CAR has adopted the National Association of REALTORS® mandatory mediation requirement, which requires all parties who file for mandatory arbitration to attempt to resolve their dispute through mediation first, prior to going through arbitration. Mediation is a complimentary member benefit compared to an arbitration request which has a $500 filing fee.
There are a plethora of advantages to choosing mediation over arbitration, where the panel of arbitrators’ decision is final and binding. Mediation brings the disputing parties together in an atmosphere conducive to dialogue and conciliation, encouraging them to work together to reach a mutually acceptable resolution; mediation can be a positive experience for those who participate as all parties are working together to create their own solution. Mediation is frequently a “win-win” situation for everyone and helps keep relationships intact. Since the start of our program, we have seen an over 90% success rate in resolving commission disputes through mediation!
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KEEP IN MIND:
- If the managing broker files only for mediation and the conference is not successful, CAR will not automatically schedule an arbitration hearing. It is up to the parties to invoke arbitration, which involves the formal filing of arbitration paperwork as well as paying a $500 filing fee.
- Participation in mediation procedures is mandatory. The parties should be offered the opportunity and encouraged to participate in the mediation process in good faith, and, further, encouraged to abide by the determination.
- The parties to mediation should be aware that they may withdraw from the process at any point prior to reaching an agreement.
- Any offers of settlement that were not accepted or any suggested resolution proposed by the Mediation Officer that was not accepted will not be introduced as evidence nor considered in any manner should the matter require arbitration by the Board’s Professional Standards Committee.
- However, if the parties agree to a settlement of the dispute, and the settlement has been reduced to writing and has been signed by all of the parties, the matter is deemed resolved and cannot be the subject of a subsequent arbitration hearing.
- In the event either of the parties later fails to abide by the terms of the settlement, the matter may not be arbitrated; instead, the other party should be encouraged to have the settlement judicially enforced by a court of competent jurisdiction.