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Understanding arbitration

Everyone in Greensburg would like to hope that the process of buying a new home or property would always be completed smoothly. Sadly, that is not always the case. Any number of issues can arise during the process of completing a real estate transaction, many of which will put buyers and sellers (along with their respective realtors) at odds. When such disputes do arise, many often question which is the best way to solve them?

The Realtor Code of Ethics requires that any disputes between parties that cannot be successfully mediated must then be taken to arbitration. The National Association of Realtors defines arbitration as an alternative dispute resolution process in which those involved refer a case to a third party (an arbiter). Both sides then agree to accept the arbiter’s ruling in the case as legally binding. In most cases, arbiters are professionals who have experience in dealing with industry specific disputes.

How do cases that may require arbitration arise in real estate? Say one purchases a home, only to later discover that it has major foundational damage that the seller did not disclose. He or she may claim that the seller should be required to cover the costs of the repair given that the sharing of such information might have influenced the buyer’s decision. If the seller refuses, the buyer may then feel that he or she must pursue litigation.

The buyer’s realtor in this scenario may instead request arbitration. The American Bar Association states that arbitration may actually offer a number of advantages. The entire process costs much less than litigation, and the outcome or arbitration may be more predicable given that arbiters already have a strong understanding of real estate matters.

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