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Real Estate Arbitration

Tuesday, November, 13, 2012

Most real estate transactions take place without any major problems, with minor disputes occurring but often worked out by the parties involved in the transaction.  In these minor disputes, negotiation and communication go a long way in settling the conflict so that the parties can move on with the intended transaction and feel comfortable in doing so.  However, there are some cases when buyers and sellers find that they are in a real estate dispute they can’t seem to compromise on or work through, and realize the necessity of real estate arbitration. 

Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution that keeps parties involved in real estate negotiation from having to go to court and make a public record of their dispute.  In the process of arbitration, the parties involved in a conflict submit evidence and their arguments to a neutral, third party, known as the arbitrator.  Everyone involved agrees that the arbitrator will decide on a final arrangement after hearing all of the facts and looking at them through a nonbiased perspective.  Often, arbitrators are former judges and experienced attorneys who are familiar with the court system, and can provide real-world information about the legalities and talking points involved in each dispute.  They will take the time to look over your case in detail and arrive at the best conclusion to resolve it.

In real estate disputes specifically, arbitration is a great way to handle all aspects of real estate claims, including breach of contract, misrepresentation and fraud.  The arbitrator may request written, formal statements from each party and look at the specific circumstances and legal implications surrounding each case.  After reading over the evidence and providing an informal “hearing,” the arbitrator will “award” one or both parties with a judgment to solve their dispute. 

When comparing arbitration to litigation in matters concerning real estate negotiations and contracts, it should be noted that there are many ways in which arbitration is similar.  Each party may be represented by his or her attorney, and the arbitrator who is chosen will perform the same role that a judge, or judge and jury, would perform if the case had been taken to the courts.  That decision is legally binding, as well.  The main differences between arbitration and litigation are the lower costs at which most parties can arbitrate a real estate dispute vs. taking it to court, and the fact that arbitration is often less time-consuming.