Choosing a real estate agent is a hard process. Most people hire their friends or a relative to represent them. However, this can create a conflict when your representer is thinking with their heart. While they believe they are doing this for you, there’s always a small part that is invested in personally.

This brings us to another dilemma, and that is, choosing the buyer. You can’t just choose a buyer in the first meeting at the open house. There are several things that must be investigated to make sure that the buyer is not a fraud.

Last but not the least, a concern that every buyer and seller has is the real estate agent’s commission. Here’s where most buyers ask themselves – What if I work directly with the owner of the property?

Their thinking stems from the prospect of being able to save some money, since an estate agent will not be involved. As we have already established in the other blogs, working without a real estate agent will create problems for the buyer during negotiations and for the seller in listing.

Am I better off working with one of my family members?

Even if you are giving a small credit to your family member for helping you sell the house, you have to think about whether they have the skills to work under pressure or not?

Here are some things you should consider:

  • Will this deal damage your personal relationship with your family member? Business decisions sometimes call for ruthless actions and this can strain your bond with your loved ones.
  • Does your friend have knowledge about the real estate market and local codes and ordinances?
  • Do they have a working relationship with a local broker?
  • It’s possible that the percentage of commission you are giving will blindside them and they won’t pay much attention to the transaction.

While your gut might say that your friend will do a good job, it doesn’t hurt to test their real estate acumen.

Professional real estate agents are armed with various aspects of the real estate market such as the value going around of a standard house in particular areas, what features are important to buyer and sellers, nearby facilities that increase the sale price, etc.

All this information is articulated in a report in layman terms with clear statistics, so that the client can understand everything easily. You can always grill your friend on their negotiation style and find out what meshes with your integrity and sensibility.

Every real estate agent has a different approach. They might work on a win/lose, win/win, soft sell or abrasive philosophy. What you need to ask yourself when hiring an agent is that whether you can relate to them and are ok with the approach they are taking.

A real estate agent’s real value lies in his strategic guidance, expertise and how they negotiate a deal on your behalf. These intangibles will prove to you how responsible a real estate agent is as compared to your friend or family member.

Steve Bhalla is a real estate agent who assists people in selling and buying houses. Visit if you are looking to sell or buy a property with help from expert real estate agents in the market.