Before deciding which agent to entrust the sale of your home to, you might benefit from considering several factors. There is much, much more to selling a home at top dollar than placing a sign in the yard, entering it into the multiple listing service (MLS), running a few ads and holding open house.
There is also a great deal more to successfully completing the sale process without hassles than in obtaining a signed contract and opening escrow. There are numerous costs and pitfalls than an experienced agent can help you avoid.
For example, and especially in the weak market we have been experiencing, approximately 45 percent of the homes listed have failed to sell. This is often due to such factors as the agent’s price strategy, lack of expertise in preparing the home for sale, and/or insufficient sales skills in a highly challenging market.
Some people decide to list their homes with close friends or relatives, and do not recognize the potential drawbacks in doing so. For most people, there is too much on the line to risk such a situation, and to try to save some fees or do a favor for a friend may not be enough to offset the costs that are stake.
On a strictly personal level, there are several other factors you may wish to consider. If your relationship is fairly close with your potential real estate agent, would he or she be professionally able to be objective and completely candid in communications with you? Do you think he or she would feel comfortable telling you things that might hurt your feelings even though intended to be helpful? If the sale or escrow process had some significant difficulties, might that affect you relationship with them?
Is feeling obligated a reason to list your home with someone you know? Have you considered that you do have choices and alternatives? As long as you do not select an agent who is another friend or relative, you would not likely offend or upset anyone, and a good friend is likely to fully understand and support your position in such an important matter. You will also be avoiding the risk of losing a good friendship in the event that serious problems or issues come up during the sale and escrow process.
For most of us, our homes are our single greatest asset. Is it really worth risking potentially tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to do a favor for a friend or relative? I have often cautioned owners to carefully consider the issues involved before making such an important decision.