• How Not to Get Sued (aka, Top Tips for Disclosing)

    Lawyers This comes from a great article I saw last week in the Los Altos Town Crier. Talked about a recent panel of real estate lawyers (now THAT’S a bit of a scary combination of 3 words), discussing numerous issues, chief among them, disclosures.

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    Here were the highlights:

    • In today’s economic times, when much of the market is in turmoil, litigation cases have increased because there are many buyers who want to get out of deals they have made.
    • When markets are good, the RE lawyers are busy. When markets are bad, they’re really busy.
    • Attribute and disclaim: attribute where you get your information. If you didn’t verify the information, say so, and cite the source of your information.
    • Document, document, document: once in litigation, people make up stories, so make sure you document everything, even telephone conversations. Email works best for this and is easy to confirm.
    • Disclose, disclose, disclose: you can’t disclose enough, and there is no harm in over-disclosing.
    • Agents and their sellers should disclose what they know or what they’ve heard — even rumors.  There’s no need to check them out, but they need to disclose what they’ve heard. How far back should old disclosures be disclosed? Their answer: forever.
    • Intentional failure to disclose is fraud.
    • Keep files as long as possible.
    • Finally, if ever in litigation, the panelists advised hiring a good attorney because there are many incompetent attorneys with little knowledge or experience in real estate law.  Beware of dumb lawyers.
    This entry was posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008 at 10:47 pm and is filed under Redwood City. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    Take a look at some of the responses we have had to this article.

    1. Ed, nice post on non-disclosure or lack of disclosure. Disclosure issues is a recurring theme for my blog subscribers.
      Home Buyer Advocate Mike

    2. Nov 4th

      Thanks, Mike! The consequences, legally, for not disclosing can just be astronomical, and pale in comparison to not disclosing something

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