“Can I List My Own Property?”

“Why can’t I just list my own house?”

“I heard other companies allow it.”

“I will do a better job than another Seller would.”

“I know this house, and I would keep an eye on the buyer.”

“I understand it’s not against the law, just an Americana rule.” 

     

 

It’s true, you can list your own home in Nevada.  NRS 645 does not prohibit this conduct.  You are required to disclose if you are even a part owner of a property you are listing/selling. {1}  But when you sell your own listing you wear two hats.  You are both a licensee in the privileged employ with duties owed under NRS 645{2}, {3}, {4} and you are the seller.  It is a tough position.  You should not put your self in that position!  As an agent in Nevada you are not responsible for your client’s failure to disclose {5} and you shouldn’t remove that protection from transactions.

 

When you are the Seller and the Listing Agent you are held to a higher standard in comparison to when you are only the listing agent and you weaken your argument that you were not aware of an alleged defect.

 

Also, very important, if you list your own home, you must understand that you do not have any errors and omissions insurance.  That is why in Americana you are not allowed to list your own property {6},{7}It is typical that errors and omission insurance, which is not required in Nevada but will save you in the event of a major error, does not cover an agent selling their own home.  An insurance company does not want to lose the defense I discussed earlier, that is an agent is not responsible for the seller’s misinformation.  But when the seller is the agent, voila, you have a potential conflict.  Therefore the insurance companies will not defend or pay a claim, “arising out of the sale of property owned by the insured,” in other words, if you are the listing agent and you request E & O coverage for a complaint by a buyer against you and you also own the very home that sold, you do not have coverage.

 

  1. NRS 645.252 Duties of licensee acting as agent in real estate transaction. A licensee who acts as an agent in a real estate transaction: 1. Shall disclose to each party to the real estate transaction as soon as is practicable: (c) That he is a principal to the transaction or has an interest in a principal to the transaction.
  2. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRs/NRS-645.html#NRS645Sec252
  3. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRs/NRS-645.html#NRS645Sec253
  4. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRs/NRS-645.html#NRS645Sec254
  5. http://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRs/NRS-645.html#NRS645Sec259
  6. XXVIII COMMISSION POLICY ON ASSOCIATE’S PURCHASE/SALE (A) Salesperson’s Purchases and Sales on Their Own Account (1) Exclusion from Listing Self Owned Property. The Americana Group Salesperson is aware that they may never represent themselves when selling property in which they have any portion of ownership
  7. https://americenter.americanagrp.com/info/AmeriNet/ProcedureManualFrame.htm

A TRUE STORY OF HOW LISTING YOUR OWN HOME CAN DAMAGE YOU FINANCIALLY. 

 

Let me give you an example of how bad it can get.  There was a recent example where a buyer’s agent was showing property to a potential buyer.  The buyer could not qualify for any of the homes she was shown.  Eventually the buyer’s agent and buyer became friends and the buyer’s agent and buyer mutually decided that the buyer’s agent would buy a home and rent it to the buyer.  A sort of joint venture.  The buyer had a back ground in construction management, was cash strong but credit poor and the buyer’s agent was noticing quite a few good values in her search.  Soon the buyer was a partner/tenant/purchaser of the buyer agent and was living in the buyer’s agent’s home.  And, as can happen, the two began to argue.  Eventually the buyer stopped making rental/option payments and the buyer’s agent attempted to evict the buyer.  The buyer retained an attorney and filed papers to arrest the eviction and then filed suit against the buyer’s agent claiming items such as breach of statutory duty, age discrimination, breach of contract and quiet title.  The buyer, who was really only a tenant, claimed she was ‘tricked’ and that the buyer’s agent was using her.  The buyer’s agent was shocked and claimed innocence but to add insult to injury, the agent’s team leader was also named in the law suit.  Once the team leader learned she was also being sued the relationship between team leader and team member became strained.  Sounds over the top right?  Well the complaint lasted four (4) expensive years and the day before trial a settlement was reached for thousands of dollars.  The errors and omissions carrier denied the claim as the seller and the listing agent were one in the same.  The entire matter cost $50,000 hard costs, which were out of pocket expenses for the buyer’s agent and her team leader.  Think about that.  Four (4) years of your time wasted on defending false accusations. Situations like this use up space in your day, rent free.  Imagine spending 10% of every week for 4 years on creating business rather than explaining old business….obviously the creating business is more productive.

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PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING TO YOU

 

Law suits come from strange places and times and they are bound to occur once in a while.  Statistically, law suits are rare.  But when they do come, it’s like a hurricane.  In this scenario I describe the buyer’s agent wanted to buy a home and then sell it to her buyer.  OK, it sounds a bit complicated, but even this scenario could have been orchestrated in a manner to limit the agent seller’s liability.  First, keep it simple, do not list your own home.  List it with another agent in your office or even your Team Leader{8}.  Second, remember, no matter what level of production you are, or how long you have been in the business, it can happen to you.  And finally never ever ever forget, you are in a privileged employ and you owe statutory duties to even those you are not directly representing.  When you wear too many hats in a transaction your duties and obligations get blurred and you can be blamed for things that you should not be.  Keep your role straight.  Are the listing agent or the seller?  Don’t be both. 


 

{8}XXVI – POLICY ON SALESPERSON TEAMS

(C) (9) Team Member Listing Another Team Member’s Home/Real Property;

(i) It is Americana’s policy that a salesperson cannot list real property that they hold a percentage of ownership. 

(ii) Team Members listing with their Team Leaders.  A team member is in a special relationship with another licensee on their Team.  A team member may be sharing profit, may be sharing listings, etc.  All Team Member are typically declared on the NRS 645 Duties Owed form on all transactions of that Team; declaring that each team member is representing each of the Team Members’ clients.  A Team Member may list their property with their Team Leader.  However the Team Member selling their property must be removed from the Duties Owed and not therefore be both the listing agent and the Seller.  

 

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