Arbitration Scenario Exercises

On this page are training materials to assist REALTORS® serving on arbitration tribunals understand how to consider and arrive at fair, equitable, and reasoned decisions in procuring cause and other contractual and specific non-contractual disputes (as defined by Standard of Practice 17-4 of NAR's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice).

Use: These fact scenarios are fictitious. They highlight common fact patterns that REALTOR® association hearing panels encounter in arbitrable matters. There are several different ways to use the materials. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Mock Hearing—Have two disputants present their positions to an audience acting as the hearing panel. The audience should have an opportunity to ask questions of the disputants, just like a real panel. Once all information/testimony has been presented, the panel should break into executive session to decide who should be the prevailing party. The panel, by a show of hands, would then vote for who they believe is the prevailing party.
  • Breakouts—Break into small groups to read the disputant’s positions. After discussing the case as a group, vote who should be the prevailing party.

Materials: Individuals serving as panelists should read, print, and have on hand:

The information provided in Appendix I and Appendix II (linked above) provides a foundation for understanding:

  • what constitutes an arbitrable dispute,
  • who are the appropriate parties to arbitration,
  • how to consider the facts, issues, and questions in disputes to aid panelists in reaching fair, equitable, and well-reasoned decisions, and
  • how to identify the relevant issues and facts when determining entitlement to disputed funds.

You may choose to use the materials as is, or use them as a stepping stone for writing your own scenarios. These are organized according to the year the scenario was developed. Notations are included to describe the type of dispute as well as the fact pattern that gives rise to the dispute.

The materials for 2010 include "insider" or "facilitator" notes for a role play of the scenario.

Fact Scenarios
(Complaint and Response)

Type of Dispute

Fact Scenario

Year used by NAR

Fact Scenario (DOC: 57 KB) Procuring cause Buyer worked with both a buyer broker and the listing broker 2015
Fact Scenario (DOC: 57 KB) Procuring cause Buyer found property on realtor.com®; non-principal cannot invoke arbitration 2014
Fact scenario (DOC: 64 KB) Procuring cause dispute SOP 17-4 complaint; dual/variable commission arrangement; must listing broker pay two filing fees? 2013

Fact scenario (DOC: 55 KB)

Procuring cause dispute

Buyer introduced to property at listing broker’s open house. 2012
Fact scenario (DOC: 39 KB) Procuring cause dispute Buyer broker vs. listing broker. Was the buyer abandoned? Is arbitration request timely filed? Arbitrable? 2011
Fact scenario (DOC: 62 KB) Referral fee dispute Broker demands referral because his daughter, who purchased property, arranged for listing broker to pay him 2010

Fact scenario (DOC: 42 KB)

 Procuring cause dispute Buyer broker vs. listing broker in short sale situation 2009
Fact scenario (DOC: 38 KB) Procuring cause dispute Buyer broker vs. listing broker in short sale situation. Buyer asks listing broker to write offer because buyer thinks her broker made a pass at her husband 2008
Fact scenario (DOC: 38 KB) Procuring cause dispute for lease commission Tenant broker vs. listing broker over lease commission 2008

Note: The arbitration case scenarios presented in the attached documents were used during the National Association’s Professional Standards Education Seminars. Learn more about attending these seminars

The debriefs/answers/guidance provided for the various exercises is based upon the adopted policies/Code of Ethics & Arbitration Manual at the time the exercise was created.

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