This article discusses the potential pitfalls of working with a friend-agent, but whether they are a friend or not, verify that they are good at what they do. The easiest and most-effective gauge is to check their Google Review page to see what their past clients have to say.
As 2021 approaches and a vaccine for Corona-19 is around he corner, the downtown Boston real estate season will pick up, many Americans will be buying or selling a home – and some will enlist the help of a friend or relative who happens to work in real estate. But experts caution that hiring a friend as your real estate agent could backfire.
In some cases, people find that it’s easier to hire a friend rather than invest time interviewing several agents. In fact, a real estate survey of nearly 300 sellers from the Redfin Research Center found that over a third evaluated only one agent before choosing one to list their home for sale.
Before you hire a friend as your real estate agent, here’s a look at potential pitfalls to consider.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, you need an agent with intimate knowledge of the market in that specific geographic area.
It’s important for buyers or sellers to instead look for “someone who really has the local knowledge, the relationships with the main players and a really good grasp of the inventory.
If you want a Boston downtown condo and your friend real estate website has pictures of a suburban bungalow, it’s bound to create tension.
Another potential pitfall is if you’re buying an investment property and your Realtor friend doesn’t educate you on the responsibilities of a landlord because she assumes you’ve already researched it.
A friend helping you house hunt may not want to spend every weekend driving you around instead of working with other clients. That would put the onus on you to search listings and do the legwork.
You may not like hearing that the list price you want on your Boston Seaport condo for sale is too high or your offer on a property is too low, but it’s your agent’s responsibility to give you the honest truth and serve as an objective outsider.
Discussions about your housing budget or the amount you’re willing to accept for your Beacon Hill condo for sale might be more comfortable with someone you see strictly as a professional, not as a neighbor or yoga buddy.
When things go bad it really gets ugly, so Christmas dinner could get weird if you’re in the middle of a really tough transaction with friends or family members, and the lines start to blur between your personal life and your professional life.
Another sore spot for real estate agents is when they handle a transaction for a friend and that friend asks for the commission back, which can make things uncomfortable.
That said, there may be situations when a friend-real estate agent arrangement works out. “If the friend is experienced and treats you like a client, if they take their job seriously and know the market you’re shopping in then it could be the right fit.