I am currently in Chicago at the National Association Of Realtors headquarters taking mediation training. It has been an eye opening experience.
Mediation in a real estate setting is a way to settle disputes outside of the court room and outside of arbitration. A successful mediation allows all parties to the dispute to put forth their issues and then the mediator helps guide them to a conclusion that is satisfactory to all.
It’s not like a trial where someone has to prove the facts or defend your innocence. It is just a guided conversation to help each side understand the other to see if there is any common ground upon which they can agree. Usually, after seeing the issue from the opposite perspective the parties can agree to satisfactory settlement.
It is much faster, and much less expensive than solving disputes through the legal system. All parties can get on with their lives without spending huge amounts of money for legal fees and waiting for the uncertainty of a trial.
The parties do not give up any rights to try mediation. If the mediation is not successful they can go on to the court system. But 90% of mediations are successful.
The Valley Board of Realtors provides this service to our members and to the public to help settle any issues that arise as a result of a real estate transaction. No transaction that I have been involved with has gone to mediation, but I certainly would not hesitate to recommend mediation over the more confrontational means of solving disputes.