You have a friend in the real estate business: should you always sell or buy with them?


You have a friend in the real estate business: should you always sell or buy with them?

friends600x400I have been selling and buying real estate since 1999 and, from time to time, my best clients or even friends use someone else when they sell or buy a house or condo.

Every time, my friends are disappointed.

Why this is happening and how to solve this issue, if your friend is a Real Estate broker.

Friendship is like family, sometimes even stronger. Sometimes people change wives or husbands a few times over lifetime, but they can have friends from kindergarten until  the end of their life.

Friendship is a blessing; it is a gift that not everyone will have in their lives. Loyalty is a great quality to have and is always beneficial for people. But when money,  particularly big money, is involved, everything changes. Some people feel that they would rather lose the relationship with a friend than lose some money.

Let’s look at this situation from both party’s point of view and I’ll tell you how I see this situation being resolved, without damaging good relationships between friends.

Imagine a situation with two parties who are also friends. We’ll call one of them Seller and the other one Broker.

Seller wants to sell his house and he feels that Broker is charging too much commission or is not qualified to do the job and he would like to hire another broker to sell his house.

I think that if Seller values this friendship, he could meet with Broker and talk about it. Always offer what you negotiated with another broker to your friend before you sign an agreement with a stranger.

You want to sell your house, but you are not willing to pay commission or you found the most discounted broker in the universe. Speak with your friend and let him know what you are willing to pay or not pay. Be honest and let your friend decide if he wants this deal with you or not. Your friend may feel that he would do it for you for free because you are friends or he may feel that he is not be interested at all and let you go with another agent, without being offended.

Very often Seller would not say anything about it until Broker sees a house posted on MLS or even sold . Believe me, as a Broker / Friend, it always feels like a knife in the back when this happens. Sometimes this relationship will recover but often this is the end. Not because Seller sold with another broker, but only because he did not speak with his friend about it first.

You may think that this was not a real friendship and you might be right. Perhaps it was not, but I have found it very difficult to find people to just spend time with, people with whom you are willing to have dinner with and just talk. We will make more money in our lifetime, but we will not get more people we love and want to have around. Friends are worth more than money: they are an important part of our lives.

I have few friends who sold or bought homes with another Broker over my 17 years of Real Estate practice, but I have not seen a single one who got more money from the sale. They only saved on commissions. You get what you pay for. Cheap agents always build lousy sales. And please do not assume that you, as a seller, know better about the ins and outs of how to sell your house for the top dollar. This is simply not true. Experience really counts.

Loss of money, costly mistakes, and bad investments happen only when the person you trust with your biggest asset does not really care about you. But your friend cares and will do everything possible to do their best for you, because this is the nature of friendship.

I have many great clients who have become my best friends over my real estate career. Great people, loyal clients and amazing friends: I would like to thank them for being with us for so many years and for trusting us with their biggest assets. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!