Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution. It often gets credit for reducing the costs and time investment of litigation. However, you may not always wish to go through mediation to handle your real estate disputes in California. Unfortunately, you may not always have a choice.
The California Association of Realtors explains that many real estate contracts include a clause that mandates mediation in disputes. This does not mean you cannot ever go to court. It does mean you will have to go through mediation first to try to resolve the issue before you can even think about taking things into a courtroom.
This may not be what you want to happen. That is why it is important to carefully read over real estate contracts. If you find yourself with a mediation clause and you agree to it, then you are bound by it, which may mean you have to deal with issues through mediation without ever being able to go to court.
This type of clause is very common in real estate contracts. It is included in the CAR residential purchase agreement as part of the standard language. You may find it in agreements of all types.
Of course, just because you agreed to mediation, it does not mean you have to come out of mediation with a resolution. If this happens, then you can go to court. Agreeing to mediation does not mean you agree to reach a resolution, and some situations are best going to court instead of resolving in mediation. This information is for education and is not legal advice.