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Why is a real estate appraisal important in a home purchase?

As a Scottsdale resident searches for a home in the area, one of the primary considerations is probably the price. Once a home is chosen, the purchase price drives a large part of the remainder of the transaction. A monetary offer is made and accepted. Then the mortgage loan process picks up speed if it has not already begun, and a real estate appraisal is a required part of that transaction.

The appraisal is done not only to verify the fair market value of the home, but also to provide a certain analysis regarding certain aspects of the home such as its neighborhood, access to it and characteristics of the home that could adversely affect its value. In addition, it will tell the buyer, and his or her lender, something about the neighborhood and other issues that could affect the current and future value of the home. Lenders must be satisfied with the appraisal before giving final approval for a mortgage loan.

Employment law protects Scottsdale workers with disabilities

Having a disability does present challenges to those Scottsdale residents who have them. However, many do not let that stop them from living their lives to the fullest, and that includes finding a job. Most already know that employment law protects them from discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on their disabilities, but their employers' responsibilities do not end there.

In order for a disabled person to correctly perform his or her job duties, it may be necessary to make some adjustments to the workspace. The Americans with Disabilities Act provides that employers should make such changes, or reasonable accommodations, if at all possible. For instance, an employee may need certain equipment or a modification to existing equipment.

The home inspection contingency in real estate contracts

Buying a home here in Scottsdale can be an exciting, yet nerve-wracking experience. After looking at numerous homes, a buyer finally finds one that he or she wants, but now has to wait until completing scores of paperwork and several due diligence tasks. One of those tasks will more than likely involve a home inspection, which could end up being the critical piece of the real estate transaction.

Most home purchase agreements include a contingency regarding the home inspection. This allows the potential buyer to back out of the deal should the inspection reveal issues with the property. In most cases, the parties attempt to negotiate repairs prior to closing or agree to a price reduction in order to allow the buyer to make the necessary repairs after taking possession of the home.

Heard of mediation, but wonder about the process?

Having the option of avoiding traditional litigation is attractive to many Scottsdale residents. Most people have heard of mediation and that it can replace going to court, but they may not understand how it works. Knowing the basics of the process could help them determine whether this method of alternative dispute resolution could help them end their dispute -- whether it's with a business, a future ex-spouse or a business partner.

One of the first tasks of a Scottsdale mediator is to let everyone know the ground rules and clarify how the process will proceed. Thereafter, each party has the opportunity to tell his or her side of the story. During each person's statement, the other party is ordinarily encouraged not to interrupt. This gives each party the freedom to say his or her peace before moving into the negotiations.

HOAs should embrace mediation

Even though many Homeowner’s Associations have agreements that require mediation to resolve disputes with homeowners, it’s a move they should also embrace in disputes involving contractors, subcontractors and others with whom they might find themselves in litigation.

The reason is simple: Engaging in mediation costs less than a prolonged lawsuit.

What is the role of title insurance in real estate transactions?

Closing on the purchase of a piece of property, whether here in Scottsdale or elsewhere, requires the completion of numerous steps. Some of those steps include making sure that no title defects exist and that the legal description of the property is accurate and conforms to what the person is buying. Answering these questions, and others, requires a review of the real estate records associated with the property. If something is amiss, then there is work to be done in order to make sure that everything is corrected prior to closing.

Even with diligence, it is possible to miss something. After the closing is complete and the buyer takes possession of the land, the possibility exists that another person could come forward and make a claim to the property. If this happens, litigation may be required in order to resolve the matter. However, in most cases, the parties attempt to handle the problem before that becomes necessary.

Employment law is another area that benefits from mediation

Most Scottsdale residents would cringe at the thought of having to go to court. Not only is it a daunting experience, but it is also time-consuming and expensive. For this reason, mediation is an attractive alternative for resolving any number of disputes, including those in the area of employment law.

In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers a mediation service that could bring a resolution to employment disputes between Scottsdale employers and their employees. This alternative to litigation provides a neutral party to help facilitate a resolution to the issues between the parties. This could result in not only a monetary resolution, but a nonmonetary one as well. For instance, a party may receive the promotion he or she was denied due to discrimination by a supervisor or manager, along with monetary compensation for any pay disparity that occurred.

Employment law encompasses much more than you may think

As a worker for a Scottsdale company, you have certain rights. You may not know what all of those rights are, however. The fact is that employment law covers and includes much more than you may think.

Discrimination issues fall under employment law. Anytime you feel that you are harassed, retaliated against or terminated without cause because of your race, gender, religion or more, your employer may have violated employment laws against discrimination. Both the federal government and the state of Arizona offer certain groups protections under such laws.

Don't forget the acknowledgement for the employee handbook

One of the best ways that Scottsdale companies can protect themselves against unwarranted claims from employees is through getting the word out. This means that every worker should have an employee handbook outlining what is expected of him or her, including the companies' stances against issues such as harassment, discrimination and retaliation. The issue is having a way to verify that a particular employee received a copy of the handbook, reviewed it and was given a chance to ask questions and receive clarifications about it.

This is where requiring an acknowledgement regarding the employee handbook from every worker could help. This document requires an employee signature verifying that he or she received, reviewed and understood the contents of the handbook. Another helpful provision of the acknowledgement is an affirmation that the worker understands that employment is "at will," which may head off any erroneous claims of wrongful termination in the future.

Which type of mediation works best for your situation?

Mediation can help individuals and businesses find an effective, often lasting method of dispute resolution. But mediation is not just a one-size-fits-all solution. While in every case a trained mediator attempts to find common ground and a collaborative solution, there are many approaches.

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