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What are the options for resolving real estate disputes?

When real estate deals go awry, there are several options for resolving disputes. Dispute Resolution Systems is used to settle disputes without going to court. It is often a cost-effective and faster resolution than going to court.

Following are the DRS programs that are most familiar:

-- Negotiation involves the direct bargaining between parties without the help of others.

-- Mediation involves negotiating a settlement that is acceptable to both parties with the help of a neutral third party.

-- Arbitration involves settling a dispute with the use of a neutral third party who decides the resolution.

There are a number of benefits to DRS programs, including

-- Time savings

-- Money savings

-- Fewer court cases involving frivolous claims

-- Parties control the outcomes by actively participating in the process.

-- Enhances long-term goodwill between brokers, customers and clients

-- Provides a service that real estate professionals can offer to their customers and clients.

-- Lower the cost of some types of insurance by decreasing the number of claims that have to be litigated or settled by insurance companies.

The REALTOR DRS program was designed by the REALTORS Liability Task Force in 1987. The merits of arbitration and mediation were evaluated. In 1990, the Mediation Guidelines were developed because of the nature of mediation being non-adversarial.

If you are involved in a dispute involving real estate, it is worth your while to consider mediation, arbitration or negotiation before going to court. An experienced attorney in real estate matters can provide more information about the three DRS programs and how each one could benefit you.

Source: The National Association of Realtors, "Letter of the Law," accessed July 21, 2016

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