A recent Reddit thread asks whether it is a bad idea to use a close friend who is a realtor to sell one’s house. The poster’s husband is against the idea, worried that mixing friends and business could backfire. In the comments, Redditors offer controversial perspectives on both sides of the issue.
Below is a balanced look at the key arguments around using a friend versus a stranger as your real estate agent when selling property.
1. Friendship Strain
Con: Mixing friendship with business often strains or ends the friendship. Selling a home is an emotional, high-stakes process. If there are any issues, it can irreparably damage the relationship.
Pro: Mixing friendship with business often strengthens the bond. Sharing an intense process like a home sale forges deeper connections. It shows mutual trust and support.
2. Loss of Objectivity
Con: You lose objectivity and the ability to be direct or harsh if needed. With a friend, you may avoid hard conversations or calls needed to get the best deal.
Pro: Friends work harder and watch out for you. Realtor friends go the extra mile and look out for your best interests more than strangers do.
3. Inability to Switch Agents
Con: You can’t easily switch realtors if your friend underperforms. Firing a friend realtor would likely end the friendship. With a stranger, you can freely switch.
Pro: You can still switch realtors if needed. Business is business, and friendships can endure a professional split if handled maturely.
4. Subpar Work
Con: Friends may take advantage or do subpar work. Some friends assume you’ll be more flexible on commissions or service. Quality can suffer when working for friends.
Pro: Friends do better work for those they care about. Realtor friends prioritize your sale and offer full effort since it’s for someone they value.
5. Money Disputes
Con: It invites issues if there are disputes over money. Commission disputes, repairs, and other money issues strain friendships. Keep friends and finances separate.
Pro: Money issues need not disrupt true friendships. Mature friends can resolve financial disputes without damaging the relationship.
6. Separate Business and Personal
Con: Separate business and personal relationships. Issues like contract disputes are cleaner with a business-only connection. Don’t blur business and friendship lines.
Pro: Blending business and friendship is normal and often beneficial. Many do business with friends smoothly without issue. Don’t let fear ruin opportunities.
7. Marital Tension
Con: Spouses may disagree, causing marital tension. Spousal disputes over using a friend realtor put you in the middle, disrupting home life.
Pro: Spousal disagreements happen but can be worked through. Manage marital disputes calmly, don’t let them dictate business decisions.
8. Resentment if Not Hired
Con: Friends can be resentful if not hired, ruining the friendship. Some friends expect the business and are insulted if not chosen, harming the relationship.
Pro: True friends understand business realities. Mature friends won’t take a non-hire personally if handled tactfully and respectfully.
9. Financial Openness
Con: Friends will get a deep look into your finances. Financial details revealed during the home sale process could alter friend dynamics later on.
Pro: Financial openness can strengthen bonds. Sharing finances may increase intimacy and trust if handled maturely.
10. Cautionary Tales
Con: Past problems prove it often goes bad. Many have shared stories of friendships ending after real estate deals. The risk outweighs the reward.
Pro: Many positive cases counter the warnings. For every cautionary tale, many friends complete deals happily. Focus on mutual benefit.