As a Los Angeles Real Estate Attorney, the fourth step in any case involving real estate fraud or real estate non-dislosure is to continue to examine the purchase and sale agreement to further determine the dispute resolution mechanism specified in the contract. Most purchase and sale agreements that use that California Association of Realtor’s standardized form require both parties to engage in mediation before proceeding to arbitration or a lawsuit – depending on whether the arbitration provision is initialed.
The mediation provision requires that the parties participate in pre-lawsuit mediation before filing an action or lawsuit if they wish to preserve their right to prevailing party attorneys’ fees. In other words, in order to preserve your right to recover your attorneys’ fees in the dispute (upon a resolution in your favor) you have to mediate the dispute first. This is important because failure to do so can cause you to waive otherwise recoverable attorneys fees.
In our experience, getting the seller to cooperate with the mediation provision is not as easy as one would think. It can require pressure and following up over and over to get the seller’s attention.
Keep in mind, however, that the standard purchase and sale agreement does allow some exceptions to the rule requiring mediation before commencing an action. For example, if the buyer has not closed escrow and fears that the property may be sold to someone else, they can usually file an action for the purposes of recording a lis pendens.
For more information on a Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Culver City, Hollywood or other area of greater Los Angeles purchase and sale dispute, contact us at Schorr Law, APC, 310-954-1877, email@example.com.