Mediation is helpful for resolving a variety of disputes, including real estate. Mediation tends to allow for a faster resolution and one that comes at a lower cost than through litigation of any type.
What types of real estate issues can be resolved in mediation:
- Repair and inspection issues
- Costs for repairs
- Earnest money disputes
- Claims of misrepresentation about the condition of the property, appliances, or fixtures
- And more…
How Long Does Mediation Take and What Does It Cost?
Two of the main benefits of mediation are the length of time it takes to resolve a dispute and the cost of resolving that dispute.
In most cases, mediation can be held within a few months or less of a dispute arising. Most mediation take just a few hours and at most, a few days.
The process is also much less expensive than litigation. In mediation, the parties involved often split the cost, which amounts to the mediator’s hourly rate.
Can I Bring My Attorney to Mediation?
Those involved in a mediation can bring their attorney with them to the mediation to help managed negotiations. It is important to let the other party know your attorney will be attending, because otherwise it can look like an aggressive move and put the other party on defense.
It is not necessary to have an attorney when you are involved in mediation and this is one of the reasons why the process is so much less expensive than litigation.
Should I Include a Mediation Clause in a Real Estate Contract?
The answer to this varies from situation to situation, but mediation is becoming a more common practice for resolving real estate disputes.
Real estate transactions are high pressure because so much money is involved. There are also emotional issues that arise. Having a negotiating strategy in place as you enter the arrangement can diffuse many common problems.
Mediation is an excellent way to be preventative and proactive at the same time. Not only are you creating an arrangement that is unlikely to end in litigation, you are taking steps to make sure the outcome of any dispute that arises is fair for all involved. Everyone is free to walk away from the mediation if it is not working and unless a resolution is reached in good faith, nobody is bound to the outcome.
Is There a Time When Real Estate Mediation Would Not Be Appropriate?
Mediation is one of the most effective tools for resolving real estate disputes, but there are situations in which it would not be the preferred method. For example, when one party alleges some type of criminal wrongdoing on the part of the other, mediation should not be used. Also, if a dispute involves very complex issues of legality or property rights, litigation is often needed.
The same is true if a dispute arises between realtors or if there ethical complaints against them by consumers. In these cases, there is a standard arbitration process in place.