Monday, March 24, 2008

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Real Estate Mediation Can Be a Winner
Real Estate is a complex transaction and what happends if there is a dispute?In California including agents, buyers, and sellers will face a mazeof legal disclosures such as wells, septics, zoning, mold, water intrusions, naturalhazards, Megans Law, square footage, noise, mining sites, airports, home owners associationsor illegal drug activity.In addition easements such as utility or railroad may come to play.

If an error should occur or a dispute, Dispute Resolution is a part of most real estate contracts and between all parties such as sellers and brokers or buyers and sellers.

Dispute Resolution is broken into two areas Mediation & Arbitration.

The scope of this article is about mediation, a softer side of a conflict vsArbitration or long term litigation that is both finacially and emotionally draining for the partispants.Arbitration is binding and final and is enforceable by California Law.

What is mediation?Mediation is an opportunity to try and resolve disputes outside of court. Manydisputes that go to mediation are settled because the parties have control of the outcome.

In Mediation, the parties to the dispute are assisted by a person called a mediator.The mediator is "Neutral" and is not empowered to impose a deciscion, instead the mediator faciltates discussions and negotiation between the parties with a goal of reaching a mutually acceptablesettlement.Who should go to Mediation?Everyone should attempt mediation. But mediation can really help in most real estate transactions or in relationships such as landlord/tenant, neighbors, business partners, realtors vs realtors or buyers and sellers or consumer vs a contractor

.Advantages to mediation is that it is private and confidential and there is no public record.How much does it cost and who pays for it?The cost of mediation depends on a variety of factors.

As an example in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties the courts have set up mediation panels and may pay a portion of the dispute. many cities in California have set up private low cost mediation services. In many cases the cost is shared among the parties.

Where do you locate a mediator or mediation services? By looking in the local telephone directory under "Mediation," "Arbitration, " or "Dispute Resolution" or asking a local attorney or bar association.On line has a web link for mediation specialist.Most Mediators are professionals who have attended training programs through conflict resolution studies in both colleges or private mediation groups. Pepperdine University, UC Berkeley and Stanford offer advanced work in conflict resolution.In most cases mediation is highly successful, in the event mediation does not resolve a disputes parties are free to pursue any other system of dispute resolution such as arbitration, or litigation.

Jim W Hildreth- MediatorMediating Real Estate

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