Profile picture for Ecotyro

How do I break up with my realtor?

I will be listing my home in a few months and seeking a new home. The realtor I bought my current home with is a good friend and has given me some advice for selling. However, I've found another realtor who is a much better fit for me as a seller. How do I "break-up" with my current realtor and still keep our friendship? I know all realtors are having a hard time now.
  • October 17 2011 - US
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Answers (20)

Yah know that is a good question.  From my experience I would suggest a stright forward explanation to your friend.  Personally I would make sure to state that you are talking to her as a business professional and not your friend when you have the conversation...then go on to tell her that the reason you are having the conversation is because you value her friendship and do not want to loose it...you get more flies with honey......your frined will appreciate your candor and may have words of wisdom to help you with your realtor...best of luck as I know it will not be easy...
  • December 10 2011
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Simply tell the truth. Realtors hate being played with by customers (even if they are friends). Also, some realtors prefer not to work with family and friends in the first place. The commission may not be worth damaging a personal relationship.
  • December 03 2011
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Profile picture for amandathomas
Hi Ecotyro,

A good Realtor, and a good friend, will understand your desire to go in a different direction. Whether your decision was based on price, specialized skill set for selling, or simply because you wish to keep a healthy boundary in place now that you have become close friends, a true professional will give you the freedom you need as a consumer to choose what is best for you, and support you in that decision.

There's no need to make excuses. It's business, not personal. :-) 
  • November 29 2011
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Profile picture for Sharon Lewis
Oh thats a tough one isn't it? Its like breaking up with your hairdresser-lol
I would sit down with them and tell them you want to go with 'abc' because you value your friendship and that you feel that money and friendship do not work out well....you might say to them that if for some reason the new relationship doesnt work out that you will then use them....I have a client who listed with me, even though their 'best friend' who is a realtor, lives right next door. (Sold it in ten days) 
Bottom line, this is your money....you worked hard to earn it, you get to have the say in what happens to it. Best of luck on your sale.
  • November 29 2011
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Profile picture for VanessaCollinss
Go with the realtor you know will produce the results you want and sell your house.
  • November 29 2011
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I am a REALTOR and I just had a good friend call me yesterday to tell me that he is going to short sale his house with another agent. I questioned him about who the agent was and why he chose them, but understood that was his decision and appreciated that he called to tell me this before I saw a sign in his front yard and got my feelings hurt.

We are and always will be good friends and I still offered to help, if he had any questions at all and told him that I would try to find a buyer for him.  If you do decide to go with #2, I know that #1 would appreciate the phone call. Good luck with the quick sale of your home!

Marty

  • October 19 2011
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Very much appreciate your feedback, which we don't always get, and wish you good luck!
  • October 19 2011
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Profile picture for Ecotyro
Thank you all for your considered advice! To answer some of the follow-up questions... the friend is a wonderful person, much loved by all, but has a very quiet, gentle and sometimes non-committal, wishy-washy approach. The 2nd realtor (also a friend!) has a much more straight-forward, directive, no-sugar-coated approach which I've found to be much more my own personal style. True, the first realtor (the long time friend) is very active, who I see working hard all the time. The second realtor I don't know as well. Both gave me the same listing range for my home, so I have no illusions about that. I've taken the advice to ask for a CMA from both. I'll be very interested to compare the results and hope that they help make the decision clear. Thank you all for your input!
  • October 19 2011
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Why do you believe the other agent is a better fit for you?
Your realtor did something that very few good realtors do, kept in touch with you. He obviously helped you purchase your home and it must had been a good experience since you are still friends with him. This could be a a case of your friend being honest with you about the market while the realtor you do not know have given you rozy advice because after all you are just a client. Dan gave you a good advice. Ask from both brokers list of homes that have been sold, are in pending, cancelled, withdrawn in the last year. Some realtors have too many listings and they play lottery game and unless you find out how many of those listings have ever sold and at what price you might be misinformed that #1 agent in your town takes 100 listings, fails on 50, closes on 10. Yeah they sell the most but they also fail the most.
Check your facts and if both agents look the same give your friend a chance!
  • October 18 2011
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I'm assuming your "good friend" and the agent through whom you purchased your current home evolved into becoming a good friend after you moved in. If truly a good friend and a professional, he/she will handle it well if you discuss your decision honestly. Perhaps some of your friend's recent selling advice didn't track with your agenda. You certainly want to be sensitive that they feel you weren't just soliciting their expertise.
  • October 17 2011
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Profile picture for Dan Malloy
I would recommend interviewing both agents.  Review their ratio of expired listings to sales for the current year.  For example, if  one agent sells 95% of their listings, and the other agent only sells 75% of their listings, you can let the facts speak for themselves.  Too many sellers use emotion when choosing an agent to represent them on the sale of their home.  You will always get better results if you use an expert in your area to list and sell your home.  Let both agents know that you will use their actual results to determine who gets the listing, and have them supply a CMA detailing all of their current listings, pending, contingent, and closed sales, plus expired listings from 01/01/11 on.  Check out their average days on market, list price to sale price ratio, and sold to expired ratio.  Once you review the FACTS it should make your decision easy.
  • October 17 2011
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Profile picture for etjohnson

Perhaps you can still use your friend as your buyer's agent when you look for your new home. That would soften the blow of losing the listing.

  • October 17 2011
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Profile picture for JoSoss
If they are a "good friend" why can't you just discuss this with them.  Why if they are a "good friend" are they not a good fit for you?  If you value the friendship you should give them a chance to explain your concerns.  You need to be very honest with them if you want to keep the friendship.  Why is this other agent a better fit?  I do agree that this is business, but really I would rather do business with a trusted friend then someone I don't know very well. 
  • October 17 2011
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Some Realtors are better in other areas such as buyer's rep an listing agent's Just explain that to your good friend and a good friend will understand and not mix personal and business life together and respect your opinion.
  • October 17 2011
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I would ask for their marketing plan and execution of it.  The fact is your needs may be tailored different from their marketing, and at the emd of the day, we all should remember this is just a business transaction....and your Realtor is there based on that loyalty and trust to begin with.  I think you will be fine....just stick to the facts.  Good Luck.
  • October 17 2011
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Good Morning,
As the others have stated, there is no way this is going to come out nice. Honesty will at least let your friend know where she needs to improve to retain more clients. I know my feelings would be hurt, but I would want to use the experience to grow as a professional.

Good Luck!
  • October 17 2011
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Profile picture for sunnyview
Nothing you say will make the agent that you are breaking up with happy so you might as well be honest. You need to tell your current agent why you think that the other agent is a better fit for you as a buyer.

You can consider using the "it's not you it's me speech", but expect them to be hurt and unhappy for a while. They never like clients who walk away, but times are tight for agents right now. Expect some push back and bargaining on their part, but if they are the wrong agent for you hold your ground.
  • October 17 2011
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If you have not signed a Listing Agreement with you friend be honest and give her the reasons why you prefer to list your property with another Agent, expertise of the area, marketing, etc.  Did you ask for advice from the Realtor who is your friend?  Compare listing and marketing strategies and this will make you comfortable with your decision.

  • October 17 2011
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I think your best bet is just being honest with them.  If they are a true friend they will understand how you feel. In this business we always hear cases where someone has used a friend to help them and they have felt they weren't getting the best service.  Its nothing against your friend, but this is one of the biggest decisions you make and you need someone working for you.  It will all workout!  Good luck with breaking the news and selling/ finding your perfect home :)
  • October 17 2011
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Profile picture for Gabilan Properties
You don't have to break up as you don't have a current agreement with her. I would tell her before you sign with the new agent, that you have made a business decision that does not include her.

As for keeping the friendship, that will depend on your friend and how she reacts to the news.

Try and give her a few valid reasons for your choice, such as the new agent is the neighborhood specialist, has an aggressive marketing approach or whatever the reasons you think they will be a better fit for you.

Good luck.
  • October 17 2011
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