Family and Real Estate: Should Agents Disclose That They're Related to a Client?
Updated: Nov 8, 2021
Are you working with a real estate professional—who also happens to be a close family member—to sell or buy a home? Then you may be wondering whether or not you're legally required to disclose the nature of your relationship with an agent to everyone involved in your transaction.
Keep reading to learn more about when disclosure is necessary. And how you and your agent can go about delivering the information in the right way.
Real estate agents are generally encouraged to disclose whether or not they have a personal relationship with a client. But they're obligated to do so only if they are a Realtor®. The National Association of Realtors® explicitly states that its members must make this disclosure in its code of ethics.
Article 4 of the NAR Code of Ethics states the following: "REALTORS® shall not acquire an interest in or buy or present offers from themselves, any member of their immediate families, their firms or any member thereof, or any entities in which they have any ownership interest, any real property without making their true position known to the owner or the owner’s agent or broker. In selling property they own, or in which they have any interest, REALTORS® shall reveal their ownership or interest in writing to the purchaser or the purchaser’s representative."
The above paragraph uses a lot of industry jargon. However, it basically states when a Realtor is obligated to disclose a relationship that could be perceived as a conflict of interest to parties on either side of a transaction.
Who is considered immediate family? Typically, that means a spouse, children, parents and siblings. It can also be expanded to grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. Talk to your agent about your relationship and whether or not this should be disclosed as each situation is different.
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