Many Arizona real estate transactions go smoothly, but others do not go according to plan. Disputes can quickly arise when you buy or sell real estate in all aspects of the real estate transaction. Although you cannot plan for every contingency or always avoid conflict in a real estate transaction, you can take specific steps to lower the likelihood of being involved in a real estate transaction dispute. Here are five ways that you may be able to avoid disputes when engaging in a real estate transaction.
Involve your lawyer from the beginning of the transaction.
Many seasoned business owners enter all kinds of transactions every day. As a result, they are often confident that they can handle real estate transactions independently. However, getting legal advice from the outset of the transaction can help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure that the purchase agreement you are signing protects your rights and not just the rights of the other party. Legal review of the contract also ensures that you fully understand the contract terms and the consequences of default.
Put everything in writing.
Especially when dealing with business colleagues, friends, and relatives, it is tempting to leave some details out of the real estate purchase agreement or assume that you have a mutual understanding of the transaction. You may be perfectly comfortable sorting out some details by verbal agreement with the other party, whether you are the buyer or seller. However, if you don’t have a detail or part of the agreement in writing, you may regret it later. Many disputes arise over issues that the parties didn’t include in the contract or that are not clear in the contract’s language. Avoid this problem by ensuring that you spell out every detail of the transaction in the contract.
Document every step of the real estate transaction.
If you and the other party agree to change a contract provision, you should sign a formal addendum. For example, suppose you have a telephone conversation about a detail not contained within the contract. In that case, you should keep notes of that conversation, as well as the date and the time of the conversation, and then memorialize the conversation in writing to the other party.
Be flexible and communicate openly.
As you participate in a real estate transaction, events or other things often can occur that you didn’t anticipate. Instead of rigidly insisting on adherence to the original contract terms, extend some flexibility and work with the other party to solve the issue before it becomes a full-blown dispute. Keeping the channels of communication open and adapting to necessary changes can result in a much smoother real estate transaction without the inconvenience and headache of a major dispute.
Consider mediation to resolve real estate disputes that arise.
Mediation is a confidential form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third-party mediator helps parties resolve disputes in a mutually agreeable manner. Many standard purchase agreements include mediation clauses, requiring the parties to mediate disputes as their sole remedy or as a primary form of dispute resolution before resorting to litigation. Even if your purchase agreement does not contain a mandatory mediation clause, the parties still may consider it, as it may be to both their advantages. For example, litigation can be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive, whereas mediation can quickly solve a dispute and allow the parties to proceed with the transaction right away.
We Are Here to Help You with Your Legal Needs
Our goal is to help you understand each step of your real estate transaction and protect your interests throughout the process. Contact the offices of Provident Law today at (480) 388-3343 or online and schedule an appointment to speak with our Arizona real estate attorneys about your legal matter.