Should I list my property with a family or a friend instead of a local agent?

I know what you’re thinking…a Real Estate agent will always say No!

However, here we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of working with a family member or a friend, and hopefully, it will help you make a decision that works best for you.

For homeowners who are considering selling their home, one of the most important question is, how much will I net after the close of escrow?  And understandably so, but how do you know if you’re making the right choices?  Will a family member represent me better than a stranger? If he/she does not HOW DO YOU FIRE YOUR FRIEND?  

  • Will a Family member represent me better than a stranger? Working in the Real Estate industry for over two decades, this has been a very familiar topic of discussion for agents.  According to, there are over 290,000 active agents in California as of April 2020.  On average in every household, someone either has a relative or a friend that holds an active Real Estate license.  So, it’s no wonder that many homeowners interview seasoned agents then end up listing with a family/friend.  Many times they are not confident enough to work with a stranger and they assume their loved ones will have their brest interest at heart.  Although this may be true in some instances, it has been my experience that the relationship does take a toll.  Unfortunately, when you decide to hire someone based on your relationship the person assumes they have special privileges.  Maybe they can skip an open house because they know you or the buyer that can only view the home in the early morning hours can be rescheduled at a time that’s more convenient to them.  Most of the time you wouldn’t even know how he/she is representing you until it’s too late into the listing period. 
  • DO I SAVE MONEY BY LISTING WITH A LOVED ONE VS. A LOCAL AGENT? It’s a known fact that our home is one of the most valuable asset we have.  So, we want to make sure that we seize maximum profit for ourselves when we list the property for sale.  During most of my listing interviews the first question I get asked is, “What is my home worth?” and the question that follows is, “What is your commission rate?”  Many family members will give a commission break but you’re betting that they have enough experience to stage the home properly, have experience in negotiating with the buyer and their agent, know how to switch any buyer’s interest from the neighbor’s house to yours and not to mention, know the legal forms necessary to avoid lawsuits, work with reputable escrow and title companies, have enough comp’s to make sure your home appraises and closes the escrow on time without a glitch.  It isn’t enough to have a social media presence, you need experience and passion to make all the moving parts come together.  So, yes you may save money but make sure you do your due diligence before listing with your loved one.


It’s not an easy task to fire someone you’ve gotten to know, either through buying or selling a home, add friendship into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a potential recipe for disaster.  Many times when a property has been sitting on the market longer than 30 days it’s either that the agent didn’t list the property at the correct listing price, he/she hasn’t staged the property, the property hasn’t been marketed to the maximum extent possible and lastly, the agent hasn’t allowed showing at the buyer’s convenience but rather their own.  If your loved one or family member is behind these missed opportunities you will be stuck in the listing agreement you signed and be forced to babysitting their work habits only to find out, not only are you losing money but you’re wasting your valuable time. In my many years as a Broker Associate, I have gone to listing interviews where the homeowner originally, listed their home with a family member and the property failed to sell.  Later, they start interviewing agents based on experience or proven work habits.  This is not an easy task for the next agent, mainly because they will need to rebrand and use creative methods to ensure the sale of your property.  Anyone who types in your property address will be privy to the property price, days it was on the market, and that it wasn’t salable.  Because of today’s shared information on social platforms, public information, and various agent sites, it is crucial to list your property with someone who delivers results and they won’t leave behind a trail of reduced prices and long list of reduced prices.

Even though there are some benefits to listing with a family member or a loved one. Be sure you know their work habits, experience, and you have an exit strategy you can implement in case you find yourself backed against a wall.