But My Friend is a Realtor
Real estate agents hear this a lot from potential customers. People tell us they are trying to find a Realtor because they are thinking of buying a house or they want a top real estate agent, "to help me sell my house fast." Then they say something like, "but my friend is a Realtor. They just got their license. Shouldn't I just use them?"
Here are some very good reasons why maybe you shouldn't.
1. Sometimes things can get a little tense in a real estate transaction. Buying or selling a home is very stressful, and that stress often brings out the worst in people. Often times tempers flare. Do you really want your friend or family member to see you in a melt down? When your agent has a personal relationship with you, there may end up being even more tension because you may expect even more from them or they may think they don't have to do quite as much for you. What if things go really badly and you want to fire your agent? How will you manage that? If your agent is your friend or family member, you may end up harming the friendship or making Thanksgiving even more uncomfortable.
2. Real estate agents often work very closely with your lender and end up knowing quite a bit about your personal financial situation. Maybe you have more credit card debt than you let on. Are these details of your life you want to share with friends and family?
3. The people closest to you can be pushy or opinionated about what you should do with your life. If your Realtor is your friend or family member, they will likely try and persuade your decisions based more on what they think you should do rather than what you are saying you want because they think they know you better than you know yourself. An agent who doesn't know you won't have those biases.
4. Let's just go there...just because someone has a real estate license, that doesn't mean they are any good at it. Often times the friends and family agents are new or inexperienced. Maybe they've never been involved in the type of transaction you'll be involved in. Through their connections, experienced agents can often find you properties that haven't even hit the market yet or bring you a buyer they are already working with who would love to purchase your home. Their experience will also ensure they will know how to best structure the deal for you, and they will know what needs to be done every step of the way to protect you. A home is most people's largest investment. Shouldn't buying or selling it be done with the help of the best choice rather than the one close at hand?
I get it, though. You want to support your friend or family member, especially if they are new to the business. Well, there's a great way you can support them and still get the best person for the job at the same time. You are let them refer you to another agent. Real estate agents often pay other agents for referring them customers. (Please keep in mind that it illegal for an agent to pay a referral fee to a non licensed person.) So, you get the best of both worlds. Your friend or family member gets paid a decent amount, and you get a more experienced and qualified agent who isn't going to be at Thanksgiving dinner. Your friend/agent may even learn more about their new career from your transaction as well.