What it does NOT mean: it does NOT mean that the law prohibits “us” as brokers or as members of the general public from divulging or discussing the sales price of a particular parcel of real property.
What it DOES mean: it does means that the sales price of real property is not available through the public record. In addition, it means employees of the Taxation and Revenue Department and the County Assessor’s office who come to know of the sales price of a specific parcel of real property due to their employment with the Taxation and Revenue Department or the County Assessor’s office are prohibited from disclosing the sales price of that particular property to the general public (See NMSA 7-38-4 below).
7-38-4. Confidentiality of information.
A. Except as specifically authorized in this section or as otherwise provided by law, it is unlawful for the secretary, any employee or any former employee of the department to reveal to any person other than the secretary, an employee of the department, a county assessor or an employee of a county assessor any information gained during his employment about a specific property or a property taxpayer gained as a result of a report or information furnished the department or a county assessor by a taxpayer or as a result of an examination of property or records of a taxpayer. Except as specifically authorized in this section or as otherwise provided by law, it is unlawful for any county assessor or any employee or former employee of a county assessor to reveal to any person other than county assessors or their employees or the secretary or an employee of the department any information furnished by the department about a specific property or property owner or any other information gained during that person’s employment about a specific property or a property taxpayer gained as a result of a report or information furnished the department or a county assessor by a taxpayer or as a result of an examination of property or records of a taxpayer.
So if the above-statute does not prohibit brokers from sharing sale price information on a particular parcel of real property, what does?
The Duty of Confidentiality:
In the event you, the broker, were directly involved in the sale, either on the seller’s or buyer’s side of the transaction, then you obviously have first-hand knowledge of the sales price. Is this sales price “confidential” information? In the last edition of the RANM Voice, I discussed in detail the duties owed under the law by a transaction broker. As discussed, the broker duties owed by a transaction broker are those set forth in NMAC 22.214.171.124; nothing more and nothing less. In that section of the regulations, there are three sub-sections that address the confidentiality owed to customers/clients. First, the transaction broker must honor any written agreements that s/he has with her/his customer/client. Secondly, the transaction broker must keep confidential any information s/he learned from a prior agency relationship with the customer/client. And lastly, the transaction broker must not divulge that a seller will accept less than the asking price for his/her property or that a buyer will pay more for the property. In short, unless a transaction broker involved in the sale of real property has a written agreement with her/his customer/client in which the broker has agreed NOT to divulge sales price information, NMAC 126.96.36.199 does not required the broker to treat sale price information as confidential.
NOTE: Even if a seller’s or buyer’s belief that sales price information is confidential is completely erroneous, a broker may wish to consider if it would damage or otherwise jeopardize the broker’s relationship with his customer/client to provide that sales data to third parties.