Don’t Be A Target For Litigation

by | Feb 24, 2021 | Appraisal articles

An appraiser performs an important task – evaluating commercial or residential properties to avoid any legal liability claims. While no real estate appraiser wants to get into legal conflict, sometimes trouble can end up finding you.

Real estate litigation issues are more common than you might suspect – and the proceedings can be long and gruelling. It is not completely out of the ordinary for appraisal litigation and arbitration to take years to come to a conclusion. In the case of postponements, the wait could be even longer. Besides this, litigation issues can end up destroying a reputation that you had worked hard to build.

As a real estate appraiser, here are some ways that you can avoid becoming a target for litigation:

Seek Legal Advice 👩🏽‍⚖️

In most cases, the best thing you can do to protect yourself is obtain legal advice from a professional. If you are not completely familiar with the litigation game, make sure to seek appropriate legal advice to keep yourself updated on the nuances of legalities. Lawyers and legal advisors can offer plenty in the way of appraisal support.

Since lawyers are well versed in state and federal laws, they are better positioned to offer you suggestions to stay out of legal trouble. This means you definitely want to have all your agreements viewed by legal advisors. They might be able to point out areas of concern. With the right legal advisor, may be able to gain knowledge on appraisal ethics, appraisal standards, and laws surrounding your day-to-day activities.

Get Insurance ✅

There are insurance policies you can get that can protect you in case of appraisal litigation problems. When it comes to litigation, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Arming yourself with the right insurance covers like Employment Practices Liability (EPLI), and Errors And Omissions (E&O) coverage is recommended to receive cover from unforeseen events that can happen to any appraiser.

Clarity Of Expectations 🔎

When working with a client, open communication is essential to maintaining clarity in the relationship. Make sure to clear any doubts your clients may have about your contractual agreement. This is done to ensure that you and your clients are on the same page about expectations and deadlines.

A predominant source of appraiser conflict is misunderstandings during communication. Simply having open communication is a simple way to avoid misunderstandings that can lead to legal conflict.

By avoiding misunderstandings between you and your clients, you reduce the chances of potentially becoming a target for litigation. In the real estate market, sellers can often have inflated perceptions of the property value which may not match the appraiser’s estimates.

Use Mediation 🗣

Mediation can help you avoid litigation. As long as both parties are willing to come to a compromise, you should try investing in a mediator.

The best thing about a mediator is that they represent a neutral perspective to an often heated situation. The best mediators can bring calmness and clarity to a situation with ease. Additionally, by using a mediator, both parties can save plenty in legal fees that would otherwise be spent in court proceedings.

Stick To Your Agreements 💯

The best thing you can do to avoid real estate litigation is simply sticking to your agreement. Once the agreement is finalized, you are legally bound to perform your duties. Coming short of your agreements is probably the root of all conflict.

Manually storing files and agreements can mean that they can go unattended for longer than you would like. As we will soon discuss, automating your file storing is an effective way to help you stick to your agreements and to steer clear of litigation issues.

If Suitable, Choose To Compromise 🤝

Before you face litigation, you can still come to a settlement with your accuser. This would likely be a comparatively better outcome compared to facing a long and hard legal battle.

Settlements outside of court can save you a fortune in legal fees, not to mention the opportunity cost of the time and energy it might consume. If both you and your accuser can agree to compromise, that is definitely a route you might want to consider to avoid litigation.

Automate File Storing 💻

Manually performing business operations like paperwork processing and admin tasks can be cumbersome. It leaves a lot of room for potential legal issues. Errors in entries, files, and important legal documents can lead you to legal troubles within a short amount of time.

Being able to easily access your files is a big step towards avoiding litigation trouble. Anow automatically builds detailed files and then stores them in one single location. From here, you can access them at any time, from anywhere. Anow works on both desktop and mobile devices.

In Conclusion ➡️

Conflicts and disputes are part of doing business. One thing that you do want to avoid, however, is litigation. Litigation can take years to finish, end up costing you an arm and a leg in legal fees, and ruin your reputation in the marketplace.

By seeking legal advice, using a mediator, coming to a compromise, and using automatic file storing, you are far more likely to avoid litigation worries. A common reason for conflict and subsequent arbitration is misunderstandings and unclear communication. While working with clients, remember to keep an open line of communication and transparency.

Also, remember to carefully read documents that you sign and stick to agreements that you have already made to avoid legal battles. In case you do end up getting targeted for litigation, try and settle it as soon as possible, and avoid drawing cases out for longer than they absolutely have to.


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