What documents related to each real estate transaction should I maintain in my file and why?
All of them………Seriously.
Per La. R.S. 37:1449, Brokers must maintain the following documents in their files for five (5) years:
- Bank statements;
- Copies of deposit
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- Cancelled checks on all escrow or trust accounts; and
- Copies of all documents which in any way pertain to real estate transactions
In order for a Broker to have a copy of #4 above, the real estate agent must first obtain a copy for his or her file.
So, legally, real estate agents are required to obtain copies of all documents relative to a real estate transaction and provide them to his/her broker for storage.
However, there is also a practical element to the law. Practically speaking, if an agent is ever sued, maintaining copies of all documents will make the agent appear thorough and organized and will also help the agent recall all the details of the transaction.
Attorneys use the fine details of every transaction to build their
case and you never know what tiny email “gem” might pop up to save the real estate agent’s case!
H.L. “Rye” Tuten, III, is a Title Attorney/Real Estate Closing Attorney and Owner of Tuten Title & Escrow, LLC. Formerly assigned by RICE Insurance to defend real estate agents throughout Acadiana, much of his more than nine years’ litigation experience is with real estate concerns.