Legal disputes regarding real estate matters (much like Family Law and Probate Partition actions) often involve high-dollar transactions where tensions can run high. Failing to “pass go” and going directly to court frequently can mean subjecting yourself to a one-to-five-year court process, huge legal fees and related costs, and no guaranteed result. This is where real estate mediation makes absolute sense.
If you are involved in a legal fight with a buyer, seller, tenant, or neighbor, real estate mediation can help you control costs, schedules, and put you on track to creating a tailored resolution.
What Is Real Estate Mediation?
Mediation is a process where people with a dispute meet with a neutral third party to talk about their issues and try to work out an agreement. The mediation process is both private and voluntary—there are no court hearings or decisions made by judges in mediation. Instead, a mediator helps both sides find common ground to develop a mutually agreed-upon solution.
The process usually involves four steps:
- Introduction of all participants
- Discussion and analysis of issues involved in the dispute
- Creation of options for resolving those issues
- Finalizing an agreement between the disputing parties based on their mutual agreement or consent
In many cases, mediation can save the disputing parties time and money by avoiding the costs of litigation.
How Real Estate Mediations Works
Real estate mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to any method by which parties can resolve their disputes without going to court.
In real estate mediation, a neutral third party (the mediator) assists the parties in discussing and resolving their issues. The mediator helps the parties reach an agreement by providing a safe space where all parties can communicate openly and honestly without fear of retribution or judgment.
Real estate mediators do not make decisions. Instead, they facilitate communication between two or more people to come up with solutions together. They can help landlords, tenants, neighbors, buyers, and sellers reach agreements on conflicts involving:
- Buyers not wanting to complete a deal despite having a binding contract
- Neighbors who have caused problems on another’s property
- Sellers failing to disclose defects they know about to the buyer
- Defining the terms of a lease agreement
- Sellers taking objects out of the home that were supposed to stay, per the contract
- Creating an enforceable contract in cases where none exists
Mediators are not allowed to take sides and must remain neutral at all times. They can only act as an independent source of information and advice or provide a forum for discussion and analysis of the issues at hand. The parties must reach an agreement on their own—the mediator cannot make decisions for them.
Contact an Experienced Real Estate Mediator in California Today
Real estate mediation can be a helpful tool for resolving disputes in real estate matters. If you are involved in a dispute with another party, mediation may help you reach an agreement that both parties can accept. Mediation is also beneficial because it allows both sides in a case to save time and money by avoiding court proceedings.