Friends and Real Estate....Mixing could be bad for you!

Real Estate Agent with 1

Last year dear friends of mine and my husband decided that they were going to sell their home in Queens and more to Warren County (Lake George) NY.  This was a sad and touchy subject, but our friends felt that this was going to be the best thing for them.  So, my husband and I helped them make their move. 

You have a friend in Real Estate: 

Because I am a full time real estate agent, our friends gave me the task of selling their home.  I would have never thought that there would be any other reason for me selling their beloved home, other than me being a great Realtor.  I did not think for one second that they would have me sell their home and entrust their biggest asset to me because I would discount them or "give em a deal".   I felt that I was selling their home because I truly was and am the best to represent them in the sale of their home.   

Open houses and showings:

I did all of the open houses with a great turn out and we actually had a few offers within the first week, although it was a low offer, it was encouraging that there would be alot of activity.  Without dragging this all out, within 4 months from start to finish we closed on the sale.  They got exactly what they wanted and they did not have to give in one inch to the buyers.  I did my job and I did it very well.  They were happy and I was happy that I could make them happy.

One great sale leads to another:

Within months of me selling their home, the parents of my friend decided that they wanted to be close to them, so they were going to sell their home, so we listed the home and again - I thought it was because I was the very best one to represent them in the sale, not because of the discount. 

Stupid is as stupid does:

The parents lived in this home for 35 years and the way that they moved into the home, was the way that they were selling the home. After a few months of open houses and showings we hit the holidays.  The market quieted down and there was little activity on anything. 

By the day after Christmas we had an offer but the buyers had to come up - way up.  The buyers were looking for control any which way they could get it, but the control was not being given and the sellers remained on solid ground and only would accept what they felt was fair. 

I do feel that the end result was fair with one or two exceptions and I do feel that on both ends, the seller and the buyer both got what they wanted.  Again, I did my job to the sellers request.  I did not haggle, I did not subject the sellers to the "great offer" speech.  I told them the facts the good and the bad and when they were ready, they accepted the offer that was the best for them.   

Never count my money:

So, with us waiting for the second house  to close, I already know that our friendship changed with my sellers, we started out great friends but I made the mistake of mixing business and friendship.  The feeling that I made alot of money on the sale is ridiculous, I made alot less than they think.  Which is fine, I worked for them because we were friends and because I wanted to protect them.  The money does not and did not matter to me. 

So, Is it wise to use a friend as your Realtor? 


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Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time
Christine, That's a very good question. I prefer it the other way around though, would I list my friends property? For me, I keep my personal life and my business life very seperate. Most folks in the small town we live in do not even know I'm a RE broker. My market area is 20 minutes away. People in my church don't even know what I do for a living. We like it that way. I'm just not comfortable mixing business with friendships. Even though my customers and I do become very close it's on a different level. Make sense?
Mar 19, 2007 09:29 AM #1
Christine Forgione
1 - Whitestone, NY
Associate Broker

I so agree BB.  I have turned down listings from friends, but here I am thinking that they want me to list the home and to help them sell it because they trust me.  In actuallity I think it was the discount. 

I refused to list my neighbors house, for the simple reason I would and could not be unbiased.  I will from here on out refuse to do business with friends.  I am so with you on that one!!

Mar 19, 2007 09:40 AM #2
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL

Christine - it may depend on how close friends you are.

And if you did make a lot of money - aren't you worth it? Wouldn't they have paid another agent the same or more?

Friendships change when someone moves - are you sure the change was because you were their agent?

Do they blame you for the market downturn before their parents sold?

Questions aside, don't overanalyze. I'd treat each situation in the future separately any blanket decisions.

Mar 19, 2007 10:56 AM #3
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


We learned this lesson in the school of hard knocks. We never mix the two. Doing so is like sitting at a fireworks show waiting for the finale.

Make sense? :)

Yah. I know. I'm nuts. Ha. Ha. I just stole your comment to me. LOL...


Mar 19, 2007 11:00 AM #4
Ellie McIntire
Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate - Ellicott City, MD
Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville

A true friend would never expect a discount. If your best friend is a dentist, would you expect him to discount his fee?

Mar 19, 2007 11:43 AM #5
Christine Forgione
1 - Whitestone, NY
Associate Broker

Sharon Simms - I agree, I wont over analyze.  I have to just move on and say NEXT!

"The Lovely Wife - NOW What?  How can you take the words right outta my mouth?  Your nuts!  LMAO.  You are just way to cleva!  My new rule love your friends, work for strangers.

Ellie McIntire - Your right they should not expect, but they do.  No, I would neva neva ask for discounts on anything, I hate owing or feeling like I owe.  I do because its the right thing or because I want to do for someone.  Nothing is ever free in life!

Mar 19, 2007 03:41 PM #6
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Christine Forgione

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