As in life - in Real Estate - problems CAN come up and sometimes are hard to resolve. While I have been fortunate enough to never have a real estate transaction which has gone to such levels; I have had colleagues who have had issues.
Here is a wonderful blog entry by personal friend and business associate about Mediation.
How Mediation Can Help You Solve Problems Inexpensively
By Ellen F. Kandell, Esq., President, Alternative Resolutions, LLC
Most real estate transactions close without a hitch. But if problems arise many disputes can be resolved early and inexpensively through mediation.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third party facilitates the conversation between the parties who make their own decision about the issues in dispute. It is not to be confused with arbitration where the neutral third party makes binding decisions like a judge.
Mediation is a non-adversarial and user friendly process. A Mediator serves to help the parties open communication, identify their differences and reach agreement on how to resolve their differences.
How does mediation work?
A mediator serves to help the parties open communication, identify their differences and reach agreement on how to resolve their differences. A mediator has a minimum of forty hours of training and is required in most states to have continuing education.
Is there a mediation program for real estate disputes?
Yes, the Maryland Association of Realtors (MAR) has a mediation program and some real estate contracts include mandatory pre-suit mediation for disputes that arise from the contract. MAR runs a roster of mediators for these disputes. For more information about this program go to www.mediate.com/mdrealtors.
What if there is no mediation language in my real estate contract?
You can make a request to mediate the dispute with the involved parties. Mediation is generally a voluntary process so you would need to get all parties to agree to mediation.
What happens when the mediation is over?
If the parties can resolve their differences the mediator writes up a Memorandum of Understanding. If the parties can’t reach an agreement they are free to arbitrate or litigate the issues as if the mediation did not take place. In fact, offers of settlement made in the context of a mediation are confidential and are inadmissible in a court proceeding.
Who pays the cost of mediation?
Each side pays their own costs which are usually a few hundred dollars.
How long does mediation take?
It depends on the complexity of the case but most real estate mediations can be resolved in two to three hours.
Ellen Kandell, Esq., is President of Alternative Resolutions, LLC (www.alternativeresolutions.net) a dispute resolution and training firm which has been providing conflict resolution services to public and private clients in the DC Metro area for over ten years.
Thank you Ellen for a great blog entry. If you are in need of a mediator in the DC area - I highly recommend Ellen and Alternative Resolutions.