How to use mediation in real estate litigation

Real estate litigation can arise from a litany of issues, and you may benefit from pursuing mediation. In California, mediation is a requirement if you want to move forward with a lawsuit. Most realtors put in this requirement within the purchase agreement so that you and the other party have to sit down with an objective entity to discuss the case. 

A lot of uncertainty comes with real estate litigation, which is why most professionals suggest mediation. Mediation is useful for cases including leasing disputes, partition cases, probate matters and disputes regarding the property’s title, among others. Mediation comes into play for both commercial and residential real estate disputes. Here is what you need to know before pursuing mediation.

It differs from arbitration

When you seek arbitration for any litigation, the arbitrator will make the final decision on behalf of both parties. Both sides will present evidence, but the arbitrator has final say, which means you may end up with a decision you disagree entirely with. When you pursue mediation, you present evidence to a neutral third party. This mediator does not make the final decision. Instead, the mediator talks with both parties to help negotiate a resolution both sides can be happy with. It also does not result in a binding decision. If you simply cannot reach a consensus, then you can pursue a lawsuit in earnest. 

It can take different forms

There are different forums you can pursue for your mediation. One of the most popular options is to seek private mediation. This occurs when both parties pay an hourly or administration fee to talk to a mediator they both agree on. It is also possible for mediation to take place in front of a judge of the court. This most often happens when both parties are in the middle of a lawsuit. This option is typically free, but you do have to pay to use the court’s time. You need to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine which one is best for you.