Everyone knows someone who is a real estate agent – your cousin, your aunt, your sister-in law’s cousin’s best friend – and they expect you to use them when it is time to buy or sell a home. Maybe that’s a good idea, and maybe it isn’t. While I would hope a relative would work hard and do an amazing job for you, you need to really think about this. After all, this may be one of the largest financial decisions you make in your life and it is not to be taken lightly.
SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT YOUR “COUSIN VINNY”
For those of you who have seen the movie “My Cousin Vinny”, the situation presented here is familar to all of us. We are looking to hire someone to help us with a particular task and decide to fall back on a relative without thinking about their qualifications, because after all, they are family and how bad could things go? We may also be getting outside pressure from parents or other family members to hire this person.
Hiring a relative doesn’t always turn out to be a wise decision. So, before you hire a family member, here are some things to think about.
Is real estate this person’s full time profession? This is a big deal – you want a pro on your side and someone who is engaged full time in real estate. A part-time agent can often give only part-time effort.
Do they possess an in depth knowledge of the area you are looking to buy or sell? While a real estate agent can do business anywhere, it helps to use someone who knows your area well. Home values and desirability are affected by very small nuances in a community, and a local agent is better able to advise you on these.
Is your agent up to date on training and trends? – The industry is rapidly changing – with web and mobile technology playing a large part in finding and marketing homes. What kind of training has your “cousin” taken lately? What tools will they use to help you meet your goals?
HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
What happens if the deal goes sour? Many people stick with the policy of not mixing family and business – and for good reason. What will happen to your family dynamics if your transaction is not a success?
Since buying and selling a home is a huge financial undertaking, do you view it as an important business transaction? Shouldn’t you approach hiring an agent similar to hiring an attorney, accountant, or other professional?
Although “Cousin Vinnie” may have risen to the occasion and made for a happy ending in the movies, this doesn’t always happen in real life. Is that a risk that you really want to take?
A final comment – The primary reason to hire anyone is only if you think they will do a great job representing you. If the answer is yes, and they happen to be related, than that’s ok. However, if the primary reason you are hiring someone is because they are a relative, then you may be making your decision for the wrong reason. Remember, you’re the one who has to live with the consequences, so make your decision wisely.
If you have something to add to this post or simply want to express your thoughts or opinion on this topic, feel free to post your comments below. We’d love to hear from you.
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Should You Really Hire A Relative is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©December,2010