Whether one is a Realtor or a first time home buyer or seller, the opportunity for disputes in the Arizona real estate transaction is always present. Conflicts can include: a seller’s failure to disclose unfavorable information about property; repair issues; inspection issues; a real estate professional’s breach of duty; earnest money disputes; and co-owners’ dispute over how to divide or renovate property. Where a sales contract has already been agreed on, walking out on the transaction is not an option.
The Court is available to resolve most real estate issues, litigation typically is not an attractive option for most people dealing with real estate due to time and expense.
1. the cost of litigation can be prohibitive. Most homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policies do not cover the cost of either a defense or for the payment of damages.
2. people in the real estate industry, including inspectors and contractors, do not want to risk their public reputation caused by negative or unfavorable allegations raised in litigation. A negative court decision may even impact the professional’s licensing. Court records are almost always public records and are often online.
3. when real estate is involved, most buyers and sellers do not want to wait a long time for a resolution for their dispute. Further, most people do not want to put the time and effort and money necessary to win their case in litigation.
The real estate community is beginning to recognize the benefits of the mediation process. A mediation clause is now found in almost every purchase agreement across the country. The National Association of Realtors® now requires mediation to be available to all agents, members and their customers for certain types of conflicts. The Arizona Association of Realtors® now offers mediation to every dispute that is appropriate for arbitration. In favor of mediation, the Arizona Association of Realtors states on its website: “Mediation can promote amicable resolutions and reduce the need for a more formal and complex arbitration procedure.” Mediation is not appropriate when criminal allegations are made.
Mediation can be a solution to these issues. Mediation is a confidential procedure where a neutral third party helps the parties resolve disputes in a mutually agreeable manner. Mediation can take place as soon as the conflict arises, and it can be completed in a matter of days or even hours. In most cases Mediation is an inexpensive option because is can be completed fast, and the parties both share in the cost of it. They do not even need to have an attorney present at the mediation. Further, mediation can repair relationships, and professionals may even continue to get referrals from a once disgruntled client. Finally, mediation is highly successful. Most mediations result in an agreement, which is binding on the parties.
Simmons & Gottfried, PLLC
a Professional Limited Liability Company
8160 E. Butherus Dr., Suite #7
Scottsdale, AZ 85260