Practicing Good Legal Hygiene

Unfortunately, I’m not “paperless” — and probably never will be.

For taking notes on the fly — while on the phone, at someone’s Dining Room table, etc. — there’s nothing like the simplicity and portability of pen (or pencil) and paper.

They never crash, suffer from poor reception, get corrupted or have to be backed up (insurance against crashing).   

But that doesn’t mean there’s not a downside to being analog in a digital world.  

Analog — In a Digital World

If you generate as many (handscribbled) notes as I do, eventually that means . . . you’re going to drown in them, unless you do some sort of periodic housekeeping.

So, here’s my two-pronged strategy:

One.  All handwritten notes pertaining to a file (one transaction):  keep for two years.

Two.  All drafts of contracts:  once a deal has closed, pitch everything that isn’t executed (signed by both parties).

Corporate lawyers (or former ones, in my case) have a fancy name for that last one, at least as it pertains to real estate and contracts:  “the parol evidence rule.”

Namely, if it’s not in writing (and executed by both parties) . . . it ain’t enforceable.

Good thing to remember, for Realtors and their clients alike.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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