1. Center Purpose. The purpose of the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (“C.A.R.”) Real Estate Mediation Center for Consumers (the “Center”) is to provide parties to real estate transactions with a highly qualified pool of specially trained, objective and reliable mediation professionals to assist them in resolving their real estate related disputes. The goal of the Center is to provide consumers with a supportive and confidential process, that working with the mediator of their choosing, will assist them to reach a mutually agreeable settlement and thereby avoid the time, expense and uncertainty of litigating their dispute in court.
2. Cases Eligible for Mediation. All real estate disputes, with a focus on real estate disputes among consumers arising under the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Residential Purchase Agreement and Joint Escrow Instructions (“RPA-CA”). In addition, the Center may consider and accept other types of disputes on a case-by-case basis.
3. Center Contacts. All correspondence with the Center should include the address of the property that is the subject of the dispute and be directed in writing to:
Mail to: C.A.R. Real Estate Mediation Center
Attn: Mediation Administrator
525 S. Virgil Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90020
4. Fees and Costs. Center mediators are required to keep their mediation fee schedule and any associated policies up-to-date at all times. Mediator fees and policies along with a full profile of each mediator is accesible within the mediator fee and policy schedules page.
a. Filing Costs. A $300 filing cost is paid directly to the Center and is non-refundable. The filing cost must be received with your Request to Mediate in order to begin the process. Please ensure that the other party to your dispute has agreed to mediate at the Center prior to submitting your request. In most cases the initiating party will pay the full filing cost. As a courtesy, we ask our mediators to reduce the deposit due from the filing party by $150 and increase the deposit due from the responding party by $150 to offset the filing party's advance payment of the filing cost. Fees to the mediator are separate and paid directly to the mediator as provided below.
b. Fees for Preparation and Travel. In general, Center mediators agree to provide travel time, brief review, and preparation time without charge. However, travel fees may apply for mediations that do not occur at the office of the mediator and require extensive travel time by the mediator, as noted in the fee and policy schedule. For complex disputes, disputes arising out of an agreement that is not a C.A.R. standard form agreement, or disputes that require extensive review of documents in advance of the mediation, preparation fees may apply and in such case you will be notified by your mediator prior to scheduling the mediation.
c. Initial Hourly Fees to Parties. Center mediators agree to a maximum collective fee to the parties of $175.00 per hour for the first 2 hours of mediation hearing time. Parties commit to a minimum of 3 hours of mediation hearing time, unless otherwise noted in the fee and policy schedule. Hourly fees after the first 2 hours are at the rate provided in the mediator’s fee and policy schedule. All mediator fees are billed in advance by and paid directly to the mediator.
d. Fee Deposit. Center mediators generally require a minimum deposit of 3 hours mediation hearing time prior to the mediation date. See the mediator fee and policy schedule.
e. Cancellation/Continuance Fees. Mediators may charge cancellation/continuance fees as follows: if notice is received 4 calendar days or more prior to the scheduled mediation, $200 cancellation/continuance fee. If notice is received 3 calendar days or less prior to the scheduled mediation, $500 cancellation/continuance fee. Cancellation/continuance fees may be reduced or waived at the discretion of the mediator and may be applied to the deposit of the party making the request.
5. Conflicts Check. Center mediators are required to perform a conflict of interest check in connection with all mediation participants to determine matters potentially affecting their impartiality. Prior to proceeding with the mediation, the mediator must obtain the prior written consent of all mediation participants for any waiver of a conflict of interest.
6. Scheduling Process and Timeframes. Mediators will generally have twenty (20) calendar days from the date the matter is accepted for the scheduling process. If you are unable to schedule the mediation within this time frame, the mediator may submit a request to the Center requesting a one-time thirty (30) day extension. Any further extension is at the discretion of the Center. All scheduling inquiries should be made directly to your mediator and any scheduling inquiries will be referred to the mediator by the Center. Once scheduled, any request to cancel or continue the mediation will incur an associated fee. See Fees and Costs above.
7. Notice to the Parties. Once the mediation has been scheduled, the mediator will provide written notice to the parties of the details of the mediation, the mediation process, and a conflict of interest disclosure.
8. Representation by Counsel. Any party may be represented by counsel. If a dispute involves a small sum and is not complex, parties may choose not to be represented by counsel. If a party will be represented by counsel at the mediation conference, the mediator and all parties must be notified in writing at least ten (10) days in advance of the conference date of such party's intent to be represented by counsel. Failure to comply with this notice requirement may result in the need for a continuance and application of a continuance fee as provided.
9. Post Med iation Survey. Following the mediation, you will have three business days to return to the Center completed Form MD, Mediation Disposition. Please also remind the parties that they will be contacted by email to request that you complete a survey about the mediation process and your mediation services. The Center will maintain the parties’ survey responses as confidential and use this information solely to evaluate and improve the Center program and distribute general statistical data related to the Center program (in the aggregate without disclosure of confidential identifying data).