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Real-estate disputes: Arbitration or trial?

Real estate disputes can be disruptive, especially if they affect the usability of your home. Your dispute might be over a contract that wasn't fulfilled or information you didn't receive before making a purchase.

In any case, when you have a real estate dispute, one of the things you should consider is whether your contract has an arbitration clause. If it does, then you can take the other party to arbitration to try to resolve your debts.

Why is arbitration so common in contracts?

One of the reasons is because it keeps you out of the courtroom. When you're in a trial setting, everything becomes public. Protecting yourself and your interests sometimes works better in a private setting. Arbitration provides that setting with the same type of outcome that a court trial would provide.

Arbitration is similar to litigation, because it is still an adversarial process. However, an arbitrator, not a judge or jury, resolves the case. Arbitration isn't governed by the typical rules of evidence that would be used in a court room, so an arbitration session is usually quicker and doesn't cost as much as going to court. Just like a trial, the arbitrator's decision is binding. Many contracts state that any decision cannot be appealed.

If you have a real estate dispute to handle, litigation can be the right answer. If you don't have an arbitration clause, then going to court by suing the other party is possible. In either case, your attorney can help you prepare to argue your side of the case.

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