We’ve all heard this advice, “Never mix business with pleasure”. Wise words. I’ve seen a whole lot of Real Estate transactions go sideways, and close friendships completely destroyed as a consequence.
Usually, it starts out innocently enough. “Hey, my buddy Jim-Bob just got his Real Estate license, so I’m going to give him the listing to help him out!” Or something similar. Worse yet, Jim-Bob is a family member…
So, Jim-Bob finds out lickety-split that a Real Estate transaction only very rarely goes as smoothly as they portray in Real Estate school. There are approximately one zillion things that can go wrong, either within the agent’s control, or not.
I’m not just talking about new REALTORS® either. I know several shockingly incompetent REALTORS® who have been in the business for 25+ years. Many of these types exude swaggering confidence and by all accounts seem wildly successful. That is until you go up against them in a Real Estate transaction and it becomes painfully apparent that the bravado is all a big act. It’s all very depressing, to be perfectly honest.
It’s impossible for me to describe all the zillion ways that a Real Estate transaction can go sideways. You’ll just have to trust me on this one. But know this:
When you hire a friend (or relative) to represent you in a major financial transaction, you’re taking a big risk. If your friend (or relative) has any sense of humility, they will be far more nervous about it than you are. It can be very uncomfortable for both sides.
It is for me too. In fact, earlier in my career, I would be in full panic mode every time I listed a friend’s house. I’d wake up at night, sweating and worrying about getting the house sold. What if I mess it up? Or, what if the market doesn’t respond in the way that I expect it to? What if? What if? It was gut-wrenching.
It’s not as bad for me now. I won’t pretend that I don’t worry about it at all now and I sleep like a baby every night. I don’t. In fact, I’m quite sure that I worry more than most about ALL my listings. But, I no longer put that extra pressure on myself about listing a friend’s house. Here’s why:
My friends know I’m a straight-shooter. I just lay it all out on the table. Here’s the strategy. Here’s what we’re trying to achieve, but here is everything that potentially could go wrong. And here’s how I’ll deal with those issues, should they arise.
After having completed 1,000+ transactions in my 13 years as a REALTOR®, I feel cautiously optimistic about every transaction I go into, where the clients are following my direction. I’m still cautious because I know from experience that anything can happen! But having my clients’ confidence makes the process much easier.
My friends listen to me and follow my advice, because there is pre-existing trust. They don’t need to be on guard and figure out whether they can believe what I’m saying, or not. They already know that I’m a pro and I’m dead honest, and they know I always have their best interests at heart. They ask me exactly what to do, I tell them, and they do it.
And guess what? I’ve NEVER had a problem selling a friend’s house. I find it EASY to sell a friend’s house and EASY to get them top dollar. I don’t want this to sound pompous or anything, but if EVERYONE trusted me the same way my friends trust me, EVERY sale would be easy. Sure, stuff happens. That’s life. But when you’re working with a very experienced and skilled professional, and everyone is open and honest and realistic about whatever challenges happen to come up, you’re going to be successful, friends or not.
When you’re working with a skilled, experienced, and conscientious REALTOR®, and they treat you like a friend… You’ve got it made. Sit back, and relax.
Until next month…