the article was violated. We are not able to award any monetary damages to the Complainant. We cannot take away a real estate license.
How to file an Ethics Complaint
Please read all material carefully, including the below links. Standards of Practice may only be used in support of an Article you cite. You also need to include copies of any pertinent documentation such as, Listing Agreements and Agreements of Sale, etc.
• Download and fill out the Ethics Compliant Form.
• Download the 2017 Code of Ethics.
• Read through the articles of the Code of Ethics to decide which articles you feel that you were violated against and list the articles on the Ethics Complaint form.
• Include a typewritten summary of the events of the transaction with your packet.
• Once the ethics complaint is received by the Professional Standards Administrator it will be stamped and submitted to the Grievance Committee at their next scheduled meeting date.