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Mediation vs. Arbitration
Understanding How to Come out on Top
By Elizabeth Starrett
In January of 2001 the National Association of REALTORS® began requiring local boards to offer mediation services to their members. While CABOR has offered mediation since 1983, few members have taken advantage of this quick and cost effective dispute resolution method. The choice is yours. Let's compare the two avenues available to CABOR members.
- Is a facilitated negotiation process
- Is an informal amicable resolution
- Allows the parties to clear the air and resolve misunderstandings
- Provides assistance from the Mediator to move forward
- Give both parties full control over the final resolution
- Is conducted by an experienced Mediation Officer who makes no decisions effecting the parties
- Resolution is not mandatory; parties can still go to Arbitration
- Is a win-win situation
- Is not a negotiation process; it is a structured hearing
- Is a formal procedure decided by a hearing panel
- Allows the structured presentation of evidence, testimony and witnesses
- Gives the Panel full authority to decide the outcome
- Gives full control to the Hearing Panel
- Is conducted by a panel of experienced REALTORS® who make the final decision and the award
- Hearing Panel decision is final
- Is a win-lose situation
In order for Mediation to work, each party comes to the table with an attitude of compromise and cooperation. They have a chance to air their feelings, look at the other side of the situation and many times, clear up misunderstandings. Many times it becomes apparent that a third party, who is NOT a participant to the Mediation, is the reason behind the current conflict.
These same facts may also become evident once a dispute has moved to Arbitration, but the parties no longer have control over the outcome.
All of the CABOR Mediators have attended specialized training, are very experienced and are available to answer any question you might have. Why not give Mediation a try? Your Professional Standards Committee highly recommends it and you could be part of a win-win situation.