I represent a buyer who is interested in several properties and wants me to find out what the owners paid to purchase these properties. I represented one of the owners when he bought his property, but the sales-price information is in the MLS. Can I tell my new client the price that my former client paid for the property?

Standard of Practice 1-9 requires that REALTORS® preserve confidential information provided by clients in the course of the agency relationship after the termination of the relationship. But it seems clear that sales data provided to the MLS upon the sale of the property would not be considered confidential information protected under this obligation. Publication of the sold data in the MLS would remove any possible confidentiality protection that might be given to that information under agency law. A more difficult issue might be presented if the former sale was conducted outside of an MLS and no sales data was made available to parties outside the transaction. Under those circumstances, an argument could be made that the sales price might be entitled to confidentiality treatment by the buyer's agent, and he should obtain the consent of the former client to release that information to the potential buyer. Absent some confidentiality agreement between the buyer and seller and their agents in the former transaction, the sales data probably would not be considered to be protected confidential information since it was known to the seller and his agent. Furthermore, Section 1101.804 of the Real Estate License Act specifically provides that a licensee shall not be liable to any other person for providing sales prices or terms of sale information for the purpose of facilitating the sale of real property unless the disclosure of that information is otherwise specifically prohibited by statute.

How is a property "showing" different from a proposed transaction?

The question appears to be, "May an associate show property listed with the associate’s broker while representing the buyer without first being appointed by the intermediary, and if so, why?" Yes. Only showing property does not require the associate to be appointed, because it does not require the licensee to give advice or opinions (only an appointed associate may offer opinions or advice to a party). If no appointments will be made, of course, the associate will be working with the party and will not be authorized to provide opinions or advice.

If a buyer’s agent is required to disclose that licensee’s agency status to a listing broker when setting up a showing appointment, must the listing broker also disclose to the buyer’s agent that the listing broker represents the seller?

Yes, on the first contact with the licensee representing the buyer.

When acting as an appointed licensee what "agency" limitations does the licensee have when communicating with a buyer/tenant or seller/landlord that an agent representing one party only doesn’t have?

The appointed licensee may not, except as permitted by Section 1101.651(d) of the Real Estate License Act, disclose to either party confidential information received from the other party. A licensee representing one party would not be prohibited from revealing confidential information to the licensee’s principal, and if the information were material to the principal’s decision, would be required to reveal the information to the principal.