Edina Realty’s Proactive Approach to Avoiding Litigation

[Editor’s Note:  The views expressed here are solely those of Ross Kaplan, and do not represent Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, or any other entity referenced.]

Just to be clear:  “The Grim Reaper” isn’t my name for Mr. Hill — that’s what he calls himself. 

That’s because no Realtor wants to be on a first-name (or any name!) basis with him.

If you are, it means you’re a defendant in a lawsuit, and Mr. Hill has been retained to represent you (note:  Edina Realty engages Mr. Hill as its outside counsel).

3D (“Discover, Disclose, Document”)

The good news for agents is that litigation is almost entirely preventable.


By practicing what Mr. Hill calls “3D”:  “Discover, Disclose, and Document.”

Step #2:  dispatching Mr. Hill to speak to hundreds of Edina Realty agents annually, educating them (Mr. Hill was the featured speaker this Tuesday at Edina Realty — City Lakes’ weekly meeting).

Smart.  Very smart.

An Ounce of (Legal) Prevention; Avoiding “He Said/She Said”

As agents know (or should), even if their clients don’t, the statute of limitations for alleging Realtor misconduct is six years.

Which means good agents develop a reliable system for documenting each file they handle ” and an archival system for storing same (hint:  mine involves copious amounts of yellow legal stationery ” a low tech carryover from my days as a corporate attorney).

P.S.:  According to Mr. Hill, the real reason for state-mandated Seller Disclosure (the law in Minnesota since 1994) isn’t to protect consumers.

Rather, it’s to protect agents.

That’s because it clearly shifts responsibility for any representations about the home from the listing agent (representing the Seller) to the homeowner.

Also: Mr. Hill has a doppelganger: ’50’s and ’60’s Western actor Clint Walker (pictured above right).

See also, “MN Association of Realtors Legal Hotline! May I Help You??“; “The Three Most Dangerous Lines in Residential Real Estate”; “What If There Were No Hypothetical Questions?” (No, Really); 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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