I Want to Buy and Sell Property for Myself. Now What?

New guidance from the WRA helps licensees who want to purchase and sell real estate for themselves

 Cori Lamont  |    December 16, 2020
Buy and Sell

You went through the pre-license requirements; passed your test; got your license; began assisting others in the purchase, lease or sale of their properties; and now you want to buy or sell real estate for yourself. So you ask: “can I buy and list my own property?”

Often with many legal responses, the answer depends on the circumstances.

A licensee can be either an agent or a principal in a transaction, but conflicts of interest occur when a licensee tries to be both. Although it is technically not prohibited for a licensee to list their own property or to be the buyer, it is arguably disingenuous for the agent to attempt to represent the seller and simultaneously be the buyer or be the seller and draft an offer for a buyer.

However, licensees associated with a firm should check company policy as to participating in transactions where the licensee is purchasing or selling their own real estate.

Therefore, the WRA legal team created the “Frequently Asked Questions — Licensee Purchasing or Selling Their Own Real Estate” document. This document is intended to help answer the series of statements and frequently asked questions to provide clarity relating to licensees purchasing or selling their own real estate. This document covers various questions relating to topics including disclosure of licensure, commission vs. incentive, licensee with an ownership interest in an entity, and licensee/seller as listing agent.

For instance, this document provides guidance relating to Wis. Admin. REEB 24.05, Wis. Stat. 452.19, Article 4 of the Code of Ethics as well as including educational notes such as there is a distinction between incentive, referral, commission and finder’s fees. Additionally, questions range from the use of the firm’s forms as a licensee/buyer, to completing lines 1-2 of the offer to purchase, to receiving an MLS offer of compensation.  

This document is available on the WRA website at www.wra.org/FAQLicenseeBuySell and will be updated as needed. We will keep you informed as it changes. 

Cori Lamont is Senior Director of Legal and Public Affairs for the WRA.

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