Should Sellers Choose a Friend or a Stranger as their REALTOR®?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cam Realty and Property Management

Should Sellers Choose a Friend or a Stranger as their REALTOR®?

In one of the Facebook groups I’m a member of, home seller asked questions about selling her home and finished with;


“I have a friend who just got his real estate license and I have to let him list my home but need advice from an experienced agent who knows the area, my friend is in ..... area(over two hours away from Clermont)”.

I was glad to offer my assistance, looked at comps quickly and private messaged her with the market statistics of the subdivision for the past 180 days. I noticed this morning she actually went to my website and liked it, looked at homes, which is perfectly fine with me. I will not contact this Clermont home seller unless she asks for my assistance. As a REALTOR®, I take pride in my work and do my best to exceed my clients(s) expectations. If I’m not familiar with the area, guess what? I won’t take on the listing, that would be in the best interest of the seller.

So how should you choose your REALTOR® when listing your house for sale?

-Some sellers choose their real estate agent based on their suggested price. Higher the better, they think..That would be wrong. A good real estate agent will prepare an honest market analysis and provide the home seller with a realistic market value based on comparable sales. So be sure to interview at least three agents and ask them to prepare a market analysis.
-Check their social media presence. Check their Facebook posts, you will find out a lot about the person you’re about to enter into a contract with.
-Check to see how they market their listings. Do they write blog posts? Sellers, this is work. If a real estate agent is constantly going above and beyond providing information to buyers and sellers they don’t even have a relationship with, imagine what they would do if they were to list your home for sale. Though there are many sites, check to see if they’re members of ActiveRain which is one of the BEST blogging platforms made up of thousands of professional real estate agents, this site encourages their members to be the best they can by offering webinars, valuable posts by ActiveRain staff as well as it’s loyal members.
-Ask how long they’ve been in the business. There are many great real estate agents who have been licensed for a short time and if you find one, hold on to them. There are also agents who have been in the business over twenty years and don’t do a good job..stay away from them. You’re probably asking how you would know. That’s easy. Read their ActiveRain blog posts(if they do this), go to their website, read their Facebook posts, check them on Twitter, Pinterest, just Google their name.
-Last but most important, meet with them in person and see how you feel. Listen to that little voice, can you trust this REALTOR® with one of the largest investments of your life? If not, move on to the next person.

Helping friends, socializing with them and actually doing business with them look a lot different. Do you want to remain friends with this person even if they’re not able to get your house sold? Can you be open and honest with a friend REALTOR® if you don’t think they’re doing a good job marketing your home? If you answered NO to these questions, then using a friend or a family member as your REALTOR® is not in your best interest.

Choosing the right agent can make all the difference when it comes to getting your house sold. Though we all have the same tools available, we don’t all utilize them. Do yourself a favor and avoid all future headaches of not working with the right real estate agent, work with one who is able to deliver results. Choose one you can trust. Choose one who’s recommended by previous buyers and sellers. You deserve to work with the right REALTOR®. Don't gamble when it comes to choosing the right agent to list your house!

Should Sellers Choose a Friend or a Stranger as their REALTOR®?




Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties 08/29/2016 10:00 PM
  2. Patricia Kennedy 12/20/2016 09:23 AM
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Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker - Evanston, IL
Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917

That is a tough one Beth. There is no doubt that the person who is best qualified is the best choice but sometimes this can really stretch friendships.

Aug 29, 2016 09:21 AM #12
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

I don't think it matters about teh agent being a friend or not but whether they are qualified to do the job the client neesd. I work with lots of friends and not afraid to tell them like it is.

Aug 29, 2016 12:01 PM #13
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


The safe bet is to go with the real estate professional.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Aug 29, 2016 12:43 PM #14
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Beth- you show all the time what a true professional you are.  The first and most important thing a seller needs to do is hire the most qualified agent who knows the area. 

Aug 29, 2016 12:55 PM #15
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Beth, this is such a thoughtful post and shows what a true professional you are. Sure hope this seller doesn't go with the newbie. There are so many details that go into listing a home and an agent that lives 2 hours away is rarely, if ever the right route to go.

Aug 29, 2016 11:13 PM #16
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

 Experience counts....having a heart is one thing...risking a huge investment quite another !

Aug 29, 2016 11:23 PM #17
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

People who are willing to listen learn! While it's admirable to seek a new career and become a licensed Real Estate Agent,when it comes to real money, sellers need to really think long and hard who will do the best job and there can only be one person in Orlando for me, and that is Beth Atalay

Aug 30, 2016 12:15 AM #18
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Beth --- regardless of the relationship(or lack thereof) -- it's a choice of what works best for you as the seller and your goal.   Very good post.   

Aug 30, 2016 12:23 AM #19
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Beth I am so with you it is about the "seller" too often agents get confused what it is about...the ones that are in the long haul do not....Endre

Aug 30, 2016 05:22 AM #20
Hella M. Rothwell, Broker/Realtor®
Carmel by the Sea, CA
Rothwell Realty Inc. CA#01968433 Carmel-by-the-Sea

It works the other way around as well, Beth Atalay .  I have friends who would be a bear to work with, and I would rather they go to someone else that they are not so open with. Other friends are very professional themselves and it would be a pleasure to help them.

Aug 30, 2016 05:24 AM #21
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Beth, I believe one of you key statements was how does an agent 'market' the listing?  Far too many just take the listing I believe.  Good for me, bad for sellers.  Mark

Aug 30, 2016 12:24 PM #22
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Beth, wonderful post and I agree with every one of your points!  I did this very thing and then when the property was about to be listed, the agent didn't want to pay the MLS dues in my area and the friend told her to phone me to list it for her.  We had a long talk about this newbie working from such a distance and agreed upon a referral fee.  

The seller decided to interview several other agents.  She then phoned me and said she was ready to meet with me - "I've talked to all of the other agents and I have a few questions for you before we move forward!"  

Oh, I didn't mind at all as I hadn't even seen the inside of her home but, I was curious what her talk with the other agents had created!!  There were agents who priced it higher (as you said), told her that they sell 'a house every day or two and had advised her that they sell homes for 'more money than any other agent' and in less time!  

SO, I pulled up my Broker Metrics and suggested that we look them all up!  She didn't bat an eye, gave me their names and I added mine.  She was SHOCKED at the lies!  THANKFULLY, I had given her my data before we began this exercise in my presentation so, she saw that everything I had told her was the truth.  

GOOD GOLLY!  Who DOES this?  Who over-prices just to get the listing and never sell the home?  Who lies about how many homes they sell and how quickly they sell it?  Who lies about their list-to-sales price ratios or days on the market?  Do they not realize that the very data that they're lying about is readily available to share LIVE with these sellers?  

OY!  Makes you wonder how people sleep at night, doesn't it?!!

Aug 30, 2016 12:46 PM #23
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It's about the knowledge and the wisdom that goes with being experienced in some kind of way

Aug 31, 2016 04:54 PM #24
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

A lot of people seem to have similar experiences here and they've learned a lot and I think that's the point

Aug 31, 2016 04:55 PM #25
ba`B Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

It's not always in the best interest of the seller or buyer to use a friend or family member. You're such a true professional Beth Atalay 

Sep 01, 2016 12:57 AM #26
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Beth Atalay - Being a qualified and effective agent are very important.  A friend or close aquaintance may fit that mold well. However the seller may not want the friend to know about their financial situation.  This could create an awkwardness in the relationship that turns the seller to someone they don't have a relationship with. 

Sep 03, 2016 03:58 AM #27
Mike Bjork
Evolve Bank & Trust - Redondo Beach, CA

I agree, Beth!  They can be friend or stranger, so long as they're the "Right" Agent for the job.  Your "gut feeling" should help guide you in this process.  If you elect to hire a family/friend, just because you feel obligated, even when they may not be the "Right" agent; then, I'd suggest they have a co-listing agent or partner, whom is the "Right" agent, so you can get the best of both worlds, if that is possible.  This way your friend/family can benefit from learning from a great agent.  Again, that is if the great agent is willing to proceed in such manner.

Sep 26, 2016 04:15 AM #28
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Beth,  This is an important subject and a challenge for many sellers with "friends" in the business.  If they would just call me, I would give them a script to use on their "friends".   Then they could go about hiring the "right" agent.  

Dec 20, 2016 09:38 AM #29
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Yes, the right agent could indeed be a friend or family member, but that should only be the case if they are the right agent for the job.

Dec 20, 2016 09:53 AM #30
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

I just saw this on a reblog from Pat Kennedy....I expected to see it as a Feature!! great post and it doesn't matter whether it's a family member, friend or stranger, competency is the major factor....

Dec 20, 2016 10:18 AM #31
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Beth Atalay

Cam Realty of Clermont FL
Sell or Buy Homes in Clermont FL

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