Home Selling in La Quinta>Question Details

joyee1, Home Seller in Riverside County, CA

Do we need a lawyer to go into arbitration ? Or mediation ?

Asked by joyee1, Riverside County, CA Tue Oct 2, 2012

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14
Michael Cheng’s answer
Sounds like most are guessing at the process as they've not gone through a mediation or arbitration. You don't need a lawyer for either process. You have the right to self-represent.

Now, here's the catch-22, you probably can't make a good decision on whether you need a lawyer without talking to a lawyer first. Or, if any part of this process is confusing to you, then you should talk with a lawyer.

If you're looking to back out of a sale that's in escrow, the buyer would probably file a lis pendens against you to enforce specific performance. If you got that, then mediation is one way to resolve it. If not, then you can be civil and hope the buyer handles the situation with you like a grown-up without getting lawyers involved.

If you do go down the dark path of mediation, then prepare to spend a minimum of $3K for your half of the mediation costs, even if you represent yourself. If you do get a lawyer, then the sky is the limit on the costs involved. I've heard of parties dropping $100K on lawyers over a $600K house, just silly. And, yes, you can bring your lawyer into your mediation. Now, if you can't resolve it with mediation, prepare to spend at least 4 times more on an arbitration and a year of your life.

Hence, I prefer the grown-up way of just working things out.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Thanks for hitting us with only half of the story!

The question would be; Did the Buyers and you, initial the boxes for Arbitration and Mediation?

The Second question would be: Does Arb/Med cover you trying to back out of the Contract?
I don't know.
That may be a question for a lawyer.

Sorry.
Good luck
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
You evidently signed the space on the Contract that agrees to Arbitration/Mediation:

When you accept Arb/Med you are saying that you do not need, and will not hire a Lawyer; that you will ACCEPT the decision of an ARBITRATOR or MEDIATOR.

Now; do you understand the difference?

If you want to hire a Lawyer to go with you; they will probably not allow the Lawyer in the room with you.

If you don't understand this; then you probably shouldn't have marked that box on the Contract.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
This question is a year old. I stand by my contribution from the time the original questions was posted.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Needing a lawyer for Arbitration law in Panhandle of Florida. Does anyone know of anyone?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 20, 2013
Very broad question. First refer to the contract assuming there is one. It should define dispute resolution. Unless you are very comfortable with either of the two remedies to settling a dispute I suggest either getting legal advice before the hearing or bringing a lawyer with you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
You signed a legal contact. It appears the other party is living up to their requirements in the contract and you are not. If you think you can break a contract unilaterally and there will be no consequences I think you need the advice of an attorney.

"I'm getting threats from the buyers lawyers." If they have an attorney you probably need an attorney just to have a level playing field.

If you have agreed to Arbitration and Mediation, my understanding is that the buyer's have given up their right to sue you in court but neither buyers nor you have given up your right to legal counsel or representation by an attorney.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
You don't have to have one, but personally, I would never represent myself in a legal matter.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
You should ask a lawyer. Agents are not qualified, nor are they supposed to give legal advice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
As Realtors, we can't give legal advice and I would need to review the contract and see where you are at in the escrow process to give any valid direction. There are built in timeframes and contingency points in every contract that afford the buyer or the seller a reason to cancel. I would need to see if those issues apply to your particular transaction. Depending upon where you are in the process, it may be too late without incurring some real problems.

After you've signed a contract and opened escrow is not the best time to change your mind. What were the original goals that motivated you to sell in the first place? And have those goals changed or are you just having a bit of remorse for leaving your home? I would immediately meet in person with your Realtor and go over the contract and discuss the reasons behind you wanting to cancel and discuss a viable solution. Good luck and let us know how it all turns out for you.

Ray Wright
Realtor/PSC/SSIC
Keller Williams Realty
Direct: 951-354-1303
Email: RayWright@kw.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
I would always advice a client to consult an attorney before making any decision about mediation. They can at least advise you on what to expect in mediation. I have been told that most mediators are retired judges or lawyers and the process is much more informal than a court room.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
None of us can make attorney decisions or advise you. I think this is a grey line and I have ran into it more than a few times in 20+ years. It is a court/Judge decision according to the facts. It is a hard call because I assume you signed a contract to sell and the buyers want to close the transaction so there may be monies to be lost to the buyers and agents involved according to the written contract signed by all parties. The contract provides for mediation for any legal dispute. If mediation does not solve the issue and the arbitration clause is initialed then your buyers are agreeing to go to arbitraion before suing you in court. Check the clause where if they initialed they agree to a mediation before arbitration or law suit. I am only a Real Estate Broker and this is only my opinion.

I would advise to talk with an attorney for legal advice. You are obligated by contract signed...

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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
I'm the seller of my home, offer was accepted and its now in escrow. I don't want to sell my home now. I'm getting threats from the buyers lawyers. I don't have my own lawyer but going by the contract I can do arbitration and or mediation?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
Hard to answer a question without real information. Can you elaborate please!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 2, 2012
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