Should your agent be providing real estate tax & legal advice?

Should your agent be providing real estate tax & legal advice?

No! As a broker who’s active in the sales market a common question I receive is “what am I going to have to pay for capital gains on the sale of this property?” Even if I think I know the answer there is no way your realtor should be advising you on this topic unless they are licensed as an accountant or tax attorney. Many times real estate professionals give advise because they want to service their clients the best they can.  Their hearts are in the right place but they are not trained to provide answers to these questions.  Questions about one’s tax liability on the sale of their home or apartment building should be answered by their accountant not their realtor. One’s tax liability varies individually or how they hold title could impact things as well. Our policy is to always have the seller consult their accountant.

Legal questions are often asked as well. Should I hold title in a trust? What if I stop making mortgage payments? How much time before it forecloses? What type of liability do I have with a quitclaim deed? Does my divorced spouse still have an ownership stake in the home? These are just a few legal questions that agents are asked on a daily basis. Your realtor should not be advising you on title or providing legal advise for your situation.

In most cases, your realtor is hired to sell your home. That’s it! He/she should avoid tax and legal discussions about your sale and most brokerage companies have strict policies prohibiting agents from providing tax and legal advice.