Mediation Required for Potential Foundation Problem with North Scottsdale Home

Question: We signed a contract to sell our north Scottsdale home to a California buyer for $2.5 million. The buyer deposited $75,000 earnest money with the escrow company. At the final walkthrough the buyer “discovered” some new cracks in our Saltillo tile floor. The buyer then demanded the return of the $75,000 earnest money because of potential foundation problems. We have refused to release the $75,000 earnest money to the buyer because we think that the buyer just got “cold feet,” and is inventing potential foundation problems. Our escrow company said that under the purchase contract both of us now have to find a mediator, and then go to mediation to try to settle who gets the $75,000 earnest money. Our real estate agent said that she could not help us find a mediator because her broker will not let her become involved in the mediation process. How do we find a mediator? How much will a mediator cost?

Answer: Just Google “Phoenix mediators,” and you will find dozens of mediators, mostly lawyers and former judges, at hourly rates from $250/hour to $1,000/hour. Your mediation over a $75,000 earnest money deposit should take less than four hours, while mediation with complex lawsuits with multiple lawyers and parties can take several days.

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