Should you entrust a friend with selling your property?
February 21, 2014
We are getting ready to put our property on the market for sale. We know several Realtors and have one friend who has expressed great interest in listing our home. We are concerned about our friend's ability to get our property sold, for several reasons. Are there some standard guidelines for choosing a Realtor? Do they vary on where and what the property is, including the price range? Thanks in advance for any concrete parameters you can give us.
Some uninformed friends will tell you not to pick a friend to sell your property. That is only part of the equation. You should not pick a friend that you do not have the utmost confidence in their ability and professionalism. This is true of a Realtor you do not know also. Selling your home is always an extremely important event, financially as well as emotionally. For many people it is one of the biggest financial transactions they are involved in. Here are the things I think matter in your Realtor choice, in the order of their importance:
1. Attitude. This applies to their perspective on life in general as well as the real estate market. Every market has its positive side, no matter what is happening. Buyers and other agents (and people in general) do not want to be around a negative person for very long. Prolonged exposure passes off the negative vibrations and can make a sale nearly impossible.
2. Knowledge of the market in general and in your specific community. This is important so that you can have a realistic pricing strategy.
3. Networking with clients and other brokers. This is essential in our small community.
4. Online marketing on the internet is still critical, as this is where more than 80 percent of buyers start their search.
5. Negotiating skills. These skills are essential from start to finish with creating your listing price, handling any and all offers, any and all counter offers, inspection issues, critical dates and of course, a smooth closing.
6. Reputation is also necessary in our market place. If your realtor is known to be honest and professional, then they will attract other brokers to your listing, as well as clients in general.
7. Longevity and experience is nice to have, if the Realtor is still active in the market. If they are simply resting on their laurels and not staying current with today market, then being a long-time agent is of no benefit.
So, the answer is, a friend could be the best or the worst choice. If the friend is a wise, industrious successful realtor, is good at what they do and care above and beyond their normal attentiveness for you because you are a friend, then this is the best situation possible.
If the friend doesn't fit this description, then you should not go with this person. I suggest you do your research, choose a great Realtor, and then let the less-qualified friend know you have chosen someone else but you hope they will be able to bring you a buyer and profit from the sale, and let it go at that. This will be much easier than trying to switch to a more competent broker later and trying to keep the friendship from being really damaged. Best of luck with making a sound decision.
Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team of qualified experts. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Joan with your real estate questions at Joan@TeamBlackBear.com, 970-337-7777 or http://www.teamblackbear.com.