Vail Daily column: How do I sell my house to a friend? |

Vail Daily column: How do I sell my house to a friend?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am getting ready to sell my house, but since I have lived ​in this area for ​over 15 years, I know tons of people and many of them have said, “Let me know when you get ready to sell your house because I love the location and the construction.” ​So now​ I am not sure what to do — should I try to contact everyone I can think of before I sign a listing with a Realtor? I don’t have a lot of time, so I would rather just list it and have my Realtor exclude a list of friends that I can then call at my leisure. I might even think of a few more once I take the time. Do you think a Realtor will let me do that? I have heard of people doing similar exclusions, but I am not sure just how that works. What should I ask for so I don’t have to pay a commission if I sell to a friend?

Dear Penny Wise and Pound Foolish,

If you find a Realtor who will do this, don’t list with them, they are desperate for business​!​ All joking aside, you c​ould possibly​ exclude a list of f​ri​ends, if your Realtor agrees​,​ but only for a very short time​. Even if the Realtor will agree to this, I do not think it is in your best interest to go this direction. Your Realtor makes an investment in selling your property when they first contact you and they continue to spend time and money until they get your property sold. It would not be fair, or a good business decision for a Realtor to start spending time and money on selling your property when you are essentially competing with the Realtor to try to sell your home on your own. There actually is a clause in the Colorado Real Estate Commission approved exclusive right-to-sell listing contract, Paragraph 10.1 that says, “Negotiations and communication. Seller agrees to conduct all negotiations for the sale of the property only through broker, and to refer to broker all communications received in any form from real estate brokers, prospective buyers, tenants or any other source during the listing period of this seller listing contract.” This clause was created so that the listing broker is protected and that they can start putting all of their energy and resources into marketing your property from day one, without having you compete with them. The best time to find a buyer is when the property first comes on the market, so why would you want your Realtor to delay using his or her full arsenal of marketing resources, waiting for your contingencies on your friends to end? There are several ways of handling your situation and an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor will be able to easily guide you through your concerns, and actually help you net more money in the end. Call a Realtor you trust today and set an appointment. Best of luck to you!

Joan Harned is an owner/broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. 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 Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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