Even REALTORS® who are committed to high standards of conduct occasionally have honest business disputes with other professionals, clients, or customers. There is an ongoing need for efficient and economical mechanisms to resolve such disputes. Arbitration is valuable, but mediation is simpler and easier.What Is Mediation

“The act or process of mediating; intervention between conflicting parties to promote reconciliation, settlement, or compromise.” –Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary

Arbitration and mediation are valuable in resolving business disputes. Both mediation and arbitration are private and neutral with expertise. But… Mediation is an attractive alternative to arbitration.

Why Use Mediation

Mediation Arbitration
Low or no cost Moderate cost
Little delay Moderate delay
Win/win outcome Win/lose/split
Collaborative Adversarial
Maximun range of solutions Result limited to monetary award
Improves relationships May damage relationships

Key Features

Mediation is a voluntary and private process.

  • Parties decide to enter the mediation process.
  • Parties can leave the mediation process at any time.
  • Parties have complete control over the outcome.

Mediation is facilitated by a neutral and impartial mediator.

  • Understands issues quickly because typically, the facilitator is familiar with real estate practices and customs.
  • Mediates only matters in which he/she remains neutral and impartial.
  • Discloses conflicts of interest (parties may agree to continue following disclosure or terminate session).
  • Facilitates and assists with negotiations – controls the process, not the substance.
  • Honors the concepts of self-determination, respect, and civility.
  • Enhances the parties’ abilities to understand their own and each other’s needs.
  • Helps parties understand the alternatives to settling.

Why Mediation Works

  • Most disputes are successfully resolved
  • High speed
  • Low or no cost
  • Flexible
  • Maintains and improves relationships
  • Improves poor communication and clarifies misunderstandings
  • Discovers and addresses the true interests of parties
  • Moves beyond different views of law/fact
  • Allows creative solutions beyond win/lose
  • Respect and civility are the ground rules
  • Solution is just as binding and enforceable as arbitration

Mediation is purely voluntary. No one has to use it, but it can save time and money and can be quicker, easier, and more amicable for resolving business disputes than arbitration.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®