This article discusses 5 reasons why you should not hire a family member as your real estate agent.
This woman spent a half an hour on the phone with me saying her and her husband are downsizing and they don’t know where to start. I layed out the steps for her that made sense for their individual circumstances. She was so thankful that I was able to set her down a path to success. There was one condominium she really wanted to see so I scheduled it…. short notice to boot.
We get there and she informs me that she has a family member, a nephew that is a part time real estate agent and he would be handling everything. She started asking me all these questions about buying and selling and she had specific questions about the unit she was looking at. This was going to be a complex set of transactions and would require a seasoned real estate agent.
I said listen you dragged me out here I might as well show you the unit but let your nephew earn his keep, you should have called him to show you the unit and he will be able to answer all your questions.
What was her response?
“Well he doesn’t really seem to know what he is doing, he doesn’t do a lot of real estate and he has a really busy job so he couldn’t show me the condo in the next few days.”
Ok, family member or not there is several red flags in that statement. A good real estate agent should be able to fully educate you about the transaction ahead as well as be able to find time to show you a property.
If you are going to hire and inexperienced family member or friend as a real estate agent, let me ask you this one question….
If this family member came to you and asked your for $10,000 or $20,000 would you give it to them?
Most of you will probably say no. Well that is basically what you are doing. They are going to potentially cost you thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars in the sale and purchase of a new home through there inexperience and lack of knowledge.
5 Reasons Not to Hire a Family Member as Your Real Estate Agent
Experience matters…. big time. I took me many real estate transactions and 3-5 years of working full time before I felt fully confident in counseling home sellers and home buyers. Having a real estate license does not automatically qualify you to be the right real estate agent for a particular transaction
Is your family member actually familiar with the area you want to do business?
Bringing in a family member who is a real estate agent from out of the area is just a bad idea. They are not familiar with the local markets or even some of the specific neighborhoods. Real estate is very regional.
Not only are they not familiar with the local real estate market, they could limit the time they can give you if they are only hours away. It this hot real estate market getting into homes immediately i vital.
Is your family member actually full time real estate agent?
This one is two fold. One I already mentioned… experience. Helping a buyer or listing a home requires experience that is gained thru closing on 100’s of transactions.
Two, do they have the time to properly service your selling or buying a home? The market right now is fast. If you are not in a good home in a day or two of it being listed, you will lose it. Can that family member drop what they are doing to get you into a home?
Do you really want them knowing your business?
There is a lot to a real estate transaction and many time real estate agents are involved in some of your close, personal information.
Should you hire a family member as your real estate agent, do you really want them all up in your business?
Are you willing to ruin a relationship or relationships?
I had a really good friend always tell me… everybody gets funny about money. As I get older I realize how true that is. I have watched friends and family members get crazy about money, whether it is an inheritance or business matters or borrowed money.
There is a lot at stake for you and your family member real estate agent could have thousands or tens of thousands of commissions at stake.
What if it goes wrong? Not only could you damage a relationship with that family member it could damage relationships with extended family members as well.
Final Thoughts on Hiring A Family Member as your Real Estate Agent
After reading this and you still want to hire a family member as your real estate agent, at least have them compete for your business. Interview at least two other agents and compare services, experience and track record. In no way am I inferring your family member is not a good agent and as a matter of fact they could be a great agent. You should do your homework and hire the best agent for the your real estate circumstances.
Bottom line is you have too much at stake. An inexperienced agent can cost you 10’s of thousands of dollars on the sale of your home and/or a purchase of a new home. Remember, emotions run high during a real estate transaction a misunderstanding or expectations not met could but a damper on one or more family relationships.
Boy, won’t Christmas at Aunt Mary’s be fun this year!!