There are many mistakes a person can make when deciding to sell a home. One of the most serious is listing your home with a REALTOR® just because that Realtor is your friend. Here’s a true story that illustrates this point.
John listed his home with his best friend, who happened to be a Realtor. Because they were such good friends, the Realtor could not bring himself to tell John that his home was dirty and that it needed to be cleaned up if it was ever going to sell. The Realtor was also reluctant to break the news to John that he had spent thousands of dollars on home improvements that may have added to John’s enjoyment but did not increase the value of John’s home.
As a result, the Realtor listed John’s home several thousand dollars over the market value and in poor showing condition. Not surprisingly, the weeks passed with little activity and no offers. John’s friendship with the Realtor became more and more strained as each month passed without a contract. After several unsuccessful months, John lowered the price of his home to well below market value, but by then it was too late. The few people who came to see the home had already purchased another house, and the most active buying season was over. John decided to take his home off the market for a while.
Several months later, John contacted a well-known, professional Realtor who met with John and told him the truth about marketing. This Realtor shared with John the history of sales in the neighborhood, gave him a list of all the competition, shared an aggressive computerized marketing plan and suggested a fair marketing price based on the facts. The agent helped John stage his home – in other words, he prepared the home to be marketed – a secret of selling of which only a few agents are aware. Appraisers have often said that the simple act of staging can add hundreds if not thousands of dollars of value to a home. Thirty-nine days later, John sold his house for 99% of the listed price.
The sad part of this story is that John now resents his friend for not being honest with him up front and for not getting his home sold the first time around. Although John’s friend was a good agent, he simply couldn’t separate business from friendship and as a result he lost John’s friendship and his business. That’s the danger of listing your home with a friend.
Most Realtors can’t draw a distinct line between their friendships and their business, so if you truly value your friendship and you sincerely want to sell your home, play it safe and list with someone who can be objective with you and who can get your home sold fast. You should also never make the mistake of listing with a part time agent. Selling a home is too complicated and too important to entrust to a part time agent, who by not knowing the pitfalls and complications of the business could embroil you in lawsuit. Another mistake is working with a real estate agent who is not a Realtor. Realtors abide by a strict code of ethics, so by working with a Realtor, you improve your odds of hiring a good agent.
Lets separate the professional job of selling your home from your friends, Keep your friends and sell your home.
Written by Jerry Fowler