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 "arbitral 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-arbitrable disputes. In some REALTOR® associations, mediation is required prior to an arbitration hearing.