Real Estate Mediation

Real estate is an area where conflicts arise frequently, and it is often extremely beneficial for all concerned to reach an acceptable resolution quickly and cost-effectively. This is true both in residential and commercial real estate disputes. For example, a dispute arising under a lease may often involve not just a claim for monetary damages. It may involve the use and/or occupancy of the premises, which could be a tenant’s residence or place of business. A contractual dispute involving the acquisition or disposition of real estate may involve multiple parties, financing commitments, and have consequences that go far beyond the four corners of a contract (and again may impact whether or when a party can occupy premises or how that party may use premises). Mediation offers an alternative dispute resolution method to help the parties to a real estate dispute resolve their dispute in the shortest possible time at a cost that is minimal compared with litigation. Very importantly, mediation is not a “blunt instrument” like litigation. A mediated settlement can be as creative as the parties at the table, and may take into account matters far beyond a court’s purview (eg. tax impacts and other interests not directly at issue in the proceeding).

Mediation

Mediation is an alternate method of dispute resolution. The process offers a quicker, cheaper, and less formal mode of dispute resolution to parties who are willing to amicably settle their claims outside the court. The parties agree to mutually appoint a neutral third party as their mediator to facilitate negotiation and settlement and resolve the dispute. It is a confidential and relatively simpler process when compared to litigation.

Dispute resolution through alternatives to litigation is recommended by the National Association of Realtors (NRA). In New Jersey, the Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act (PREDFDA) and the Condominium Act, both recommend the use of alternative dispute resolution for real estate disputes.

Types of Disputes That Can Be Solved Through Real Estate Mediation

Virtually any real estate dispute can be resolved through the mediation process, including, without limitation:

Landlord-Tenant Disputes

Landlord-tenant disputes arise frequently over issues such as non-payment of rental dues, sub-leasing of the rented property, loud noise, or breach of the rental agreement terms. Litigating such disputes to conclusion can easily take over a year. The cost of litigating to conclusion could be a substantial percentage of the amount at stake in the dispute. By choosing mediation, the parties may be able to reach a mutually agreeable solution in a timely manner.

Mortgage Foreclosure

Mortgage foreclosure is the legal process through which a lender can sell or take possession of the mortgaged property if the borrower defaults on the loan. In New Jersey, a program known as the Foreclosure Mediation Program requires that homeowners should be given a prior notice of foreclosure along with an option to mediate. Further, New Jersey law has a mandatory judicial foreclosure process, which means that the foreclosure has to be court approved. Therefore, to avoid the lengthy legal process of foreclosure, lenders and borrowers are well advised to attempt resolving their dispute through mediation.

Sale and Purchase Transactions

Real estate sale and purchase transactions for commercial and residential properties may involve multiple steps and multiple timelines, increasing the chances of disputes between the buyer and seller over delivery, payments, security deposits, and possession. Time is of the essence in such transactions and litigation may prove to be lengthy and expensive for a transaction that is yet to materialize between the buyer and seller. Mediation may be extremely helpful in such scenarios, and may result in a “win/win” resolution.

Other Real Estate Disputes

Some other types of real estate disputes and claims that parties can settle without litigation are:

  • Construction disputes
  • Easement disputes
  • Property valuation
  • Liens
  • Boundary disputes
  • View blocking disputes
  • Security deposit releases
  • Parking disputes

To learn more about how you can settle your real estate dispute through mediation, contact our mediation team today at 201-252-7000 for a free consultation or contact us here.

What Happens at a Real Estate Mediation?

A real estate mediation is a non adversarial approach to reach a settlement without going to the court. Often, real estate contracts between the parties may require the parties to address their disputes through mediation prior to going to the court. Generally, a real estate mediation involves the following steps:

Introductory Session and Opening Statements

The disputing parties, often accompanied by their attorneys meet each other and the mediator. They make their opening statements about what issues they are facing and what outcome they expect. A brief joint discussion between the disputants may also happen. The mediator also explains the goals and rules of the mediation.

Private Discussions

After each party gets the chance to know the other party’s viewpoint and stand in the introductory session, they are made to sit in separate rooms. Here, the parties can privately discuss with their attorneys and the mediator about what and how they are willing to settle the dispute.

Negotiations

At this stage, the mediator conveys and communicates among the disputants about what terms the other party is willing to agree to. The mediator also tells the parties about their strength and weaknesses, what the appropriate course of action is, and tries to make them reach a settlement.

Settlement and Agreement

If the real estate mediation is successful and the parties agree to settle without resorting to the court system, the terms agreed to at the mediation are recorded in a written contract which becomes binding.

CONSULT WITH AN EXPERIENCED CIVIL MEDIATOR

Mediation is a cost-saving, time-efficient, and effective way to achieve a mutually agreed-upon resolution to civil disputes, while avoiding the time, expense, and risk associated with resolving a dispute in court.

If you believe your legal dispute can benefit from mediation, call Silverberg Law Firm in New Jersey at 201-252-7000, or visit our contact page to schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced New Jersey Civil Mediator.

What if I Do Not Wish To Continue With The Mediation?

Real estate mediation is a completely voluntary, non adversarial and non binding mode of dispute resolution. If at any time during the mediation, either party wants to leave and terminate the mediation, it can do so before signing the settlement contract. The parties may then have to resort to litigation and hire a real estate attorney to address the issues.

Why Should I Choose Mediation Over Litigation?

There are many advantages that one may consider for choosing mediation over the court system:

  • Saves Time: Timing is critical in real estate contracts. By choosing mediation, the parties can solve their issues through a few mediation sessions and quickly form a resolution plan. They can also select a time and venue suitable to them for the mediation.

  • Saves Cost: A mediation can be completed at a fraction of the total cost of paying the real estate attorney fee and related court fees for litigation.

  • Confidential: Mediation is confidential. The information exchanged between the disputants, their attorney, and the mediator remains confidential. This may prove to be useful for sellers and realtor companies.

  • Control: The disputants are mutually in control of what happens to their case and what outcome is achieved.

  • Reduces Hostility: Mediation helps in reducing the hostility between the disputants as both sides show a willingness to compromise and form a cooperative relationship. This particularly helps business partnerships.

INQUIRE NOW

Speak With An Experienced Real Estate Mediator

Mediation is beneficial in most types of real estate disputes. Parties can avail the advantages of a simpler, quicker, and cheaper alternative to solve their issues.

Jay L. Silverberg has more than 30 years of experience in dealing with different types of real estate disputes. As a counsel to many corporates and individual clients, he has the negotiation and problem solving skills required for real estate mediation.

If you are involved in a real estate dispute and want to explore your chances of settling through mediation, contact our legal team today at Barrister Mediation Services at 201-252-7000 for a free consultation or contact us here.

Mediate with Silverberg Law Firm

A mediation with Silverberg Law Firm is an efficient way to address any contract dispute. We are presently conducting mediation solely by Zoom. It is hoped that in person sessions will resume by 2022. Call us today at 201-252-7000 to discuss how we can help.

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