Who Qualifies as a “Relative?”

At least in Minnesota, licensed real estate agents must disclose if they’re related to their client.

The logic, I assume, is that agents have a negotiating and knowledge edge over non-Realtor “civilians” — and therefore anyone closely aligned with them does, too.


Ahh, but that just begs the question: “what constitutes ‘related?'”

Answer: one’s spouse, siblings, parents, grandparents, children, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Can’t keep track of all that?

Here’s a shorthand I heard at a continuing ed class the other week:  “If you can’t marry ’em . . . you’d better disclose that you’re related to them.”

The line got a few “Eww’s!” . . . but mostly laughs.

“Tiger Moms” (and Dads) — Real Estate Version

As an agent, I’ve found that negotiating with a Realtor who’s related to their client can be more challenging.

That’s because, instead of being dispassionate and objective, an agent who’s (too?) close to their client can behave more emotionally.

One of the toughest deals I’ve handled as a listing agent (thankfully, many years ago) was with a Buyer’s agent representing her son in multiple offers.

Call the phenomenon, “Tiger Mom – Realtor version” (I’m sure there are “Tiger Dads” out there, too).

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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