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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 a password.

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

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. 3, 2019)

The Difference Between Arbitration and Litigation (The Balance, Aug. 13, 2019)

Learn How the Arbitration Process Works (The Balance, Jun. 25, 2019)

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

How to Resolve Business Disputes with Arbitration or Mediation (The Balance, Dec. 12, 2018)

Real Estate Mediation and Arbitration for Disputes (The Balance, Dec. 3, 2018)

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Paper: Firm’s Strategic Orientation Shapes How it Resolves Workplace Disputes (University of Illinois News Bureau, Oct. 30, 2019)

Undecided on Your Dispute Resolution Process? Combine Mediation and Arbitration, Known as Med-Arb (Program on Negotiation - Harvard Law School Daily Blog, Oct. 1, 2019)

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

Avoiding Real Estate Litigation (Canadian Lawyer, Jan. 28, 2019)

Determining the Scope of Arbitration (Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, Dec. 10, 2018)

Arbitration & Mediation Issues

Employment Disputes are Often Emotionally Charged (Wisconsin Law Journal, Oct. 25, 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)

Proposal to Eliminate Condo Arbitration Program Moving Through Legislation (Tallahassee Democrat, Apr. 9, 2019)

Useful Websites

Association for Conflict Resolution

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

Dispute Resolution Magazine (American Bar Association)


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)

Mediation for Fidgety Skeptics (eBook, Kindle, Audiobook)

The Negotiation Book (eBook, Kindle, Audiobook)

Negotiating Success (Kindle, eBook)

Negotiating the Impossible (eBook, Kindle, Audiobook)

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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The inclusion of links on this page does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this page complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.


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