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5 Reasons Your Friend or Family Member Should Not Be Your Realtor®

Agnes Zak

Agnes Zak is an award-winning Realtor with Premier Sotheby's International Realty who is passionate about helping her clients accomplish their goals a...

Agnes Zak is an award-winning Realtor with Premier Sotheby's International Realty who is passionate about helping her clients accomplish their goals a...

Feb 8 6 minutes read

Have you ever been given the advice not to lend money to a friend? As the quote goes, you lose the friend and the money. The same can be true when you’re ready to sell your home, too. 

Your family needs to move or upgrade your home. Maybe you’ve simply been watching the Naples market and realize that you can get more for your house than a few years ago. Either way, you’re ready to sell your home, and you know you need a Realtor®. Your first thought is the friend or family member who’s always posting about real estate on Facebook or mentioning it at a party. 

Hiring a friend or a family member seems like an obvious choice. You know them, and they’re family, so they should have your best interest at heart. Right? Unfortunately there are a few reasons why it can be a bad idea to hire your friends or family to be your Realtor®.

Your Realtor® Should Be Objective

One of the main reasons why you need a Realtor® when you sell your home is to help you keep an emotional buffer between you, the person who loves your home and potential buyers, who may be critical, during showings and negotiations. Buyers will come into your home, a place you’ve raised children in, sweated over, and remodeled by hand and find things they don’t like. 

When you hire a friend or a family member that buffer and the objectivity you need is no longer there. Your friend will side with you out of loyalty, even if the buyers and their agent are right to criticize or attempt to get a lower price. You need a Realtor® who will stay objective and not choose “sides” even if it’s your side because that won’t help you sell your home for the best price.

Your Realtor® Needs to Know Your Financial Situation

Selling your home involves finances. How much do you owe on your mortgage; how many mortgages you have; have you recently refinanced? Your Realtor® needs to know these things to accurately assess whether you’ll have to go through the short sale process or if you can legitimately ask a price that will cover your mortgage(s) and let you walk away with a little extra.

Do you really need your friends or family to know your financial business? A Realtor® who isn’t part of your inner circle isn’t someone you’ll hang out with at a family barbecue after you close. They won’t give you a knowing look if you mention that money is tight or you want to remodel. Your personal finances will stay private.

Your Realtor® Needs to Be Honest With You - Even When it Hurts

When you’re selling your home, sometimes you need to hear the brutal truth. It could be about what you need to do to get your home ready for the market like putting on a new roof or repainting your entire home. It could be the hard truth about how much your home is really worth in the Naples market.

Your friend won’t want to hurt your feelings. As much as we like when people tell us what we want to hear that’s not the case when you’re selling your home. You need someone who will talk honestly about your home’s condition, share other agents’ feedback even if it’s negative, and tell you what buyers didn’t like about your home. It’s only with this information that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

You Need to Be Honest With Your Realtor® - Even When It Hurts

Selling and successfully marketing a home is all about communication and working together as a team. Sometimes your teammate (Realtor®) is going to do something you don’t like. You’ll disagree with each other. Telling your friend or family member that you’re not happy with them will get very awkward.

Because you’re close outside of this business arrangement, you’ll likely break the cardinal rule of open communication. You’ll avoid telling them negative things to avoid a fight or you’ll stop talking because you get into an argument. Neither of those situations will help you sell your home. 

You Need to Be Able To Fire Your Realtor®

Not every seller/Realtor® team works. When your home doesn’t sell or personalities don’t mesh, you need to be able to fire your Realtor®. Can you imagine sitting at the same table at a family holiday dinner after you had to fire your cousin? That’s going to be uncomfortable for everyone.

If your relationship is important, don’t put it through the trial of surviving a business partnership. You might think, “It’s not personal; it’s business” but your friend or family member will take it very personally. The two of you may have a strained relationship that could have been avoided by choosing a different Realtor®.

Do yourself and your friend/family a favor and keep the friendship separate from the business of selling your home. If you really want to help out your Realtor® friend or family, refer people you know to them instead. They’ll get some business, and you’ll be able to face each other during the holidays. 

Choose the agent who will sell your home based on their qualifications, marketing strategy, and business experience rather than friendship or family ties. Everyone will be happier for it. If you need a Realtor® that isn't a member of your family, contact me today and let's see if we can work together to sell your home!

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