Arbitration & Dispute Resolution


Traditionally, real estate industry disputes rely on negotiation for solutions. If negotiation fails, litigation is often initiated. Mediation involves the skillful intervention of a third-party professional to help resolve disputes that arise between two or more parties.

Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts. The parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the "arbitrators", "arbiters," or "arbitral tribunal"), whose decision (the "award") they agree to be bound. It is a settlement technique in which a third party reviews the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding for both sides.


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Steps During Pre-Mediation

  • Get the right mediator
  • Draft the mediation rules
  • Have an informal pre-mediation get-together
  • Make the dispute "mediatable"
  • Identify the person who must approve of the settlement
  • Deal with logistics
  • Prepare pre-mediation statement
  • Emphasize good faith commitments

Steps During Post-Mediation

Document all agreements reached in mediation

  • Facilitate ratification
  • Create a decision maker
  • Offer proposals
  • Schedule additional mediation sessions
  • Keep in touch

Source: Entrances and Exits: Strategies to Pursue Outside the Mediation, (Dispute Resolution Journal, May-July 2007). E

Understanding Mediation & Conflict Resolution

Mediation: The High Art of Conflict Resolution (2/2), (Huffington Post, Feb. 23, 2017).

How to Resolve Business Disputes with Arbitration or Mediation, (The Balance, Nov. 6, 2016).

Mediate, Arbitrate or Litigate – The Choice is Yours, (Coeur d’Alene Press, Sept. 25, 2016).

Arbitration vs Mediation for Real Estate, (Kimberly Howell Blog, Dec. 28, 2015).

Arbitration vs Mediation and the Conflict Resolution Process in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), (Harvard Law School, Aug. 5, 2015).

Arbitration and Other Forms of ADR in Real Estate Deals, (American Bar Association, Apr. 2014).

Help resolve workplace conflicts with communication, (Sacramento Business Journal, May 10, 2013).

Real Estate Mediation and Arbitration, (Mediate, Apr. 2012).

Mediation: Ten Rules for Success, (NOLO Law for All).

Real estate mediation and arbitration for disputes, ( Real Estate Business Guide).

REALTOR® mediation: Resolve conflicts and preserve relationships, (PAR Just Listed, Feb. 2, 2012).

Know all of your options for resolving work disputes, (Philadelphia Business Journal, Jan. 13, 2012).

Alternative Dispute Resolution

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – Mediation & Arbitration, (Money Crashers Blog, Apr. 22, 2016).

Promoting Professional Standards Through Alternative Dispute Resolution, (National Association of REALTORS®, Legislative Live, May 16, 2015).

Dispute Resolution System: Mediation/Arbitration, (National Association of REALTORS®, May 1994).

Early ADR in U.S. History: Talking versus War, (Mediate, Feb. 12, 2007).

Business disputes less likely to go before judge, (Buffalo Business First, Mar. 28, 2005).

Planners, hoteliers try staying out of court, (Successful Meetings, Mar. 2005). E

Arbitration & Mediation Issues

How to Resolve Business Disputes with Arbitration or Mediation, (The Balance Blog, Nov. 6, 2016).

Arbitration & Mediation: Trending Worldwide for all the Right Reasons, (Bloomberg, June 22, 2016).

Finding right mediator worth doing legwork, (Atlanta Business Chronicle, May 20, 2011).

Mediation in Real Estate Disputes, (Knoji, Feb. 17, 2011).

Mediation: The better way to solve commercial real estate disputes, (REJournals, Feb. 3, 2011).

Update on Foreclosure Mediation, (Dispute Resolution Journal, May-July 2011). E

Useful Websites

Professional Standards Training & Mediation Resources Database, (National Association of REALTORS®).

Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual (National Association of REALTORS®).


Mediation Tools/Resources, (National Association of REALTORS®). Note: Via link, scroll downward for MS Word docs and PowerPoint presentations

Association for Conflict Resolution

National Association for Community Mediation

American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution

Books, eBooks & Other Resources

The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

Advanced Facilitation Strategies (Adobe eReader)

The Art of Constructive Confrontation (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Breakthrough Business Negotiation (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Conflict Resolution (Adobe eReader)

The Coward's Guide to Conflict (Overdrive Audiobook)

Creative Conflict Management (Overdrive Audiobook)

Facilitating With Ease! (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Have a Nice Conflict (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Improvisational Negotiation (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Negotiating Success (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Resolving Conflicts at Work (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Settling the Unsettling (Adobe eReader)

The Triangle of Truth (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Disagreements, disputes, and all-out war: 3 simple steps for dealing with any kind of conflict, (New York, NY: Amacom, 2008). HD 42 SC03

Handling conflict, (Cincinnati, OH: South-Western, 2002). HD 42 G65

The mediator's handbook: advance practice guide for civil litigation, (Cincinnati, OH: South-Western, 2002). KF 9084 C77

Leaders working together: five steps to conflict resolution, (Washington, DC: American Society of Association Executives, 2001). HF 294 A1

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