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FAQs

What does it mean when someone says Montana is a non-disclosure state?


MOR legal counsel, Jaymie Bowditch, provided the following insight: Montana, like 10-12 other states, is a non-reporting state. This means that sales prices on real property transactions is not reported and, therefore, not public information. Montana also has fairly strong privacy laws. Based on this and Montana’s non-reporting status it is likely that parties to a real estate transaction have a reasonable expectation that the information on what they sold or purchased property for is at least quasiconfidential and, therefore, not reportable to the public (or a public facing website) without authorization. That said, there is no language in the MAR buy-sell agreements that expressly states that information about the transaction is to be treated by the buyer and seller as confidential. Therefore, it is likely that a buyer or seller can authorize others, including their respective agents, to disclose this information. In fact such authorization language is expressly included in the MAR listing agreements which states that the seller “authorizes Broker to disseminate sold data on the Property notwithstanding the expiration or termination of this Agreement.” Based on the foregoing, a seller agent is able to provide sold data concerning the property to the MLS. However, there is not corresponding language in the buyer broker agreements. Therefore, buyer agents who desire to disclose property sales information need to obtain that authorization from the buyer.




As a buyer agent or as a seller agent am I allowed to post the sales price for display on the public facing portion of a third-party website?


Short Answer: Depends…. If you look at this question from the State of Montana point of view, you might want to ask yourself a few more questions: Do you have express authorization to do so? Is the third-party website public facing?

Context: Montana, like 10-12 other states, is a non-reporting state. This means that sales prices on real property transactions are not reported and, therefore, not public information. Additionally, Montana also has fairly strong privacy laws. Based on this it is likely that parties to a real estate transaction have a reasonable expectation that the information on what they sold or purchased property for is at least quasi-confidential and, therefore, not reportable to the public (including through display on a public facing website) without authorization.

There is no language in the MAR buy-sell agreements that expressly states that information about the transaction is to be treated by the buyer and seller as confidential. Therefore, it is likely that a buyer or seller can authorize others, including their respective agents, to disclose this information. In fact such authorization language is expressly included in the MAR listing agreements that state that the seller “authorizes Broker to disseminate sold data on the Property notwithstanding the expiration or termination of this Agreement.” However, it could be argued (and potentially would be argued) that the intent of this language is limited to distribution of sold data to the MLS. As an additional note, the buyer broker agreement does not contain any language expressly authorizing a buyer agent to disseminate or otherwise disclose the sold (purchase) data.

While the authorization for dissemination of sold data in the MAR listing is not exclusive to the MLS, before posting this data to third parties who may make this information available to the public members should ensure that they have proper authorization to do so.