Aug. 14, 2012
Dear George: I have progressed on the sale of my home to the appraisal stage. There are three homes in my area that are good comps, but the appraiser can’t use them because the sellers and the sellers’ REALTOR® entered into a confidentiality agreement to not disclose the sales price; the REALTOR® was the same for all of these homes. My home did not appraise to the asking price. Is this confidentiality agreement legal?
Answer: Were these homes listed in your local multiple listing service? Does the appraiser have access to this MLS? If he does, ask the appraiser to determine if the rules of that MLS require disclosure of the exact sales price. Some MLSs require the disclosure of the exact sales price to members of that MLS. If the homes were not listed in the MLS, the sales price can be kept confidential by the parties.
E-mail a question to ask George & Chuck or fax it to 713-978-6684. The answers to questions in this column do not contain legal advice. If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult your own attorney.