What Are Real Estate Lawsuit Settlements? 


Disputes are common anywhere real estate transactions occur, whether in local broker marketplaces or individual engagements. Many people who encounter such disputes file lawsuits asking the courts to enforce their rights and resolve their disputes one way or the other.

However, real estate litigation can be time-consuming and extra expensive. There is also no guarantee that you will win your case.

Fortunately, you have the option of resolving your real estate dispute outside of the court system through a process known as a real estate lawsuit settlement, whether you’re a listing agent, real estate buyer/ seller, or real estate agent. The settlement process involves serious negotiations between both parties, culminating in a reasonable agreement. The settlement finalized would lead to the termination of the lawsuit and lay the dispute to rest.

However, the negotiation process could be difficult to navigate. Yet, it is crucial because whatever happens during the process determines whether you get a fair and reasonable settlement and satisfactory outcome. 

Our real estate lawyers in Warrenton, VA, at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, have represented real estate litigants in several settlement negotiations and mediation conferences. They can help guide you as you work to resolve your case out of court.

For now, read on to learn more about real estate disputes, the benefits of settlement, and things that could help you succeed with the process. 

Common Causes of Real Estate Lawsuits

Generally, real estate disputes that lead to lawsuits arise when parties disagree on certain terms and conditions, fail to comply with their duties and obligations, or misrepresent important facts to the other party.

Some of the common reasons for such disputes include:

  • Breach of contract

  • Failure by real estate agents to disclose hidden or extra costs

  • Failure to pay broker commissions

  • Defective construction

  • Violation of homeowners association rules

  • Boundary disputes

  • Title or ownership disputes

Sometimes, when many people are involved or when there’s a common defendant, such as a real estate development company, the dispute could lead to class action lawsuits. To avoid the bad press from such lawsuits, the defendant may initiate a settlement and offer to compensate those affected by their actions.

In such cases, whether or not you accept the settlement is up to you. But before making a decision either way, consult an attorney to learn your options and determine which path would offer you the most benefits based on the facts of your case. 

Why Settle Your Real Estate Lawsuit? 

In the heat of the moment, you might think a lawsuit is the best way to resolve your real estate dispute against industry professionals or individuals. But lawsuits are only one dispute resolution alternative. An out-of-court settlement is also a viable option for several reasons, including the following:

  • It can help you avoid the delays and legal expenses, including attorneys fees associated with the litigation process.

  • An amicable settlement can help you maintain or preserve your relationship with the person on the other side if that is one of your goals.

  • Lawsuits could be unpredictable, and the judgment could go either way, no matter how good you think your case is. With a settlement, you have more control over the process, which makes a satisfactory outcome more likely. 

When Can You Settle Your Real Estate Lawsuit? 

Ongoing lawsuits can be settled anytime while the case is pending and before judgment is delivered. But once the judgment is delivered on the lawsuit, the judgment, whichever way it swings, becomes binding on all parties.

If you dispute the judgment, your only option may be to file an appeal before a higher court. 

How To Settle Your Real Estate Lawsuit

The real estate settlement process involves negotiations between you and the other party or parties to the lawsuit.

Any party may initiate the process, but usually, who initiates it doesn’t affect the outcome. How you conduct yourself and the steps you take to secure your interests and get a fair settlement is what matters.

Remember that every party at the negotiation table is there to represent themselves, no matter how nice they are. So it would be best if you protected yourself, too, to ensure you get the best possible outcome in the circumstances.

Here are some tips for you to consider before the process begins:

  •  Gather all the information, documents, and evidence that strengthens your position with the help of your real estate lawyer.

  • You’ll also need to decide what a fair settlement means to you so you stay within that during the negotiation process.

  • Do not be too quick to accept any offer the other party makes. Scrutinize the offer to ensure that accepting it would be more beneficial to you than a rejection. Feel free to make a counter-offer of your own detailing your specific wishes and terms of resolution. 

  • Do not be afraid to pull the plug on the settlement and go back to court if the other party is unyielding. With help from a skilled real estate litigation lawyer, you can steer the lawsuit toward a positive outcome. 

  • Do not go through the negotiation process without professional representation from a real estate lawyer. Most lawyers, by their training, are also skilled negotiators. They know when to concede and stand firm during negotiations.

    You can rely on an attorney to advance your interests while working to ensure the negotiation does not spiral out of control. Moreover, the other party may already have their legal team on standby. It is in your best interest to do the same to level the playing field.

Finalizing the Settlement

If all the parties involved agree after the back-and-forth of the negotiation process, the proposed settlement agreement would need to be drafted into a formal document.

By Virginia law, the settlement agreement is enforceable once both parties sign it, just like any written contract.

Upon request of the parties, the judge can include the agreement as part of the judgment when they dispose of the case. If that happens, it becomes enforceable, just like any other court judgment. In that case, any party who fails to fulfill their obligations under the agreement could face serious legal sanctions. 

Is Settlement Appropriate in All Cases? 

While an out-of-court settlement offers many benefits, it may not be appropriate in all cases. A common example is when the dispute involves allegations of real estate fraud or criminal activity. In such cases, it would be better to let the court decide on the dispute to prevent the offender from perpetrating similar acts in the future.

Contact Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, for Help With Your Real Estate Lawsuit Settlement

Settlement of real estate lawsuits is a good way to stop litigation without compromising your rights, especially since it could offer you a far better outcome than litigation. 

Our skilled lawyers at Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, understand how the process works and can help you navigate the process and steer you towards a fair and reasonable settlement for your trouble.

We also offer various legal services related to  Real estate transactions, including  

  • Sale of real property

  • Title investigation and due diligence

  • Document review and preparation

  • Review of financing and mortgage agreements

  • Real estate litigation.

No matter your real estate law needs, you can trust us to handle your case professionally and with your best interests in mind.

Contact us today to speak with an experienced real estate lawyer at ou law firm and get the quality legal help you deserve.


Contact Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC Offices Today!

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