No one wants to be involved in a real estate dispute. And most of the time, when a deal is struck between a seller and a buyer it closes smoothly. But once in a while, problems arise. Often, this happens when the buyer wants to back out of a deal but the seller wants them to go forward..
In this case, rather than sue in court–a lengthy and often expensive proposition–you may want to consider a real estate mediation.
Real estate mediation is a method of resolving conflicts with the help of a neutral third party. The Law Office of Gary M. Landau, P.A. has offered mediations for real estate disputes for many years, helping opposing parties come to mutually beneficial solutions.
Don’t simply search for “mediators near me” and choose someone without extensive experience in the process. Instead, read on to learn about real estate mediation in Florida, and contact our office if you find yourself in this situation.
What Is Real Estate Mediation?
Mediation is a form of conflict resolution that avoids the expense, delay, and hassle of litigation. It’s a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), along with arbitration.
Mediation is helpful for real estate conflicts where both parties to the contract cannot reach an agreement on their own.
Unlike an arbitrator, a mediator is not empowered to decide who is right and who is wrong, nor how the dispute should be resolved. The mediator’s role is to encourage all parties to consider mutually beneficial solutions and come to a resolution, which often turns out to be a compromise for everyone.
Many disputes are resolved by mediation. But if a mutually satisfying solution cannot be worked out, the parties can then take their matter to court.
Mediators are specially trained and certified by the court system. A mediator does not provide legal advice, business advice, or therapy. In Florida, mediators must adopt a set of ethical standards to act in this role.
Gary M. Landau has been a certified real estate mediator for more than a decade. He has helped conflicting parties resolve many disputes to everyone’s satisfaction.
Common Real Estate Disputes
Mediation can be helpful for a wide range of real estate disputes. Some common scenarios include:
- Breaching contract terms
- The desire not to close a deal despite having a binding contract
- Sellers not disclosing defects or assessments they know about to the buyer
- Sellers taking items out of the home that were supposed to remain, per the contract.
Real estate disputes can involve a significant amount of money. For example a buyer may have put down tens of thousands of dollars as a deposit that the seller is not releasing because of the dispute.
Or a buyer may feel that the seller owes them substantial money after they move in and discover a major defect they need to pay to fix that the seller was aware of but didn’t disclose.
Even when the dispute involves a lot of money, it can be wise to settle it with mediation.
Benefits of Real Estate Mediation
The primary benefit of real estate mediation is that all parties can settle their differences without having to sue.
Litigation can be expensive, because all parties need to pay attorneys, and there are court fees as well. Litigation is also time-consuming and stressful. Additionally, it relies on a judge or jury to make the final decision, rather than allowing all parties to have a say through mediation.
Real estate mediation is also faster than suing. This is especially important if a seller hopes to put their home back on the market while in a dispute with a buyer who has a contract but does not want to close on the home. During the time there is a contract with the buyer, the seller will have difficulty entering into a sales contract with another party.
In mediation, all parties must agree to a settlement before it is written down and signed by everyone. Once everyone has reached this agreement, all parties sign a legally binding document that becomes enforceable by the court.
Mediation is an effective, fast, and affordable process for resolving real estate disputes.
How Does Real Estate Mediation Work?
Real estate mediation follows these steps:
- The mediator meets all parties in one location and explains to each side what the process is and what the mediator’s role is, emphasizing that it is the parties that decide the resolution.
- During the attempt to reach a resolution through mediation, each party is kept in a separate room, with the mediator acting as the go-between. The mediator invites each party to talk about the dispute and describe their desired outcome.
- The mediator keeps information discussed by each party strictly confidential.
A mediation session ends in one of three ways:
- With the mediator’s help, the parties decide how they will resolve the issues and sign an agreement that stipulates the resolution. This happens with many real estate disputes.
- The mediator adjourns the session for the day so the parties can continue their mediation another time and hopefully come to a resolution..
- The parties reach an impasse with no hope of a resolution, and the mediation ends. Often the parties’ next step in this case is litigation.
If the amount of money involved is especially significant, parties may bring an attorney to the mediation to help communicate their desires and to review a final agreement, although this is uncommon.
Like other forms of alternative dispute resolutions, mediation is increasing how disputing parties are resolving their issues. Compared to litigation, which can drag on for months or years, mediation is a much faster and lower-stress way to resolve important real estate disputes
Contact The Law Office of Gary M. Landau, P.A. for Real Estate Mediation
Gary M. Landau is a Florida State Supreme Court-certified mediator who has helped many parties quickly and easily resolve their real estate disputes through win-win mediation.
With more than 25 years of experience and countless satisfied clients, Gary M. Landau and his team are also uniquely positioned to help you with your probate and real estate needs in South Florida. Whether you’re ready to probate a loved one’s estate or to write your own will, or if you are purchasing a home, have inherited a home, or want a closing agent to handle title insurance and all documents for your closing or refinancing, the Law Office of Gary M. Landau is ready to work with you.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction.