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Real Estate “Experts” -----Detrimental or Beneficial?

Real Estate Agent with Liberty Homes RS-#62825

Do you have a family member or friend who claims they know more than the REALTOR®, the Loan Officer, the Home Inspector, the Termite Inspector AND the Escrow Officer too?


There ARE pros and cons in all situations.


You may not see the benefits while Nosey Nellie is nosing around. This is the friend or relative that insists they have to be with your client through all parts of purchasing a home and whispers to your client constantly.


You may see the detrimental effects when Snooping Sam is right there giving his advice on EVERYTHING.  You slowly see your client siding with him and challenging everything you are saying.


What can we do in these situations when our client insists they need this person for emotional support?


  • Allow the family member /friend to speak. I politely correct them if they are wrong and give an answer why without trying to embarrass him/her.  I am a seasoned professional.
  • If the family member/ friend is whispering, I will ask them if they have questions so I am in the ‘group’ conversation. Until my client feels more comfortable, I realize they need the emotional support.  Sixth Sense.
  • The family member/friend keep giving opinions like their word is sacred.  I immediately give my client options and explanations. I let them know that THEY are the ones who ultimately have the say so. Boundaries.


It may be extra work but there may be other circumstances why the client has their family member/friend present. (i.e. they are giving the client their money down) 


If this situation becomes unbearable and the family member/friend is causing more harm than good I will surely let the client know! In most cases, they have lost the home they really loved.  Sometimes, they need to go through this before realizing that they need to listen to a Real Estate Professional.


In our Hawaii Homes Market we know that our inventory is low and there will be multiple offers on a lot of the properties available for sale.  There are different professionals in the Real Estate Industry for a reason and all have their place. 


Listen to your real estate professional.

Or lose the home you really love.


Posted by



Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

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Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

I give the facts and try to answer their questions. I agree with Lenn that you can't argue with them. It's up to the buyer and if they choose to listen to their friends or whomever then maybe they aren't ready to buy a home. If every decision has to be a summit meeting, then I gracefully back out.

Dec 26, 2012 03:25 AM
Sylvia Jonathan
Coldwell Banker Platinum Properties - Irvine, CA
Broker Associate, SFR

In most cases, diffusing the friend or family member by letting them speak works. I would rather meet the friend and observe them interact than have the buyer go home and then get his or her head turned around while I can't have input.

Occasionally, friends are simply self-serving deal killers. They can't buy a home, or theirs is not as nice, and they can't stand their "friend" having one. This is difficult to overcome until the buyers lose one or two deals and are kicking themselves afterward for listening to the "expert" know-it-alls.

Dec 26, 2012 03:48 AM
Travis "the SOLD man" Parker; Broker/Owner
Travis Realty - Enterprise, AL
email: Travis@theSOLDman.me / cell: 334-494-7846

I like the way you handle "the house whisperer" friend. Good way to ease into the conversation!

Dec 26, 2012 04:05 AM
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team

Hi Sally, we agree.  We sometimes see it with a parent helping their child or vice verse.  The worst are the homebrew "inspectors".

Dec 26, 2012 04:13 AM
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

Sally, this is great advice! I had a buyer last year that brought their best friend to each showing. The "friend" explained why EVERY house wasn't worth it. Turns out the "friend" thought that buying ANY house was a waste and lived in an apartment for years.

Dec 26, 2012 04:33 AM
Kimo Jarrett
Cyber Properties - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Regardless of who the buyers rely on for advice, we must accentuate the buyers benefits with positive consequences, like personal tax incentives, fixed home payments, freedom to remodel, change to their lifestyle, etc., and adapt to their circumstances. If the buyer isn't buying today, he'll buy in the future or not ever, so as long as it's not ever, you still have an opportunity to provide them service. Be persistent and visible, provide valuable, useful information and be the expert in your neighborhood.

Dec 26, 2012 04:34 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I wouldn't have a problem with the tag-a-longs IF I didn't get the feeling that it then becomes an "them" vs. "me" bash.  I've had parents at home inspections and I'm not making this up, the mother said "Oh, I watch HGTV all the time" . . . which makes me really, really wonder.  Does watching Sesame Street all the time make me a pre-school teacher?!?

Dec 26, 2012 04:58 AM
Ron Aguilar
Gateway Mortgage Group - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Sally, thanks for the currently relevant post.

Dec 26, 2012 07:17 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Sally,

When Snooping Sam or Nosey Nelly say something that is right, I try to praise them, so they feel validated and not so offended, when I correct their opinions later. Sometimes, prefacing it with "That is what I thought, but then I learned ...." or "You would be surprised to know that the opposite is true." helps to diffuse the situation without alienating the "expert."

Dec 26, 2012 07:26 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

As Realtors we are fortunate that most clients have minds of their own. For those who seek reassurance, we can only hope that their friends or relatives are listeners!

Dec 26, 2012 10:01 AM
Bob Marshall
Home Smart Ion Real Estate - Lynnwood, WA

Hi Sally.  I am in total agreement with wu are saying.  I have seen where the client has a "son" who is a "genius" and will listen to anything this person says, and there is never a house that this "genius" will see as perfect for Mom & Dad.  When we run into this situation, there is almost nothing that can be done.  Let this client go fast.

Dec 26, 2012 10:05 AM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Sally - Sometimes they need these people, and sometimes it just doesn't work out.  You're so right.


Happy New Year!

Dec 26, 2012 11:31 AM
Michael Blue
Home Smart Realty West - Encinitas, CA
REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad
Part-time advisers are the most dangerous Especially if they're reading some of the latest media coverage which always happens to be 3 to 6 months behind the curve.
Dec 26, 2012 11:52 AM
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

Nothing worse than one of those 'pros' coming along with prospective buyers on a showing.......ugh!

Dec 27, 2012 06:26 AM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD
http://www.medicalandspaconsulting.com - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

there is no question that the moniker of "expert" is both a benefit and a detrmiment. To me the startegy of pre-eminence is the most important...have others view you as an expert without actually advertising it

Dec 27, 2012 04:13 PM
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI

I surely agree with what Sylvia says. I'd rather have them around and be able to give my input ... compared to them going home and consulting with the friend/family member without being there to give my answers to concerns.

Dec 30, 2012 01:17 AM
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Broker/Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

Sally, I've certainly come across my fair share of "Nosey Nellie's", but usually after I calmly point out the realities and inaccuracies of what they are saying the "True" buyer or seller listens to me.

Dec 30, 2012 06:53 AM
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I think this is good advise for dealing with this type of person.  Thanks for the post.

Jan 07, 2013 12:10 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

I've been through this miserable situation, too.

Jan 15, 2013 10:05 AM
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Sally-Sometimes people with the best of intentions can really mess up things for others.

Jan 20, 2013 12:09 PM