The Basics of Property Dispute Mediation

property dispute mediationIf you find yourself in the middle of a real estate or boundary dispute, you need to learn about your state’s (or your home’s state) real estate laws and regulations. These real estate laws can be difficult to navigate and shouldn’t be attempted without the consultation of a professional.

When seeking to resolve a property dispute, invested parties have three general options:

  1. Negotiation
  2. Arbitration
  3. Mediation

A settlement reached by both parties without the help of a neutral third-party is considered a negotiation. Many real estate agents and brokers negotiate to solve issues that arise during the home buying and selling process. For instance, the National Association of Realtors recommends doing a walk-through and inspection of a home before completing the purchase. If a homeowner accidentally puts a hole in the wall while moving out and the buyer sees it during the final walk-through, the real estate agent may offer to pay for the repairs to keep the buyer from pursuing further action.

Arbitration is considered the most common avenue chosen for settling real estate disputes. This requires a third party to come and make a final settlement decision that both parties must adhere to. Each state has strict regulations regarding proper foreclosure as well as opportunities to pay before the property is sold. If a homeowner feels that they haven’t received proper opportunities to pay the bank, they can pursue arbitration.

Mediation is an ideal way to resolve a dispute that can’t be settled between two parties who refuse to pursue arbitration. Property dispute mediation entails a neutral third party stepping in to help those involved come to a mutual agreement. A mediator doesn’t make an ultimate decision for the settlement, but instead helps guide the feuding parties to a compromise that satisfies both. This method can be pursued as a last-ditch effort before seeking arbitration.

Mediation is the perfect way to solve breaches of contract. A real estate purchase contract outlines the timeline of the home buying and selling process, including a closing date. If either parties fall outside of that timeline and a dispute arises, property dispute mediation can remedy the situation.

Property dispute mediation is an avenue that many homeowners and real estate agents choose when an issue arises. While the causes of disputes vary from breech of contract to eviction, mediation allows both sides to be heard, making it a popular choice for those hoping to find a solution without getting a real estate lawyer involved.

Quick Look: How to Settle a Real Estate Dispute

real estate disputeWhile there are many factors that contribute to a successful settlement of a real estate dispute, educating yourself on the fundamentals of settling such a dispute can help prepare you. When it comes to real estate law, there are common causes of dispute, such as:

  • Foreclosure: Out of every 200 homes, one will be foreclosed upon. Foreclosure is strictly regulated by each state, requiring proper notices and opportunities to pay before the property is sold in a foreclosure sale. It is recommended that you seek the assistance of a real estate lawyer as soon as you are threatened with foreclosure.

  • Breach of contract: When you’ve become a party included in a purchase contract, the length of time the process takes will be outlined in your real estate contract. A closing date should be specified. For most cases, this can be between four and 10 weeks, though it varies from state to state. If a party has breached such a contract, this may be enough cause for a dispute.

  • Eviction: After being evicted or threatened with eviction, some tenants may feel that they’ve been wronged by the landlord or vice versa. If the dispute escalates to a court setting, the case will be heard within 20 days (on average) after a request for a trial is filed.

After recognizing the real estate dispute, involved parties have options for settling the issues at hand. The method of resolution chosen will be based on the circumstances and it should be based on the individual case. The different types of resolution include:

  • Negotiation is the direct bargaining between two involved parties. This is used as an attempt to resolve a dispute without involving any third parties. An example of this would be if a buyer found damage to the property that was incurred by the owner after moving out. A real estate broker or agent may offer to fix the damage out of their own pocket to avoid getting the seller involved.

  • Mediation requires a neutral third-party to help both parties come to a mutual agreement. A mediator does not make a final decision, but instead helps others make a decision together.

  • Arbitration comes in handy when neither party can come to an agreement. This means a third-party will come in to hear both sides of the case and then make a decision on their own. In a binding arbitration agreement, the final decision must be followed and enforced.
    While educating yourself on the basics of real estate disputes and settlements is a great first step in solving an issue, seeking the consultation of a real estate lawyer is the best way to make an informed decision about an avenue of resolution to pursue.