Why Family and Real Estate Don’t Mix

3 Minute Read

Any time you’re facing a large financial decision like buying or selling your home, it’s wise to work with an experienced professional to guide you through the process. In fact, nearly 90% of homebuyers and sellers do just that.

However, once word gets out that you’re looking for a real estate agent, you might be bombarded by friends and family members asking you to hire them as your agent. While it might sound like a great idea to work with someone you already know and trust, real estate transactions rarely go smoothly in the best of situations. Throw family dynamics into the mix, and you’ve got a disaster waiting to happen.

Fans Weigh In

When we asked Dave’s Facebook fans to share their experiences working with a family member to buy or sell a home, they voiced some strong opinions.


Local experts you can trust.

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Many people like Travis S., Kristie C. and Sue B. said they had great experiences working with family members as their real estate agents. “My brother-in-law served as our agent twice,” Sue said. “After moving out of his area, we were never able to find an agent who even came close to his level of service or knowledge for future home purchases and sales.”

Sue also pointed out that her family might have simply been lucky. “I wouldn’t want to work with a relative who wasn’t [a] good [agent,]” she said.

Bev L. agreed, saying, “If it goes well, great. But if not, it will forever put a rift in the family with continuing consequences. Not worth it.”

Other folks were adamantly against mixing family and business. “I agree [with Dave],” Michael E. said. “It’s hard to fire them when you don’t get results. If you do fire them, there’s family drama and everyone knows.”

Family and Business Is a Costly Mix

Sometimes deals like these go badly because no one wants to hurt a family members’ feelings, so they end up lowering their standards and avoiding the tough conversations.

Dereatha R. said her family-member agent was too embarrassed to tell her that her home was priced too high. “We let her go, and she has never spoken to us again.”

“It’s easier to deal with someone not related [to you] because you can tell them what you think and not worry about hurting feelings,” Brenda T. pointed out.

Real Estate Agent Checklist

Your real estate agent should have certain qualities … and “family member” is not on the list. Your agent should be a top performer—high-octane and high-energy, with the experience and drive to find the right home for you.

Most of all, you should feel comfortable working with your agent. You should feel free to express your opinions and expectations for their work. Your agent should understand that the final decisions rest with you, and their job is to give you all the information you need to make those decisions.

Find the Right Agent for You

So is your family member this kind of agent? Possibly. But you won’t know until you’ve started working with them, right? What happens if they aren’t the agent you thought they were? Could you fire them? Could you face them over Thanksgiving dinner if you did?

In the end, it’s not worth the risk of ruining your relationship. You can find a real estate agent you can trust through Dave’s Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) network. Each real estate ELP is a top-performing agent dedicated to helping you buy or sell a home while saving you time and money. Find your ELP today!

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