What to Expect – Family and Really Close Friends can get REALLY upset if you do not use them.
As a parent, I developed a theory after observing lots of birthday parties – “Birthdays can bring out the worst in people.” Why, do I say that? Because I have seen some very lovable, unselfish people act like spoiled brats when they focus on themselves for the days (and perhaps weeks) surrounding their birthday. It is no fun for anyone.
Selling a house can cause a similar phenomenon. I call it “misplaced entitlement”. We all probably know several people with a real estate license. People with real estate licenses can often develop an imaginary story in their head about why they should be the “chosen one” whenever someone they know buys or sells a house. On one level it is understandable – they are friends and want to help. As agents, we are also taught to develop relationships with everyone we know so we can be in position to help them with their real estate needs. The problem is that family members and really close friends may not be the best people to lead you through a difficult and complicated decision because they lack objectivity. They can’t be neutral.
Friends and relatives may come out of the woodwork when it comes time for you to deal with your real estate. You will have to be strong. I suggest you pick a neutral third party because you are going to need wise objective counsel. You will have enough stress just going through the transaction. But what about me – if it were my parents? I do this for a living. Well, I would want a third party even more because it would remove all chances of second guessing my motives with others involved since I have special abilities in this area. It would be worth it solely for the objectivity.
There’s an Exception to Every Rule
Work ethic and a commitment to overachieve in this situation can offset personal bias. A real estate agent would not have to be inept to cost someone tens of thousands of dollars by being off on pricing or interjecting personal emotion in the negotiations. It could just happen by accident. When I am in this position, I am high alert and we just make sure our clients get the best service even if it takes extra time and money.
My caution with this post is to make people aware that many times the hidden danger of selecting a close friend or family member is a lack of specialized local knowledge and objectivity. I definitely think you should not settle for inferior service just to do a family member or close friend a favor when it involves an asset as large as a house. Why not be generous in some other way? In real estate, the answer may very well be to select a local expert and have them pay your family member or close friend a referral fee. That way the person close to you gets paid very highly for their (limited) involvement, you get their counsel within boundaries and someone else pulls most of the load doing what they do best. This can be a Win/Win/Win!
Make the Best Decision for You
If you have family and really close friends in the real estate business, I wish you all the best with your decision on who to use. Making the choice can be tough. Hopefully, you will find a local market specialist who can give you a graceful (and defendable) path to the best advice. If you want help finding a local expert, let us help! We are interviewing top real estate agents constantly – all across the country. We may have your answer already. Just give us a call on our main number at 404-939-3202 or email us at email@example.com and let’s discuss your needs.
You may still get rude calls and emails from offended parties. I would probably even expect it. If that is how they respond under adversity… it just confirms you made the right choice to use someone else!