Arbitration and Mediation Services

Have a dispute? Mediate before you arbitrate.

All too often, disputes that could be settled via mediation become expensive legal matters.

If you’re in such a situation, you’re in luck: NSDCAR requires you to request mediation before you enter arbitration.

NSDCAR’s special mediation program operates in partnership with the Pacific Southwest Association of REALTORS® to help its members settle disputes as quickly as possible.

NSDCAR’s mediators are professional, highly trained, and experienced. Every mediator is a licensed real estate professional that understands all aspects of real estate disputes.

Most cases can be successfully mediated if all parties are willing to make a good faith effort to resolve the dispute. Mediation should be considered by all litigants and attorneys who have an interest in prompt, cost-efficient settlement.

All local associations must adhere to the policies and procedures set forth in the California Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual provided by the California Association of REALTORS®. The Manual is drafted to be in compliance with the National Association of REALTORS® and California state law.

Visit the California Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards webpage (login needed).

Request Mediation


NSDCAR’s rates for mediation services are competitive and effective. To begin a mediation proceeding, download and complete this application, and send six copies back to NSDCAR for review.

If your application for mediation is accepted, the mediation will be conducted locally at NSDCAR’s administration office in Vista, CA.


Member Mediation Fees

If a NSDCAR or PSAR REALTOR® member has been named as a Respondent, as a member benefit all mediation fees will be waived for the Respondent member EXCEPT if the REALTOR® member acted as a principal in the transaction.

If a NSDCAR or PSAR REALTOR® is filing a claim and is involved as an agent in the subject dispute, as a member benefit, the filing fee shall be $250 for the Claimant and no additional fees will be assessed for mediation services provided to the Claimant.


Non-Member Mediation Fees

Mediation for Non-NSDCAR REALTOR® or NSDCAR members involved as the principal in the transaction will be charged according to the following schedule:

Administrative Filing Fee – $150
Under $10,000 in dispute – $275 per party
$10,000 – $30,000 in dispute – $300 per party
$30,000 – $50,000 in dispute – $450 per party
$50,000 – $100,000 in dispute – $600 per party
Over $100,000 – subject to assessment by Mediation personnel.
Above fees are split between Association and Mediators.

Any Mediation over four (4) hours is charged at $100.00 per hour, per party, with 100% of the hourly fee to the Mediators.

Please note: NSDCAR reserves the right to adjust fees or reject mediations depending on the complexity of issues.


The Fine Print: Article 17

Article 17 of the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics mandates that all NSDCAR members mediate arbitrable disputes first.

In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS® (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as REALTORS®, the REALTORS® shall mediate the dispute if the Board requires its members to mediate. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, or if mediation is not required, REALTORS® shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the policies of the Board rather than litigate the matter.

In the event clients of REALTORS® wish to mediate or arbitrate contractual disputes arising out of real estate transactions, REALTORS® shall mediate or arbitrate those disputes in accordance with the policies of the Board, provided the clients agree to be bound by any resulting agreement or award.

The obligation to participate in mediation and arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of REALTORS® (principals) to cause their firms to mediate and arbitrate and be bound by any resulting agreement or award. (Amended 1/12)

Standard of Practice 17-1

The filing of litigation and refusal to withdraw from it by REALTORS® in an arbitrable matter constitutes a refusal to arbitrate. (Adopted 2/86)

Standard of Practice 17-2

Article 17 does not require REALTORS® to mediate in those circumstances when all parties to the dispute advise the Board in writing that they choose not to mediate through the Board’s facilities. The fact that all parties decline to participate in mediation does not relieve REALTORS® of the duty to arbitrate.

Article 17 does not require REALTORS® to arbitrate in those circumstances when all parties to the dispute advise the Board in writing that they choose not to arbitrate before the Board. (Amended 1/2012)


Why Mediate?

Mediation is an effective means of dispute resolution for any dispute not requiring a judicial or a third party determination. It provides a forum and atmosphere in which parties gain understanding, become understood, and work together to explore options for resolution. By resolving disputes in mediation, parties determine for themselves what is important and what the outcome of a situation will be. While the benefits of mediation vary somewhat depending upon the nature of the dispute, and model of mediation applied, the following are some of the benefits typically associated with mediation:

Recognition In hearing and being heard in the mediation forum, parties gain the understanding of the other parties’ point of view, and an enhanced opportunity to be heard and understood themselves.

Empowerment Parties are empowered to decide for themselves whether and how they would like to resolve a situation. This self-determination aspect of mediation often corresponds to higher aspirations of how individuals and businesses generally want to conduct their lives and do business.