Real Estate Action Tips


ACTION TIPS-Real Estate Disputes

  • Consult with counsel without delay.

  • Assemble all important documents including, for example, documentation of property listings, listing agreements, contracts, photographs, email and text communications, settlement documents, drafts of documents, inspection reports, surveys, plats, deeds, insurance policies and any other document that you have that may relate to your dispute.  Even if a document may not seem important at the time, it may become so later.

  • Keep copies of everything and ensure that electronic documents are not destroyed or discarded.

  • Assemble a list of witnesses and make notes as to what those witnesses know and their involvement in the transaction.  Think outside the box when developing a list of witnesses. For example, in a case involving concealed defects, prior service providers that performed repairs or did maintenance may have direct or indirect knowledge that is important to your case.  In a case involving adverse possession, neighbors, vendors and prior owners may have direct or indirect knowledge that is important to your case.

  • Maintain and assemble a detailed timeline of the dispute including, if applicable, the date and manner in which the potential dispute was first identified; the date and circumstances surrounding the drafting of pertinent documents such as contracts, deeds, plats, etc.; the date and circumstances of property listings, visits, inspections, surveys, appraisals, repairs, etc.; efforts taken to mitigate or lessen the extent of problems; telephone calls, email communications, text messages and anything else pertinent to your dispute.   

  • Print out paper copies of all related email communications and preserve them electronically.  Change all passwords as appropriate. Preserve all records and take steps to prevent the destruction or loss of records, including any electronic records. You do not want to be later accused of having destroyed evidence.

  • Keep in mind that in many cases, accounts and services provided by employers to employees are not confidential as between the employer and employee.

  • Take steps to print out paper copies of all email, chat and text messages (including, if possible, all information pertaining to the date, time, sender and recipient) and preserve them electronically.  Text messages and chats are particularly difficult and, in some cases, impossible to retrieve once deleted.


Do not

post comments or other information regarding the dispute on social media. The use of social media in such situations can be dangerous and detrimental to your interests. If posts have already been made (even if you think the information was posted with limited access privileges), print out paper copies of the postings and preserve them electronically; but take them down and adjust your security settings to make your postings private. You want to preserve evidence and not later be accused of destroying it.

The above are just some examples of ways in which you might protect yourself in the event a dispute arises.  An attorney will be able to advise you as to additional means and how best to accomplish your objectives.

Consult a dispute resolution firm such as Jacobs & Barney to evaluate your case, advise you as to its strengths and weaknesses, assist you in your decision-making processes to resolve the dispute and work towards a satisfactory and cost-effective resolution to your problem.

Call us at Jacobs & Barney at 800-830-1250 to discuss your legal matter.