Protecting your privacy as a celebrity athlete

Celebrities and professional athletes value their privacy, knowing there is always someone out there eager to take advantage of their wealth and assets. For a famous name in the spotlight, there is nothing more important than protecting their home, family and personal information.

As the founder and broker of Luxury Estates International — and the exclusive Las Vegas representative for SportStar Relocation — I work with athletes and other high-value clients on a daily basis. I was responsible for the most expensive home sale of 2017 and the second-most expensive home sale of 2018 in the Las Vegas market — both to professional athletes — as well as the second-most expensive home sale of 2020.

When coordinating property transactions for noteworthy and newsworthy clients, discretion is extremely important. That’s why I’d like to share three of the most overlooked and underutilized ways to protect the identity of a high-profile buyer when making a luxury home purchase.

Failure to take these suggestions into account can not only sacrifice privacy and security, but may also become costly mistakes that are hard to rectify.

1. Don’t take title in your name

A home sale always leads to new public records. For example, when a property closes in Las Vegas, the deed is recorded with Clark County. Anyone can get a copy of that deed and see who the owner may be. If your name is on there, a person will know your address and have valuable information about your home as soon as the day after closing. There are lots of people who want to know who’s buying high-dollar homes. Don’t think they’re not paying attention.

Fortunately, there’s an effective way to get around that problem. Consider taking title as an LLC (limited liability company) and making the manager of it a trust in which your identity is kept private. Unlike a home deed, the trust is a private document. No one has to know you’re the trustee or beneficiary managing the LLC.

2. Take advantage of non-disclosure agreements

Have an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) or similar confidentiality agreement attached to every aspect of a home purchase. Require everyone to sign it. That includes the appraiser, home inspector, all Realtors and anyone else involved in the sale.

Even though a housing transaction is a personal matter to the buyer, it’s business to almost everyone else, including loyal members of your inner circle. Don’t take any chances. A person is less likely to brag online, supply a blind item to a publication or share information around the office if they know it could lead to a lawsuit over breaking an NDA.

3. Think twice about social media posts

This is a big one. As tempting as it may be, don’t post photos and video of your property all over Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other form of social media. This is especially true a day or two after your home closes. Star athletes and other famous clients are typically buying custom homes with distinguishing characteristics and easily recognizable features. It’s not hard to identify noteworthy homes. All it takes is one or two people to figure it out and word travels fast.

If someone has access to the MLS or even just clicks on a site like Zillow, they can easily narrow a home search down by the dollar amount. By browsing the $4-5 million range for example, it’s pretty easy to match up a few photos to a recent home listing. Suddenly, a stranger knows your address, community and even lot location on a map. If this happens, you’ll instantly regret posting anything to your social media accounts, regardless of how much you’d like to show the new place off.

Don’t compromise privacy and security when buying a luxury home. SportStar Relocation and Luxury Estates International are experts in negotiating and managing the delicate details involved in the wide-scale home transactions common with celebrities and athletes. Just because your image is high-profile, doesn’t mean your personal information has to be. Email [email protected] or call 702.530.9263 to learn more about how a star athlete can secure their identity and privacy when purchasing luxury real estate.

The contents of this article are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The contents of this article should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments. No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this article and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.

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