Hiring Friends or Relatives as Real Estate Agents to List a Home

Buyers Agents Sacramento.300x200This week has been busy fielding calls from sellers, many of whom either live in Davis or Elk Grove. When sellers call me to talk about selling a home, I first try to find out why they want to sell, who else they are talking to, and whether they have a price or timeframe in mind. I spend a great deal of time figuring out whether I should work with them or do much more than put together a comparative market analysis. Sometimes, by the time they get me on the line, they’ve already decided to hire friends or relatives as real estate agents.

It’s not that I don’t want to help people because I do. I love selling real estate, and last year I sold about $32 million. It’s my career. I’m devoted to it and focused on Sacramento real estate. The reason I do so well in real estate is because I spend my time working on listings that the sellers want to hire me to sell. I don’t spend a lot of time working on listings when sellers just want free advice or a second opinion, and they’ve already decided to hire somebody else. I’m not in the “free advice” business, even though that might be how some sellers view our industry. I work for my clients, those who hire me.

So, that can be a dilemma when sellers call me, this not realizing on their part that if they aren’t actually considering hiring me, they shouldn’t call. This isn’t Better Call Saul, you know. I often ask if they have another agent in mind and sometimes they don’t. Like this guy who has a home in Elk Grove to sell. We hit it off, and I offered him an appointment to sign documents after we discussed a reasonable price and why that price would work. He hesitated making the appointment and promised to call me back that afternoon. When he didn’t, I called him the following day. That’s another reason I am successful, because I follow up.

The story I got was his wife has a friend at work who sells real estate. When I asked if she was a part-time agent, the guy said he did not know, probably, but he would ask. Hmmm, the agent works with his wife. This guy has his choice of hiring a full-time professional agent with decades of experience and absolutely thrilled-to-the-bones clients. Or, he can hire a part-time agent with some day job whose track record he doesn’t know and whose ability to negotiate could be questionable. I offered to look up this agent’s performance and send him her stats, but he didn’t know her name.

Well, either that or he’s decided if Mama is happy, then everybody is happy — and the truth is I don’t need to take every single listing in Elk Grove. I’d rather work with the sellers who are eager to work with me. No need to be upsetting marriages. Besides, like he closed out the conversation: when it doesn’t work out, he’ll call me. And he very well might. I have a feeling he knows where he is heading. I’m often agent #2. If there has to be 2 or 3 agents, as there often is with friends or relatives, I’d rather be the last one.

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