Buying or selling real estate can be an exciting process for all parties involved in the transaction. Yet, due to the nature of real estate transactions, disputes can quickly arise, significantly delaying the process.
In the past, real estate disputes were often solved through costly and time-consuming litigation. However, in today’s world, buyers and sellers have alternative methods they can utilize to try and resolve disputes in a timelier manner.
If you are dealing with a real estate dispute, you must hire an experienced lawyer to advise you of your legal rights and protect your interests. Our Calgary real estate lawyers can provide the legal representation you need to resolve your dispute and protect your investment.
What Causes Disputes in Real Estate Transactions?
There are several reasons why buyers or sellers may find themselves in the middle of a real estate dispute. However, some causes seem to come up more than others which include:
- Environmental concerns: It may become evident there is land contamination, and deciding who will pay for cleanup is a serious concern.
- Delay in possession: When buyers wait to move into new construction, delays often cause them to extend their leases in rented homes, costing them more money.
- Lack of transparency: Often, not all information is readily available to buyers or sellers, and they find it challenging to obtain documentation or complete necessary paperwork.
- Fraud: Unfortunately, buyers and sellers have fallen victim to fraud, so it is always in their best interest to use due diligence when considering any purchase or sale.
- Brokerage fees: If brokerage fees to the real estate agent or broker are discussed and decided upon upfront, often conflicts arise.
What Types of Alternative Dispute Resolution Are Available?
Even though disputes can quickly arise in the real estate sector, there are now cost-effective solutions that can help parties avoid costly litigation. Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can save disputants significant time and money by allowing them to solve their legal issues through other methods, including:
- Negotiation: Negotiation is the least formal of all ADR methods and is used to try and have the parties come to a consensus on their own.
- Mediation: In the mediation process, a neutral third party, typically a professional mediator, works with both parties to try and resolve the dispute. Mediation is one step up from negotiation. However, any agreement that may be reached is not legally binding.
- Arbitration: The last and most formal method of ADR is arbitration. In most instances, a professional arbitrator or panel of arbitrators listens to both sides of the dispute in a role similar to that of a judge. Any agreement reached is usually binding unless a formal court later strikes it down.
What Are the Advantages of Using Alternative Dispute Resolution Rather Than Litigation?
One of the most apparent advantages of alternative dispute (ADR) resolution is the obvious cost savings. Any type of litigation can be expensive and time-consuming and can work to drive parties even further from their goal of resolving their issues.
Instead, ADR can offer individuals the most effective methods to resolve their differences. Some of the most beneficial aspects of ADR include:
- ADR is ideal for participants who need to maintain a working relationship with one another and avoid litigation which can quickly become contentious.
- Allows participants to maintain confidentiality.
- ADR typically allows participants to reach an agreement more quickly than if the case were to go through litigation.
- Costs are considerably less than those associated with litigation.
How Can a Real Estate Lawyer Help With Alternative Dispute Resolution?
If you are involved in a real estate dispute that you and the other party have not been able to solve on your own, you most likely will benefit from using an ADR method. ADR has been a valuable asset in helping disputants resolve their issues and resume their lives.
However, if you are considering ADR, hiring an experienced real estate lawyer who can represent your interests and protect your legal rights is best. A knowledgeable lawyer can explain how ADR works and evaluate your case to determine the best option for your needs.