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Real estate mediation and arbitration in Washington State

Almost any kind of conflict can be solved using mediation or arbitration in Washington State. Before you settle on going to court, these options could be worth trying because they help you achieve the same outcome, only faster and at an affordable cost.

Understanding mediation and arbitration in real estate conflicts

Mediation is an informal negotiation in real estate disputes in which an impartial third party, known as the mediator, helps both sides reach an agreement. The mediator does not make any decisions and, instead, facilitates the discussion so that both parties can reach a mutually agreeable solution. To make your terms legally binding, you must have them in writing and have the court notarize them.x

On the contrary, arbitration is similar to real estate litigation except that both parties agree to have an arbitrator settle their dispute instead of a judge or jury. The arbitrator will hear both sides of the argument and then make a decision based on the evidence presented. The arbitrator’s decision binds both parties, and they must adhere to it as if it were decided by the court.

When to consider mediation and arbitration

Mediation or arbitration may be the best option if you have a dispute with your landlord or tenant. Also, if you are buying or selling a home, and there is a disagreement over the price, contracts or a tree growing on the fence that you want to cut down.

When to avoid mediation and arbitration

Mediation or arbitration may not be the best choice if the other party is unwilling to participate in good faith. Remember, for your agreed-upon terms to hold, you must have both willingly partook in the process. In addition, if the dispute is complex, or there is a lot of money at stake, you may want to consider going to court instead.

Mediation and arbitration are viable options for resolving any real estate issue. However, it’s important to understand your circumstances and weigh the pros and cons before opting for either.