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 "arbitratable 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.
Mediation is the National Association of REALTORS® preferred method of dispute resolution. All local REALTOR® associations must, as a benefit of membership, offer the ability to mediate otherwise-arbitratable disputes. In some REALTOR® associations, mediation is required prior to an arbitration hearing.
The following information is reprinted from the current National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics and Arbitration
Note: While the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice of the National Association
establishes objective, enforceable ethical standards governing the professional conduct of
REALTORS®, it does not address issues of courtesy or etiquette. Based on input from many
sources, the Professional Conduct Working Group of the Professional Standards Committee
developed the following list of professional courtesies for use by REALTORS® on a voluntary
basis. This list is not all-inclusive and may be supplemented as a result of local customs and
These professional courtesies are intended to be used by REALTORS® on a voluntary basis,
and cannot form the basis for a professional standards complaint.