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.


NAR Library & Archives has already done the research for you. References (formerly Field Guides) offer links to articles, eBooks, websites, statistics, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of perspectives. EBSCO articles (E) are available only to NAR members and require the member's login.

Pros & Cons of Arbitration

  • Faster and cheaper than a court trial
  • The parties choose the arbitrator
  • The arbitration is not public, so lacks transparency
  • If the arbitration is binding, there is no appeal process

Pros & Cons of Mediation

  • Faster and cheaper than a court trial
  • The parties can talk directly to each other
  • The mediator does not make a decision, but helps both sides come to a mutually agreeable outcome
  • A mediation agreement is not legally enforceable

Source: The Basics: Arbitration vs. Mediation (LegalZoom)

Upcoming Training Opportunity

Mediator & Mediation Training from NAR

Given the ongoing health and safety concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 mediation training dates and delivery format have not been set. This page will be updated as soon as we have that information.

For questions please contact Bernice Barajas.

Understanding Mediation & Conflict Resolution

Common Ways to Resolve Disputes and Deadlocks in a 50/50 Business (The National Law Review, Jan. 26, 2021)

What is Conflict Resolution, and How Does It Work? (Program on Negotiation - Harvard Law School Daily Blog, Oct. 19, 2020)

What are the Three Basic Types of Dispute Resolution: What to Know about Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation (Program on Negotiation - Harvard Law School Daily Blog, Oct. 8, 2020)

How Mediation Can Resolve Commercial Lease Disputes Outside of Court in Coronavirus Economy (North Bay Business Journal, Sep. 23, 2020)

The Difference Between Arbitration and Litigation (The Balance, Jul. 29, 2020)

Mediation during the COVID-19 Outbreak (Wisconsin Law Journal, Apr. 17, 2020) E

Mediation: Don’t Just Mail It in (Forbes, Feb. 24, 2020)

3 Things You should Know About Real Estate Mediation (The Realtime Report, Jun. 15, 2019)

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Benefits of More Alternative Dispute Resolution at GAO (Lexology, Jan. 12, 2021)

Undecided on Your Dispute Resolution Process? Combine Mediation and Arbitration, Known as Med-Arb (Program on Negotiation - Harvard Law School Daily Blog, Oct. 6, 2020)

Our New Reality: Virtual ADR Is Here and Ready To Assist Attorneys in Resolving Disputes (JDSupra, Apr. 13, 2020)

Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Age of Covid-19 (National Arbitration and Mediation, Mar. 18, 2020)

Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) (Legal Match, Apr. 11, 2019)

Arbitration & Mediation Issues

Arbitration Moves to the Forefront in Alleviating a Post-COVID Court Backlog (The Legal Intelligence, Dec. 30, 2020)

What Happens When COVID Shuts Down Civil Courts? (The Los Angeles Times, Sep. 11, 2020) E

How to Avoid Drafting a Really Bad Arbitration Agreement: PART 4 (American Arbitration Association-International Center for Dispute Resolution Blog, Jul. 2, 2020)

How to Avoid Drafting a Really Bad Arbitration Agreement: PART 3 (American Arbitration Association-International Center for Dispute Resolution Blog, May 28, 2020)

How to Avoid Drafting a Really Bad Arbitration Agreement: PART 2 (American Arbitration Association-International Center for Dispute Resolution Blog, Dec. 11, 2019)

How to Avoid Drafting a Really Bad Arbitration Agreement PART 1 (American Arbitration Association-International Center for Dispute Resolution Blog, Jun. 28, 2019)

Confronting the Challenges of Virtual Mediation (Law 360, Apr. 1, 2020)

A Conversation on the Challenges of Mediation Practice (Mediate, Mar. 2020)

Make Your Arbitration Decisions Stick (REALTOR® AE Magazine, Oct. 10, 2019)

When Not To Use Alternative Dispute Resolution (Kerobyan Mediation, May 14, 2019)

Condo Column: Mediation, Arbitration Sometimes Required Before Lawsuits (TC Palm, Aug. 8, 2019)

Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods to Resolve Trust Disputes (The National Law Review, May 1, 2019)

Mediation for Small Businesses (Nolo)

Useful Websites

Association for Conflict Resolution

Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution

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


Resources from NAR's Mediation Training Seminars (National Association of REALTORS®)

National Association for Community Mediation

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

American Arbitration Association®

Books, eBooks & Other Resources

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

Advanced Facilitation Strategies (eBook)

The Anatomy of Peace (eBook, Kindle, Audiobook)

The Art of Constructive Confrontation (Kindle, eBook)

Breakthrough Business Negotiation (Kindle, eBook)

Conflict Resolution (eBook)

The Coward's Guide to Conflict (Audiobook)

Facilitating With Ease! (Kindle, eBook)

Good for You, Great for Me (eBook, Audiobook)

The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Kindle, eBook)

Have a Nice Conflict (Kindle, eBook)

Improvisational Negotiation (Kindle, eBook)

Legal Negotiation (eBook, Audiobook)

The Negotiation Book (eBook, Kindle, Audiobook)

Negotiating Success (Kindle, eBook)

Negotiating the Impossible (eBook, Kindle)

Resolving Conflicts at Work (Kindle, eBook)

Settling the Unsettling (eBook)

The Triangle of Truth (Kindle, eBook)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Member Support. 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 Member Support 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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