Home Buying in 07030>Question Details

JS, Home Buyer in 54952

I have a friend who is a real estate agent. I was planning on asking him to be my buyers rep. Is that a good idea? Or should I find one I don't

Asked by JS, 54952 Tue Jan 10, 2012

know? It isn't a close friend that I see often, but I don't know of course how good of an agent he is, I have never had a business relationship with him.

Help the community by answering this question:


Be sure that agent is an expert in your area of interest and property type. The agent needs to knowledgeable and be able to guide you through the process.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 14, 2012
Hello JS
I don't see anything wrong with your friend representing you in a purchase. I have represented family in friends in the purchase of their homes. Its going to depend on your comfort level with this friend. I wish you the best of luck.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 11, 2012
Hi JS,

This is a big decision that you have to make as buying a home is usually one of the largest purchases that one makes in their life. My advice is that you need to keep emotion out of it and gauge your Realtor friend's ability to help guide you through this very important process. Although you may have not had a business relationship with him do you feel comfortable in putting this purchase in his hands? Additionally, as you are already here on Trulia, see if your friend has any on-line recommendations to help you in your decision.

If I can be of any assistance please feel free to contact me at 973.868.4034.

Good LUCK!!

Have a GREAT day!

Best regards,

Emil Veltre, R.Ph, MS, CDPE
Realtor Associate
Liberty Realty
mobile: 973.868.4034
e-mail: EmilVelte@aol.com
Website: http://www.EmilVeltre.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon May 13, 2013
If they are a full time Realtor ,by all means use them .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 12, 2013
Short answer - If they're good and know what they're doing , yes. If they aren't good and don't know what they're doing, no.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 12, 2013
I have represented several friends,acquaintances and family. I would recommend interviewing the friend as you would any agent. Ask specifically what he/she is a pro at and what areas he is knowledgeable in.
Maybe he only focuses on commercial property, and you need a residential one.
I would not rule out a friend for only that reason. I would treat them as any other agent, just I I would respect the agent to treat you with all the care and diligence that they would for any other client.
Just make sure the agent is well qualified and experienced. Best of luck to you!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun May 12, 2013
If your friend has been a REALTOR for more than three years and is full time and knows your neighborhood, I would think that your friend will do the job.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 12, 2012
I don't see why this would be a bad idea, unless this is not his full time job. If he is able to answer your questions, and is someone you trust, than why not. I think it would be hurtful, if you went with someone else, but ultimately, you have to be comfortable with who you use.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 13, 2012
Dear JS,
I think your friend might be confused and hurt if you go with a stranger over them. You might not know how great an agent they are, but you probably know if they are honest and ethical and that's half the battle right there. I say give the friend a try, you can always switch to Mary Hot Agent if your friend somehow disappoints you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 11, 2012
Everybody has a real estate license. Or so it seems. Realtors hear it a lot when attempting to solicit a seller or buyer.

“You certainly know your stuff and I know you are perfect for my real estate needs, but my sister/brother/aunt/uncle/mother/father/cousin/best friend has a real estate license, so I like to use them. They would get upset if I didn’t.”

In some instances there is nothing wrong with working with someone you may know as long as both sides can separate the two aspects of the relationship, business/personal finances vs. social.

Sometimes, it is very difficult to tell those that you are socially engaged with your business because many times it is none of their business.

A realtor needs to know a lot about their clients when selling or buying a home in order to really service their clients. Why are you moving? What do you owe? Are you in a possible short sale situation? Is there a divorce situation? What improvements should I make to get my home sold? Are there permits on the home? Is there litigation on the home or any outstanding judgements? What price should I ask and what price should I sell it for? Why are you buying? What is your income? What do you qualify for? What is the downpayment? Where is the money coming from? What are your expenses? What is your credit score? What type of home? Which area? How many people will be living there? And on and on. Of which, by the Realtor Code of Ethics, much of this information is to remain confidential — always.

And of course the client needs to know if the realtor is from the area; do they know the inventory; what is the marketing plan; what is the buying strategy; is this your full-time job; why isn’t my home selling; why do I need to reach out to you, shouldn’t you be calling me, etc.

As a buyer or seller, and the agent, can the two relationships be separate or if either part does not work out can the other continue?

I was watching one of the Sunday morning news shows and Barbara Corcoran, the president of the Corcoran Group in New York, said it best when asked if one should use a friend or family member as I paraphrase, “If you had to, could you fire that person?” I found it hit the nail on the head. What if they weren’t doing their job as they should, would you still hang on with them to keep as not to hurt their feelings? (By the way, it does happen as some realtors believe it was a give-me and therefore, need not work as hard.) If it is just a business relationship, it would certainly be a lot easier to fire an agent.

On the other side of this quagmire is that friend/family member who is the realtor. They are in the same predicament. However, many get upset when they do not get the business. It may even affect the social relationship if they are not hired.

Conversely, it may also affect that relationship if they are hired and then possibly fired. A realtor should think twice about the social relationship if entering a business relationship, too. It is not easy to separate them. The realtor has to be able to keep confidential information from others in that social/family group. They must be able to tell their client family/friend what must be done to achieve their real estate goals. They must treat their family/friend client the same as they treat all their clients, and sometimes even work a little harder. It is a big responsibility to service the family/friend client.

Don't fret – there is a solution. If you feel uncomfortable not using that family/friend and yet want them to feel part of a transaction, compensation-wise , I suggest using what we realtors call the referral system. Have your realtor family/friend refer you to a colleague of theirs. It can be with the same company or if you do not feel comfortable with one in their office knowing your personal business, have it referred to another company in the area. And by the way, your family/friend realtor has the ability to refer real estate business anywhere in the world.

This allows you to keep confidential information and your business with a professional without leaving your family/friend from receiving any compensation and also keeps your friendship alive. It’s a win-win for everyone.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 17, 2012
If he is made it through the ups and downs for 20 years, he cant be a dud! :)
Web Reference: http://HobNJRE.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 11, 2012
Worst case scenario, and the agent does not work your area, you should give him/her the opportunity to refer you to an agent in your area. They are likely to know some good Reralors in your area even if they don't usually work there. Also, doing so they would get a percentage of the commission and would be grateful to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012

Do you know your friend to be the type of agent that you'd like to work with? It may be hard to find the type of inherent trust that you will automatically find in working with your friend, but don't jump on the freind train without doing your diligence to ensure they actively work the area that you care to buy within, and that they are the right fit for you, frined or not.

For example, I would be useless as a local expert to my brother for his purchase in south Jersey, sure I could coach and guide him thru the process and he would be comfortable working with me, but I would not be effective in guiding him towards identifying value or quality in a market that is not my own.

If they are a local pro, you should be in especially good hands.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.hudsonnow.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Usually, NO, do not hire a friend or a good acquaintance or a family member or a neighbor as a real estate agent. If he or she has a personal interest in your property, ABSOLUTELY DO NOT HIRE! Go by references, research, awards, ranking, communication skills, and above all trustworthiness and honesty and loyalty!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun May 12, 2013
People that value frienships often elect to not do business with ther friends. The records show the stress of doing business has been the reason for the end of many relationships.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 14, 2012
This is always a tough call - I would include your friend in the mix of those you consider but stay focused on skills, experience and knowledge. The resources you use make such a difference to you success. If I were your friend, I would appreciate the conversation - talk to him as well about a referral - if there is a better resource, your friend can still benefit through a referral fee if you allow him to introduce you to the agent. That may cover your bases best.

...always a tough call, but good of you to ask the question.

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 15, 2012
It may or may not be a good idea to use your friend,. I would interview 3 agents and see which you feel is the best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 17, 2012
By all means use him - IF he answers your questions and makes you feel comfortable about his qualifications. Also, you might check with other friends that have used him as a Realtor. If he's been around for 20 years, you probably know others who have worked with him.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 15, 2012
I got into this business mainly just so I could help my family and friends to ensure they wouldnt be taken advantage of. Find out if he is good at his job and give him a chance, thats what i would do.
Web Reference: http://www.sjrates.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 11, 2012
I would suggest that you approach this just as you would any other important decision - by carefully evaluating your friend's experience, knowledge and skill set to be sure it will serve you well. The resources you use are very important to outcome. I always appreciate the opportunity to "come to the table" and I would imagine your friend would be grateful to be considered. But in the end, you want to be sure you are working with someone that will add value. Testimonials and Recommendations/Reviews from past clients can be very helpful in assessing how an agent works. Look at that as well.

Best of luck to you!
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Just want to clarify that he does handle the area I am looking to buy in and has for 20 years.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Worst case scenario, and the agent does not work your area, you should give him/her the opportunity to refer you to an agent in your area. They are likely to know some good Reralors in your area even if they don't usually work there. Also, doing so they would get a percentage of the commission and would be grateful to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Some people must have many friends!
Either that, or they don't know the definition of a friend.

Talk to him; get his input about Marketing your house.
Give him every benefit of the doubt.
Come prepared to give him the Listing.

Good luck and may God bless
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
I agree with what people are saying here. You want to hire a full time agent who really knows the area. Real Estate is incredibly local - what areas flood, which don't, which neighborhoods are planning to install a park, local ordinance like rent control vary municipality by municipality.

I understand the desire to help out a friend but this is likely the biggest investment you will make. Full time agents tend to have websites where they show you more than a search engine tool. Are they publishing articles that demonstrate their expertise? Do they have positive references on sites like Trulia where you get a sense of their performance? Are they educated? You are basically hiring a consultant and you should hire the best you can find.

Donna Antonucci
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Some good advice offered here by my fellow agents.

I would however tend to disagree about searching for names on signs as a method of finding a competent and knowledgeable real estate agent.

Some Realtors have signs lingering out there because they can't sell their client's properties, so signs are not necessarily a good indication of skill or knowledge. I think a better way is to search the forums online, and read some of what agents say and get an impression on that basis. If you like what you read and you get a good vibe, it beats looking for random signs.

Either-way, there is no stead fast rule about working with friends in real estate, as there are no such rules in business in general. Naturally it could be a more sensitive situation when you intimately know the person, but either way they would be offended if you ignored them and went to another agent instead of trying them.

On the flip side, a friend may be more dedicated to you as a friend, and go beyond the pale of what other agents would do.

You got to weigh your specific situation.

Best of luck!

Amos Elroy, SFR (Short-Sale Specialist Certified)
Residential Real Estate Investment Consultant
Lic. Realtor Associate
EXIT On The Hudson Realty
(888) 462-6573 / (888) HOB-NJRE
FAX (888) 462-6573
Office 201-437-0411

Twitter & Facebook: HobNJRE
Web Reference: http://www.HobNJRE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Honesty is the best policy. Tell them that you are looking to buy, and you are looking for agents. See if they have the requisite experience you should be looking for. It is pretty easy to find their track record online. If they are competent and you get along with them well it will probably be a positive experience all around. Buying a house can get really stressful and requires you to put faith in and deal with your agent frequently. If you don't get along with your agent you won't have a good time, so you might as well go for someone you already have a good relationship with.
Web Reference: http://www.skyminor.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Hi Julie,

Why don't you ask your friend? If you choose to use someone else he will undoubtedly by bummed... on the flip side, he may not want to work with a friend ... but asking him will give him an opportunity to refer you to someone. Are you even looking in the area he covers? Be frank with him - let him know you are concerned about working with a friend - judge his reaction...

It will work out.

Good luck with your purchase!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012

You have noting to lose by giving your friend a chance to have your business as long as you don't sign an exclusive relationship agreement commiting you to them for a specific period of time. By not having an agreement, if things shouldn't work out, you would be able to move on to another agenst as you see fit.

Business relationships can put a strain on friendships if they are not handeled properly. It would be recommended that you both have a clear understanding of your expectations as a buyer .....ones that your friend can live with and live up to.....

Good luck,

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Hello Julie,

You are in a tough possition. Since you know this person, do you know how successful your friend is, how long have they been a REALTOR. If you are comfortable with their knowledge and experience, then keep a friend. If not, then find the top agent in your area. Drive around and look for signs on the lawn. Good luck.

John Donahue ABR, CDPE, GRI, SRES
RE/MAX Properties, Ltd.
REALTOR, 26 Years Full Time Service
215-968-7423 / 7400
215-605-6532 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
I agree with Karina. Is your friend a full time agent? Successful? What training does he have as a buyer's agent? Would you hire him if he wasn't your friend? Treat this as a business relationship. discuss with your friend what would happen if he can't find you a home or if something went wrong with the purchase process.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
Hi Julie great question! It doesn't hurt you to work with someone you know but you should treat the relationship opportunity the same way you would with an agent you didn't know.
Do some background work and ask how long have the been in real estate? Are they full time? Do they specialize in sales or rentals? How many homes have they sold last year?
Have they received any awards or accreditation?

If this is your first time buying a home you'll want to work with an agent that has lots of experience in the business and your particular area. This way they know what to expect, understand trends and pitfalls for certain areas and can recommend service professionals.

If he or she seems qualified and you feel like you can have a trust worthy business relationship with them then give them a try, but you may not want to sign a buyer agency agreement in case you change your mind.

Feel free to ask any more questions and best of luck to you!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 10, 2012
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