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Can you mediate a problem after buying a home?

You purchased a home, and now you're in shock at what you've found. Even though you had a survey of the land and home, there is mold everywhere in the basement and the foundation has cracked. You think the seller hid some of the concerns, and in the time it took to complete the sale, the house has suffered some major damage.

When the contract is signed and a home is sold, you might think you're out of luck. Fortunately, that isn't always the case. If a homeowner didn't disclose a propensity for the basement to mold or that the foundation had previously weakened and had been repaired, you could make a case for having your money returned to you or the problems with the property fixed as soon as possible at the seller's expense.

Instead of turning to litigation, you can consider mediation and arbitration. Litigation is costly and time consuming, so working out the problems between you and the seller in mediation or arbitration may be a better bet. As long as you can communicate your wants or needs in a calm, straightforward way, either of these options can work for you.

Many disputes can be handled in mediation or arbitration because the buyer and seller can work together to come up with a fair solution. In cases where a seller won't negotiate or talk to you about a problem, you may need to go through the courts and file a lawsuit. That way, the individual is forced to come to court or risks losing the case by default.

Source: The Balance, "Real Estate Mediation and Arbitration for Disputes," accessed Oct. 25, 2017

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