Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution process when two parties work to come together for a mutually agreed upon solution. It's a win/win. There are no losers in Mediation if both parties come to the table with an open mind and expectation to settle.
Real Estate transactions can be very stressful. They don't always go as planned. Most people let issues roll off their sleeves because they don't know what else they can do. Mediation is mandatory in the Texas real estate contract, however most agents don't know how to explain Mediation to their clients so Buyers and Sellers, as well as Tenants and Landlords, don't understand they have more options than letting issues fester in their gut.
Mediation involves a neutral party to act as the go-between to help facilitate an outcome. All parties can be in the same room, or you can be in separate rooms where I go back and forth. It's about you being comfortable with the process and being able to say what you need to say. Sometimes, it just takes the other party hearing you say something for it all to click for a quick resolution.
Mediation can be used in many ways. Some examples are getting earnest money refunded if the other party is holding it up, getting repairs paid for that were previously agreed to but never done, or as simple as an apology from the other side because you felt you were wronged. There are other people involved in real estate transactions too, not just a Buyer, Seller, Tenant, or Landlord. Are you a real estate agent or broker? This might work for you too. Be sure to read Example Mediation Issues to see different situations that can be mediated.
Mediation is fast and it keeps the courts open for other cases. Mediation is less expensive than litigating. Mediation doesn't require an attorney, though you are more than welcome to have one. Mediation can help you get your issues resolved in days and weeks rather than months and years.
Reading about and familiarizing yourself with the Mediation Process might make you feel more comfortable.
$650 per party- Hours are 8am-4pm with a 1 hour lunch break at your own expense.
$350 per party- Hours can be any agreed upon 4 hour time slot between 8am-4pm, earlier start is best in case more time is needed.
$225 per party- Hours can be any agreed upon 2 hour time slot between 8am-4pm, earlier start is best in case more time is needed.
Mediation in a 15 second nutshell...
If services are outside the Austin metro area, minimum time scheduled will be Half Day Mediation at a fee of $450 per party. Full Day being $800 per party. Travel expenses, such as hotel rooms and facility costs, will be split equally between each party. If you know a Free or Lower cost facility, let me know.
Payment is due in Full 72 hours prior to the Mediation or at the start of the Mediation if arrangements have been made. Cashier's Check or Money Order made out to Donna Harris is preferred over a personal check. **If outside the Austin metro, expenses will be calculated at the end of Mediation and payment will be expected, so please come prepared with cash or checkbook.
All Cancellations must be in writing. If cancelling more than 10 days before the Mediation, no fees will be administered, unless unreimbursed travel expenses have been spent, which will be divided between the parties. If less than 10 days, each party will be billed at 50%, plus applicable unreimbursed travel expenses.
The above rates include 1 hour of pre-mediation review of documents, as well as 1 hour of post-session follow up. Anything beyond this time will be billed at $150 an hour, split between the parties, $75 each.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get everyone in a room together at the same time, especially if a seller relocated out of the area and the buyer is here. I offer phone mediation at the same fees above. I will speak to one person at a time, calling back and forth, and we might do a conference call if everyone is up for it.
You may request to hold a mediation date for up to 48 hours. I reserve the right to schedule something else on that date, if you are not confirmed. My schedule is a moving target so please confirm as soon as you know that date will work.
An accomplished real estate agent for nearly 20 years who has received local, statewide, and national recognition for her work performance and production.
When Donna isn’t wearing any of her real estate hats, she is married and a mom of two young children who keep her active, as they are always exploring Austin: from hiking at Hamilton Pool, to sitting at the beach at Pace Bend Park, to playing in the currents of Bull Creek. You also can find Donna and her family wakeboarding on Lake Travis and Lake Austin.
Licensed as a full time REALTOR® since 2000, she brings her real estate knowledge to her Mediation services.
During her tenure in real estate, Donna has been a Property Tax Arbitrator for the Comptroller's office since 2005, has sat on the Professional Standards and Grievance Committee for the Texas Association of Realtors (TAR) since 2005, which enforces the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, and has been an Ombudsman and Mediator for TAR since 2014.
A few years ago, the Texas real estate contracts made it mandatory for Buyers and Sellers to go through Mediation services prior to taking a Party to court. This is because the courts are bogged down, and Mediation is a quicker and less expensive route to move disputes along.
It is Donna's goal to help Buyers and Sellers (as well as Tenants and Landlords) come to a mutually agreeable solution to an argument that happened within their real estate transaction. Let's put all the pieces together. You can read more of her story by clicking About Donna.
If you have any questions about Mediation, please don't hesitate to contact me. I offer a free 10-minute session to make sure your issue(s) is/are a good fit for Mediation.
Bee Cave, TX 78738, US
Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm Central time
Saturday: By appointment