The Cost of a Partition Referee in California

In the course of a partition lawsuit, many litigants start to question what the cost of a partition action should be. In particular, many are wary of the cost of a partition referee and believe the referee costs may eat up much of the proceeds of sale. The experienced partition attorneys at Talkov Law know how to spot an efficient, cost-effective referee over an expensive, time-wasting one. We use this information to get an appropriate partition referee appointed and eventually get a property sold without wasting time, money, and resources.

Who pays for the referee?

In the case that a partition by sale is ordered (as is the case in the majority of partition actions), the referee’s fees will be taken from of the proceeds of the sale of the property.[1]California Code of Civil Procedure 873.820

How much does a partition referee cost?

Partition referees will usually charge hourly for their services. Their hourly rate varies depend on their experience, attained level of experience, and credentials. Generally, an efficient referee will cost between $14,000 – $25,000 total, though the cost can be more or less depending on the complexity of the case.

What are some referee costs?

Even further, the court has the power to: “Fix the reasonable compensation for the services of the referee and provide for payment of the referee’s reasonable expenses.”[2]California Code of Civil Procedure 873.010(a)(3) In our experience, the total amount paid to a referee is usually less than what is paid to the Realtor in the sale of the house.

Caution: Choosing the wrong referees may increase the cost

Some referees (not recommended by our office) may elect to go down fruitless paths that end up costing time and money. These referees may insist that they are doing what is within their job description, but in reality, they are going far beyond what is required to sell the home and distribute the proceeds. For example, the referee may treat the partition referee appointment as akin to a receivership for which they may see their job as beyond simply shepherding the sale of the process through a real estate broker, such as making improvements or repairs.

Caution: Choosing the wrong referee may create unnecessary legal fees

Yet another issue is that some referees (not recommended by our office) may be unfamiliar with partition procedures and the related enforcement of possession of the property. For example, if a co-owner in possession refuses to grant access to the property to the referee or the real estate broker (if they are not the same person), the referee will need to take appropriate action to ensure compliance. This is where an experienced partition referee will be able to assist by overcoming any legal hurdles to promptly take possession. For some defendants, delays are the sole strategy being implemented in the partition action. If the referee requires their own attorney to accomplish these tasks, the cost of the partition referee may be higher than it would otherwise be.

Contact an experienced partition attorney

Not all referees are the same, and some may end up costing you more in the long run. The skilled partition attorneys at Talkov Law are familiar with the best partition referees and can help you resolve your matter in the most efficient way possible. For a free consultation with an experienced partition lawyer, contact us online or call us at (844) 4-TALKOV (825568).

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About Talkov Law Partition Attorneys

The partition attorneys at Talkov Law end co-ownership disputes by representing co-owners in real estate partition actions throughout the State of California.

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