Brother's Bad Deal

Andrea and her husband hired her brother as their real estate agent, and he hasn't helped them buy a house. She's worried about the agreement she signed with him and her family's reaction to firing him.

QUESTION: Andrea in Salt Lake City and her husband hired her brother as their real estate agent, and in four months, he hasn’t helped them buy a house. She’s worried about the agreement she signed with him and her family’s reaction to firing him.

ANSWER: I think you’ve given him a fair shot. He should release you from the exclusive buyer’s agreement. You’ve got to sit down and talk to him. He’s your brother.

Oh, I’ll hear the end of it from family because I’ll tell them to shut the flip up. It’s none of their business. Here’s an idea: This is nunya—nunya business. Mind your own business, you know? I’m serious. I am not going to be intimidated by family ya-yowing. That’s just crap. So you’re supposed to do bad deals to avoid your family barking. No. No. Bark on, Rover. Seriously.

No, I think you and your husband sit down with him and his wife and you gently and kindly say, “We’ve tried. We don’t feel like we’re making progress this way. We love you, and we wish you luck with your real estate business, but we’re not going to be able to buy this house from you this time. We hope you’ll understand that. We hope you can grasp that, and this has nothing to do with how much we love you. We care about you, and we’ll help you any way we can, but at this stage with the jobs you’re working, we’re not making progress on finding the house, so we’re going to go another direction.”

Hopefully, he can accept that. That depends on him and honestly how much crap and blowback you get from your family will have a lot to do with his reaction. If he agrees with you and says, “Yeah, we tried, and I understand,” then he’s not going to go stir up family drama. But if he’s a little boy about it and has a little fit, then he’s going to go stir up family drama. But you can’t control that. That’s not your decision. That’s his decision whether he’s going to be a man or a boy.

“You’re fired,” in as nice a way as you can tell him without saying that. I would move on. You know you need to. This is the problem.