Listing Your Home with a REALTOR Friend?

You want a REALTOR with sales and marketing experience to make sure your home gets in front of the right buyers, not a friend who tells you what you want to hear.

Should you hire a Realtor friend to list your home?

Is it a good idea to list your home for sale with a friend? How about an agent that lives in your neighborhood? And what do you do if you have several friends or neighbors that are real estate agents? Do you pass on all of them and go to someone else?

Let me turn that around before I try to answer. If you are a real estate agent, is it a good idea to list one of your friends’ homes for sale? Should you list your neighbor’s home? Will it harm your friendship if the home doesn’t sell?

Real estate is our business, but all of us have had friends say – “can I just ask you a few questions about __________?” 

Fill in the blank with a typical real estate question about a house or a community. Then, there are some follow-up questions and soon you’ll find that you have provided all sorts of information. You assumed that your good friend would list with you when they were ready to sell, but the listing went to someone else! Then they bought another home with that agent. Ouch. Now your feelings are hurt, your business has suffered, and your friendship is strained.

How an agent can lose the sale and possibly more

When it happens to one of my agents, my first remarks are: 

Did you ever tell your friend, “I am more than happy to share my knowledge with you, but I know there are other REALTORS you know (or that live in this neighborhood). I would like to sit down and share my listing program with you. This is my business, and I want you to know how my brokerage and I will make sure that your home sells promptly for the most money possible in this market.”

Sometimes I learn the agent relied on their friendship and assumed their friends would list their home with them. You know what can happen when we assume! We’ve all done that, regardless of the business. 

I don’t want to mix business and friendship

Have you used this statement as the reason for not using a friend as your Listing Agent or as your Buyer Agent when you bought a home in their town? Did you ask your friend to make a formal presentation to you? Did you ever say to your friend,

 “Can we get together and talk about real estate? You know I am friendly with several REALTORS but I would like to allow you to tell us how you would handle this transaction. This is important to us and we need to make a good business decision. “

Not everyone understands what being a REALTOR involves. Whether it’s a hot market or not, to be a successful, professional REALTOR is a full-time job. 

Why haven’t you been able to sell that house?

The worst thing a REALTOR can do is to take an overpriced listing. No matter what else they do right if they can’t get their client to price their home properly, everyone loses. In today’s market, if a home is not selling, it is not priced right. There could be other factors but if it’s a nice home in a good neighborhood that is not selling, price is the problem.

Why do some REALTORS take overpriced listings?

Watch what happens when a REALTOR takes an overpriced listing. A week later, there’s a price reduction. Then, another reduction a week later, and so on. I’ve seen it time and time again, the price at which the house finally sells is the number they were told it would sell for by the agent who did not get the listing.

What you should do

List your home for sale with the REALTOR that seems to agree with you? Or do you listen to the one who came armed with market data demonstrating where the home needs to be priced to sell in a particular market?

Do you work with the REALTOR who has the sales and marketing expertise to make sure your home is exposed to everyone that has a potential buyer for your home? Or do you go with the one that tells you what you want to hear?