Seller-Buyer Dispute Resolution

Although most real estate transactions close without incident, occasionally there is a problem or dispute. Disputes are usually resolved successfully through communication and negotiation. In the rare instances where negotiations fail, rather than going to court, buyers and sellers are finding it easier to resolve their situation successfully through mediation.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a process in which disputing parties attempt to resolve their disagreements with the help of an impartial, trained third-party mediator. The mediator’s role is to help parties identify their differences and reach agreement on how to resolve them.

With mediation, when the disputing parties have agreed on a mutually acceptable solution, they sign a written agreement that outlines the terms of the settlement. Once the agreement is signed, parties are legally bound to abide by its terms. If the parties cannot reach a mutually agreeable settlement, they are free to arbitrate or litigate their dispute as if the mediation never took place.

Mediation is easier, faster, and less expensive than litigation, and more important, it is not adversarial. Where decisions rendered by an arbitrator or judge usually involve a winning party and losing party, in mediation there are no losing parties because the parties have been part of the process and together have agreed on the terms of the settlement.

Access to Service

DRS mediation **(Marc, is this a company? A type of mediation?) can be used by any of the parties in a real estate transaction – sellers, buyers, brokers, builders, home inspectors, etc. almost any type of dispute that arises from the transaction can be mediated under the DRS Rules and Procedures **(should this be a link to somewhere? If so, where?). Any party can invoke the DRS mediation system by contacting a mediation provider.

The primary exception to this are issues that are subject to hearings under the REALTOR® Professional Standards procedures, including disputes between REALTORS®.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION SYSTEM MEDIATION, CONTACT: DIANE, (602) 246-1012. **(What is this? Do you want it here?)