Anyone who has tried to buy or sell a house knows how difficult it is to look for a good real estate agent. In such cases, you can’t help but wish that a friend of yours was an agent.
There are a few clear advantages of having a friend as your real estate agent:
- You know and trust them
- You feel they will have your best interest
- They have an idea about your likes and dislikes
- You know their personality and know how they are at their job
These are important characteristics for a real estate agent to have, and you should discuss with them in detail about your needs and ensure that, from a professional point of view, they are good at what they do.
But before hiring your friend as your real estate agent, you need to make some important considerations.
Are you comfortable with them knowing about your financial situation?
Your real estate agent gets to know about a lot of your financial information, whether you are selling or buying a property.
They have to be aware of your credit rating, salary, amount of equity and debt you have on your house, how much mortgage you qualify for, and other sensitive financial information that is discussed. You should ask yourself whether or not you have a problem putting yourself and the friendship in that position.
Do you honestly believe they are the best agent you could hire?
While it might not make a difference when selling your house, buying a property demands a completely different group of skills.
There’s a great variety of house types and locations are plentiful. There are houses, apartments, lofts, co-ops, estates, etc., and usually, real estate agents specialize in a few of those.
Then there are brand new homes, resale homes, construction homes, and other varieties, not all of which could be your friend’s expertise.
Real estate agents cannot assume all roles for everyone. It is essential to have the right real estate agent on your side to land you the best deal.
Will you be able to fire/sue them if required?
Worst case scenario, if things do not work out, how will the friendship be affected? It is not recommended to hire someone whom you aren’t comfortable suing or firing. This is a serious consideration because once you have hired a friend, there is no turning back.
You might be getting a good discount on commission if you hire a friend. But will the amount of effort that goes into marketing also decrease? Will they prefer their high-paying clients over you?
It is important to make sure that your real estate agent is hired because of their abilities and not because of friendship. There should be a professional meeting between the two of you, where you let each other know exactly what is expected of the business relationship.
Without taking all of these questions into consideration, hiring a friend as your real estate agent is not recommended. They should be held up to the same standards you have for every other real estate agent that you have considered.