Sellers Are Not Your Friends

Home Builder with Long Island Cash Home Buyer


Sometimes we build so much rapport with a seller that we start to believe they are friends. Unless you are going to sell their house for nothing, it is vitally important for you to remember that you are not friends, not in the true sense of the word. You will not be their friend until their house is sold and your fee has been paid.

Trust me on this one, it’s a big one. Think about this, everyone wants a deal from a friend.  So, do you really want them to think that you are their friend?  That is why it is so important for you to go from rapport, to asking questions in a professional, systematic fashion.

Many agents have told me that they don’t need a printed questionnaire.  They say that they ask their questions while they are building rapport.  Big mistake!  Build rapport, then get down to business with a printed questionnaire. 


When the house is sold, if you have treated them as you would want them to treat you were you selling your home then you may become wonderful friends. 


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 02/05/2019 01:31 PM
Real Estate Best Practices

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Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I have become great friends with some of my past clients. While we certainly know who we personally like while working with them, true friendship comes later.

Feb 06, 2019 04:36 AM #17
Gordon Crawford
Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team - Morristown, NJ
Your Morris County Specialist!

Beth & Richard, Fantastic post!  Couldn't agree with you more.  You are there to get a job done first and if a friendship follows all the better.  

Feb 06, 2019 04:37 AM #18
Lindsay Reagan, Realtor
Bowen Realty - Wellington, FL

So true!  Friends expect deep discounts on YOUR commission!

Feb 06, 2019 05:46 AM #19
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

Beth and Richard Witt great posting.  People are not loyal to you, but they are loyal to their NEED of you.

Feb 06, 2019 05:54 AM #20
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I do have a list of questions I ask every potential client.  I will say a benefit of this business has been that several of my clients have become friends.

Feb 06, 2019 07:17 AM #21
L. Scott Ferguson
Ask4Ferguson - Your House-SOLD Name in Real Estate - West Palm Beach, FL
Sunny Florida Real Estate Professional

Interesting take

Feb 06, 2019 07:19 AM #22
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Excellent post, thanks for your time. I enjoyed the comments, which helps me understand a larger view

Feb 06, 2019 07:35 AM #23
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I am a great believer in business bonding versus personal bonding in real estate transactions.

Feb 06, 2019 07:39 AM #24
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Beth, in the process of selling a clients house, I'm all business. If they want to be friends after the deal, I'm open to that, and it happens frequently. 

Feb 06, 2019 09:34 AM #25
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

Many of my clients did become friends and that's one of the great bonuses of the business.  During the transaction, though, it had to be all business.  I have worked for many friends and have never been asked to discount my fee by them.

Feb 06, 2019 10:08 AM #26
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very true.  It's so important to have a system in place to have the appearance of professionalism.  That separates friends from professionals!

Feb 06, 2019 10:24 AM #27
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

VERY TRUE! Even they are lifelong friends, you got to treat the selling process as strictly business! Not always easy

Feb 06, 2019 05:41 PM #29
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

I like your take on it!

When the house is sold, if you have treated them as you would want them to treat you were you selling your home then you may become wonderful friends. 

Feb 07, 2019 03:46 AM #30
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Specialist

Often times, friends do not understand all that goes into selling their home and they are looking for a favor. I have found once I've explained all they will receive in support and advertising, they understand and accept the commission rate. I also agree if you don't know someone that well, building rapport first and then building a friendship is important.

Feb 07, 2019 04:41 AM #31
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Many clients do become friends, however during the transaction, I am careful to be professional.  During the transaction, a real estate agent may have to have difficult or frank conversations and clients.  It is easier to have these conversations in a factual, professional manner and remove as much emotional as possible.  

Feb 07, 2019 05:03 AM #32
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Beth and Richard Witt I like your philosphy. the point...and yes, I agree...they are not friends until the business is complete!

Feb 07, 2019 06:51 AM #33
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Hi Beth and Richard Witt ,

So glad to see this post featured! You are so point on with your take..Even if they are lifelong friends, you must treat the selling process as strictly business and it's not always easy.

Feb 07, 2019 04:20 PM #34
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

Interesting concept of a printed questionnaire, never thought of that. Beth and Richard Witt would love to see an example.

Feb 08, 2019 02:33 AM #35


Feb 08, 2019 06:13 AM #38
Dave Rosenmarkle
Highland Realty - Arlington, VA
32 years of providing fully satisfying service!

To have a great transaction and a positive, friendly relationship afterwards is the best of both worlds. My only caution is that "friendly" doesn't get in the way of future business or referrals.

Mar 23, 2019 11:54 AM #40
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Beth and Richard Witt

Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940
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