Can a family member be another family member’s realtor?

Can a realtor who is related stepfather represent a family member his stepson without telling the bank or the other realtors that there related?

Asked on October 7, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Kentucky


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Absent a specific agreement to the contrary, there is no duty for a realtor to disclose a family connection regarding their relationship with a client. A realtor is to act in the best interest of their client and to abide by professional ethics. There is no conflict in this situation. However, if the stepfather was to represent another person in a transaction in which the stepson was on the other side, that would constitute a conflict.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Yes, a family member can be a family member's realtor, and there is NO need to disclose to anyone (including the bank or other realtors) about the relationship. There is no conflict of interest here: a realtor should be loyal to his clients; the family relationship doesn't detract from, but rather reinforces, that loyalty, so there is no problem. The stepfather could not represent someone *else* if his stepson was on the other side of the transaction, since in that case, the family relationship conflicts with the duty owed to his client--could he truly and faithfully represent a client *against* his family? But as stated, when he is representing his family, that conflict does not exist.

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