Attorneys and Mediators

The Latham Square Building
1611 Telegraph Avenue, Suite 210
Oakland, CA  94612

Tel: (510) 273-8880

Fax: (510) 588-4673

Terminating a real estate contract through mediation. 


A common real estate dispute occurs with an agreement to purchase property falls apart and the buyer and seller cannot agree on who gets the deposit.  If the buyer and seller do not cooperate at all, the property will likely become unmarketable until the dispute is worked out.  The delay can lead to substantial damages.  In a typical setting, the buyer discovers something troubling during escrow that the seller claims was told to the buyer before the agreement was signed.  The buyer wants out of the deal. The seller wants to close the deal or, at the very least, some deal.  The deposit sits in escrow.  Regardless of whether the market is rising, falling or steady, both sides should want the property marketed so that a sale can be completed. 

The typical outcome is that both sides hire attorneys and everything grinds to a halt.  The better outcome is to have both sides immediately enter into supervised negotiations – a mediation – with an experienced mediator.  That is where I can help.  As a neutral who has been through the above scenario dozens of times, I can help the two sides come together and reach an agreement.  At the very least, we should be able to take the steps necessary to minimize damages. 

Should you find yourself in this scenario, please feel free to contact me.  Although we are located in Oakland, California, we have the capacity to conduct mediations anywhere – in person as well as online. 

Harold P. (Peter) Smith

Smith LLP