It is said that when a police officer stops your when driving, instead of asking for your Driver’s License, they ask you for your Real Estate License. Everyone seems to have one in Florida! Every person knows at least 3-5 realtors and most likely 1 of them is their good friend.
The advantages in working with a friend when buying or selling a house is that, 1. they already know what you like and how you like it. They have been your friend for a while, they know what you expect. 2. There are not trust issues. They are your friend, you already trust them and you know what you get….the good, the bad and the ugly too!
These might sound like good reasons to hire your friend when buying/selling a home, but there is more to the story….If you are doubtful about working with a realtor/friend, please make sure you read this before you decide.
ARE THEY THE BEST FOR THE JOB?
Are you ok with your friend knowing about your finances? –
There is a lot involved when buying or selling and your finances are part of that. Will you be comfortable discussing this with your realtor friend.
What if it doesn’t work out? –
Is this a person you will feel comfortable firing of they don’t perform? If hiring someone based on a friendship is limiting or cancelling your ability to fire them based on performance…is this the best decision
Will your friendship suffer? –
Are you certain your friendship will remain the same after all is done and over with
My friend is giving me a discount –
There is value of course in commission discount….however, think about it….your friend is taking a hit on his/her income because of your friendship. Will you give up half of your monthly check for them too? And while that’s the case, will they pay the same attention your YOUR house as they do the other clients that are paying full commission? No one is saying they wont, but it is certainly a possibility
I want to help my friend –
Your friend is a new realtor and you want to help…and that is very noble of you. However, are you willing to let your largest financial asset to be the training tool for your realtor friend? You would be taking a great risk and cost you thousands of dollars. Why don’t just give them some cash? No? Then don’t trust them with your home and do not expect to get top dollar.
In the hundreds of homes we’ve sold, some of our best – and some of our worst – experiences have been working with friends. Here’s our advice:
Make the decision carefully: The only thing scarier than mixing friendship and business is making that decision on a whim. Over cocktails. Without talking to your spouse about it.
Don’t make promises you can’t keep: If you’ve been telling your agent friend for years that you’re going to be selling with them when the time comes to upgrade your home, don’t be surprised if their feelings are hurt if you don’t hire them. It’s better to set expectations low (“I never work with friends”) and make that decision at a later date.
Be upfront and honest: If you decide not to hire your friend, be honest and direct about your decision. If you don’t want to harm the friendship, don’t let them first find out your home is for sale by seeing it on the MLS…take them out for a coffee and explain to them the reasons for your choice. If you think they really are a good agent, then offer to recommend them to friends (they’ll appreciate that). Real friends will respect your decision and not make you feel guilty about it. And so will any agent you’d want to do business with.
It’s easier to buy with an agent friend than sell: Selling is WAY more stressful than buying, so if you want to try working with your friend, focus on buying with them vs. selling.