5 tips for avoiding legal landmines this year

Attorneys say agents and brokers should know what's expected of them

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

NEW YORK -- Some surprises are nice. But a letter threatening legal action is about the worst kind for a real estate agent or broker. How to avoid the consternation -- and expense -- of an impending lawsuit? Three experts at Inman Connect New York offered these tips: 1. Know what the rules are. Some agents like to complain about all of the paperwork involved in a real estate transaction and the number of disclosures they have to deal with, but "a real estate agent complaining about disclosures is like a dentist complaining about teeth," said panelist Joseph "Joe" Rand, general counsel and managing partner at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Rand Realty. Joseph Rand Learn to execute disclosures correctly, he said. 2. Disclose "exclusive knowledge." Ross Levine, founding partner at real estate law firm Schwartz, Levine & Kaplan, told the story of a woman who bought a "beautiful" apartment she thought had three bedrooms. But the windows in two of the bedrooms we...