Going on 16(!) years selling residential real estate, I really only have two rules for clients I work with:

Rule #1: “Don’t do anything to get yourself — or me! — sued.”

Rule #2: “Don’t break Rule #1.”

While it’s blissfully rare in Minnesota, home buyers and sellers have been known to depart from the path of the “straight and narrow.”**

When that’s the case, it’s crucial for the agent to expeditiously end (or avoid) the relationship, lest they be implicated in their client’s misdeeds.

Time Sink

As a former attorney, I know full well what a time sink litigation is.

I know, too, that good lawyers can parse every phrase and even preposition (“it depends on what the definition of ‘is,’ is”), endlessly belaboring things — and running up fees.

I’d rather spend my time selling real estate . . .

**The three most typical client transgressions:  1) misrepresentation/fraud on the Seller disclosure; 2) breach of contract; and/or 3) discrimination (race/creed/color).

See also, “Trial Lawyer Stanford Hill (aka, “The Grim Reaper”)”; “What If There Were No Hypothetical Questions?”  (No, Really); “Realtors Who Keep Paper Records Are Luddites, Right? Wrong!“; and “Practicing an Ounce of (Legal) Prevention.

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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