Real Estate Disputes: Effective Mediation

Like most complicated transactions, real estate sales can often lead to disputes among the involved parties. If everyone involved doesn’t fully understand or agree upon property boundaries, contractual obligations, or other issues, these disputes can throw a wrench into the real estate transaction and cause a lot of tension.

To find amicable solutions, many turn to mediation– a process that fosters open communication, collaboration, and ultimately resolution. Mediation is a great option for real estate disputes!

How does mediation work for real estate disputes?

Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution method that involves a neutral third party– the mediator– facilitating discussions between disputing parties.

Unlike traditional litigation, mediation encourages communication and collaboration. 

It’s a voluntary process that allows both parties to maintain more control over the outcome while avoiding all of the time and expense associated with courtroom battles.

What are some of the benefits of mediation for real estate disputes?

Real estate transactions often involve ongoing relationships– between buyers and sellers, landlords and tenants, or neighbors. 

Mediation fosters a cooperative environment that aims to preserve these relationships and promote a positive outcome for everyone involved.

Mediation is also less expensive than courtroom litigation. It bypasses the need for extensive court proceedings, legal fees, and other associated costs, which makes it an attractive option for resolving disputes in a budget-friendly way.

It’s also highly flexible. Unlike courtroom proceedings, mediation allows the involved parties to tailor the process and outcome to their unique needs. 

This can allow them to come up with creative solutions that wouldn’t be available through more traditional forms of dispute resolution.

Finally, mediations usually lead to a much faster resolution than court cases. They avoid lengthy court schedules, allowing parties to address the issues much more promptly.

What are some good mediation strategies for real estate disputes?

First and foremost, choosing the right mediator is absolutely essential. Find someone who’s experienced in real estate matters, and skilled with conflict resolution. A knowledgeable mediator can guide the process and create an environment that’s conducive for healthy communication. 

It’s important to note, however, that a mediator’s job is to foster communication– not to provide legal advice. Mediators by nature are neutral, which means that (unlike an attorney) they haven’t been hired to act in the best interests of either party. However, information discussed with a mediator is confidential and generally not admissible as evidence in court.

How should I handle the process of mediation?

At the beginning of the mediation process, establish clear ground rules that ensure respectful communication and a comfortable atmosphere. This allows both parties to share their perspectives openly. 

Everyone involved in the dispute should identify their common goals. If a common goal is established that both parties can work toward, this can help to shift the focus from adversarial positions to a collaborative, problem-solving environment.

During the mediation process, it’s important to keep communication open. Discuss the matters at hand openly, but respectfully to all involved parties. Share relevant information and avoid withholding important details, and be sure to keep the tone positive. Avoid confrontation, since it inhibits collaboration and makes the mediation process unpleasant for everyone.

Disputes are inevitable

It’s just a fact of life that during a real estate transaction, there’s probably going to be at least a few small disputes. Mediation offers a constructive way to resolve conflicts, promoting open communication and collaboration. 

The benefits of mediation include preserving relationships, saving money (avoiding courtroom fees!) and reaching resolutions faster. 

While mediators and attorneys are different, it’s helpful to have legal counsel during real estate transactions. An attorney can help you to go over any legal documents or contracts to ensure that you fully understand everything you’re agreeing to. 

If you have questions about the process or are in search of legal counsel for your real estate needs, give us a call today!