How Do You Manage the Lawsuit Risk in Your Real Estate Business? Could You Do it Better?

Hand stopping dominos from falling down

Managing the risk of E&O claims and lawsuits is especially important in real estate. One serious lawsuit could destroy your business — or your reputation. So you want to put procedures in place and identify resources to help reduce your risk as the first line of defense. 

With an effective risk management plan, you’ll have the means to defend a claim, reduce a claim, or potentially even avoid a claim altogether.  

Why Prevention is Better than Cure

E&O claims and real estate lawsuits can cause you stress and financial hardship, disrupt your business, and negatively impact your reputation.  Ideally, you want to prevent problems from happening. And resolve issues before they escalate.  

As part of our commitment to prevention, CRES includes pre-claim Legal Advisory Services with all E&O + ClaimPrevent® policies.  It’s just one way we prove we’re serious about the daily protection of your business

This pre-claim Legal Help is designed to help prevent issues from reaching the claim or lawsuit stage.  And it’s not like any other “legal hotline” you may have experienced.

Speak to An Experienced Attorney 7 Days a Week 

All risk management services aren’t the same.  CRES Legal Advisory Services go far beyond what competitors offer:

  • Unlike other real estate E&O that just helps you AFTER you have a claim, we help you before you ever have a claimSo you get more daily value from your E&O.
  • CRES Legal Service is staffed by highly experienced real estate litigators.  You won’t deal with junior attorneys or inexperienced staff.
  • We go far beyond most legal hotlines — that tend to focus on your state association’s forms. You can ask questions, have an attorney write a letter, review a contract or addenda, and more. And you’ll always get advice confirmed in writing.
  • Our Legal Services are available 7 days a week, with attorney responses guaranteed within 4 hours or next business day.

How the CRES Legal Helpline Can Help You

Our risk management attorneys can help you with any legal questions and risk related issues. The Legal Helpline can help in 4 main ways:

  • Phone consultations
  • Contract and document reviews
  • Attorney letters
  • Sample documents

Let’s take a look at each of these services and how they can help you to protect your business.

Phone Consultations

Many things can happen throughout a real estate transaction. And not all transactions go as planned. You could face a lawsuit from clients, tenants, or third parties. For example, a prospective buyer might be injured during an open house, your real estate signage could fly away into an oncoming vehicle, or a buyer could sue you for allegedly failing to disclose essential information during the sale. 

Whenever you face a situation that you’re unsure about, or something in a transaction you don’t know how to handle, you can call the CRES Legal Helpline. When you call the Legal Helpline, you’ll be speaking with an experienced risk management litigator. So you can be confident the advice you receive is from an expert who cares as much about preventing a claim as you do. Just one phone call can save months of litigation.

Contract and Document Reviews

CRES also offers a contract and document review service. This means members can be sure they are protected in their client contracts, agreements and in all documentation used as part of the real estate transaction. 

If you’re a CRES E&O policy holder, you can email or fax your documents to us and they’ll be reviewed by an experienced risk management attorney.

Attorney Letters

Written correspondence in a legal situation is so important, and it’s critical to not say anything that could indicate you are accepting liability. It’s always best to obtain the advice of an attorney to ensure you don’t put yourself in a vulnerable position unnecessarily. Our attorneys can write letters on your behalf in connection to any real estate matter not otherwise excluded. So, if you’ve been served with a letter of intent to sue, don’t risk replying yourself.  Contact CRES to discuss it with an attorney, and one of our experts will write a response on your behalf. 

Sample Documents 

The CRES risk management team can also draft documents such as releases or supplements to the purchase contract on behalf of members to assist in transactions. 

Rest Easy with CRES E&O + ClaimPrevent® 

CRES risk management Legal Advisory Services are available for CRES members with a valid Errors and Omissions (E&O) policy.  CRES offers a premium service, very different from other insurers. Our focus on prevention and providing the highest quality risk management services for our members really sets us apart from the competition. 

When you’re ready for superior E&O insurance coverage and premium risk management and claim prevention, contact the friendly CRES team at 800-880-2747 for a confidential discussion. 

This blog/website is made available by CRES Insurance Services for educational purposes to give you general information and understanding of legal risks and insurance options, not to provide specific legal advice. This blog/website should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. Claims examples are for illustrative purposes only. Read your policy for a complete description of what is covered and excluded.

Originally Published October 2, 2019

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