REALTOR boards and associations are now required to offer mediation for parties involved in an arbitration dispute to settle the matter with the aid of a neutral third-party REALTOR mediator. Resolving arbitration disputes through mediation is more expedient, less costly and more amicable then a hearing. Both parties have an opportunity to be heard, discuss the issues and mutually agree on a settlement.
Although the majority of real estate transactions close without incident, there is a possibility that a problem or dispute could occur. When that happens, it is usually successfully resolved by the parties through normal communication and negotiation. In the past, when negotiations failed, parties took their case to court. Today, they are taking their disputes to mediation.
Mediation of Business Disputes Information
Although the majority of real estate transactions close without incident, there is a possibility that a problem or dispute could occur. When that happens, it is usually successfully resolved by the parties through normal communication and negotiation. In the past, when negotiations failed, parties took their dispute to arbitration (or in some situations to court). Today, REALTORS as well as REALTORS and their clients are taking their disputes to mediation. In short, mediation can be used by any of the parties to a real estate transaction - sellers, buyers, brokers, and builders.
Parties who decide to submit potential disputes to mediation sign a written Agreement to Mediate. Parties can sign this agreement either before or after a dispute arises.
The New York State Association of REALTORS and most local boards and associations have NAR-trained mediators. Mediators are selected based on considerations such as location, firm affiliation, and availability.
Role of Attorney
Although parties have the right to be represented by counsel, attorneys do not have to participate in the mediation conference. Parties should consult an attorney if they have questions or concerns about mediation.
Any party can request mediation by contacting the local board/association where the REALTOR holds primary/secondary membership or participates in a REALTOR MLS and returning the written request form(s) provided to them. Click here for a mediation request form.
The local board/association mediator arranges, schedules and conducts the mediation conference. In most instances mediation can be completed in 30 days of the date on which the request for mediation is received. The typical conference lasts between two and four hours.
If mediation is unsuccessful, the matter will go to either the Grievance Committee for review or to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing.