Preparing for Real Estate Mediation

If you are involved in a dispute about a real estate matter, oftentimes, your contract states you must mediate your dispute before you turn to the court or seek to arbitrate the matter.  

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR).  Mediation allows the parties to reach a settlement with the help of a neutral third party, generally a retired judge or experienced attorney.  It is a preferred choice by many because it can reduce costs and quickly resolve conflicts.

Please allow the following to be a guideline on what you can do to better prepare for the mediation of your case:

1.  Prepare Your Case

Preparing your case includes deciding what you need and hope to achieve.  This includes your claims for damages.  Make sure you prepare a detailed summary of your damages, including estimates, invoices and receipts.  If you have additional evidence of your losses, make sure to bring them and be prepared to share them.

2.  Evaluate Available Alternative If Mediation Is Unsuccessful.

Mediation is often successful because the alternative is initiating or continuing with litigation.  Litigation can be costly to finance when you add attorney’s fees, costs for depositions, discovery and experts.  Even if you are ultimately successful in the end, you may still need to finance your case to reach a final resolution.

3. Exchange Info With The Other Parties Before Mediation

Before mediation, the attorneys who represent the parties will exchange mediation briefs that describe the facts, background, and legal authority that supports their position, in addition to their claim for damages.  It is also helpful to have a draft settlement agreement available for the mediator to review before the mediation.  If you reach a settlement, this will allow you to expeditiously memorialize your agreement and finalize the draft settlement agreement.

4.  Have All Parties Available That Need To Provide Input Into A Settlement.

Don’t delay reaching a settlement because you do not have authority to settle from a spouse, real estate broker, manager or insurance adjuster.  Make sure everyone you need is available so you can make the most of your time with the mediator and other parties.

If you need assistance enforcing or requesting a mediation clause, or need general assistance with your real estate case, you're welcome to contact attorney Elena Rivkin Franz at or (408) 940-5360.