I’M NOT HERE TO BE YOUR BEST FRIEND.
I’M NOT HERE TO BE YOUR BEST FRIEND.
Yes, you read that correctly. No, I haven’t lost my mind
I promise you, what I have to say is sensible and may even be helpful. Many people immediately turn to their closest family and friends when they’re ready to either buy or sell a home. It’s a completely natural instinct and I totally get it! Purchasing or selling a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you can make, and at firstit makes sense to go directly to someone you trust, someone that knows you and what you want, and who you feel comfortable speaking with.
But is it really the best choice? Sometimes, it is. It all depends on your relationship with that person and how honest the both of you can be – without hurting feelings or over-stepping. If the person you are turning to is close to you, if they have helped you through other life decisions, if you feel like you can be honest and make it work, then go for it!
However, there’s also another side to this story, that many people don’t think about which could end up damaging an important relationship in your life. Sometimes when you’re too close to the person you’ve hired to help buy or sell a home, you can feel a bit restricted in expressing yourself. You may be worried about telling the truth about your finances, or you may be looking for things in a home that they disagree are important.
Here are 3 scenarios that could play out when you hire a close family member or friend to act as your realtor:
- They are not as responsive or ‘on the ball’ as you would like (maybe they only work part-time as a real estate agent), but you can’t say anything because they’re your family/friend.
- They are showing you homes that they think are right for you, rather than listening to what you actually want and need, because they feel they know you best.
- Your home has been on the market for months now, and you raise the issue with them, which causes an argument and harbours bad feelings.
Of course, some of these issues could come up with any realtor you choose (hopefully not, as it shouldn’t happen), but the difference is that when you have a professional relationship with your agent, you are more likely to be able to communicate honestly and calmly, and at the end of the day you know you won’t be damaging an important relationship in your life over a real estate transaction.
The point here is that you should always choose someone you feel comfortable with, someone who you feel understands you, who listens attentively, has a good reputation for the work they do and the values they bring to the table. And sometimes, that person just isn’t going to be your best friend, sister or brother-in-law.
Being an outgoing and social person myself, I normally tend to make friends easily and work at maintaining positive relationships with all my clients, past and present. So, chances are we probably will become friends, and I hope you’ll call me time and time again when it comes to your real estate needs, but my focus will always be on providing you with the very best service for the best possible outcome – and sometimes, you may need to hear the truth about things, you don’t necessarily want to hear. That’s what a professional and dedicated real estate agent is there for, to protect and promote your interests, ahead of everything else. So don’t rush into anything, have a chat with the agent you’re interested in working with. Do they return your calls in a timely fashion? Do they ask you questions and listen actively to what you’re saying? Or does it seem like they’re just delivering a sales pitch? Do they seem eager for your business and showcase great customer service, with a warm, friendly, professional demeanour from the get go? That first phone call, virtual coffee chat or in-person meeting will tell you a lot about that person and whether they will be a good fit for you. Remember, don’t feel pressured into choosing someonejust because they are a close family member or a good friend, or because they came ‘recommended to you’ – everyone is different and your agent is there to support YOU through this major life decision.
Take the time, think about what you’re looking for and the kind of real estate agent that would make you feel comfortable and confident about the journey ahead, and make the call. It’s yours to make.