Q: I represent a buyer in a transaction where the seller has refused to close the escrow and has threatened to sell the real property to another buyer. The purchase agreement requires mediation of the dispute and the parties have agreed to arbitration, but what can be done to impede or prevent the seller from selling the property while the mediation and arbitration are pending?
A: Although the standard California Residential Purchase Agreement requires an attempt to mediate any dispute between the buyer and seller as a condition of recovering attorneys’ fees and may require arbitration to resolve any disputes, a court action is allowed to enable the recording of a notice of pendency of action, also known as a lis pendens, in order to preserve the status quo pending a resolution by the mediation or arbitration. Upon recording the lis pendens, notice of the legal action is provided to all persons who may search the title to the property, including prospective buyers. Read more Recording a Notice of Pendency of Action (Lis Pendens) Can Preserve the Status Quo in a Real Property Dispute