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Opinion Editorials

Simple solution to the “my relative is an agent” argument

We’ve all been there

We’ve all been there: a friend tells us that they wanted to use our services, but a relative has a real estate license and they feel obligated to use that person. Here’s a strategy to use which may be a win/win for all involved!

Someone I know casually called and asked me to list his house. He found another one and is purchasing it through a friend of his wife, he said, but she’s new and they want someone experienced to sell their home.

When I got to the house, he said they lost the deal. They were so disappointed! The buyer’s agent (a close friend of the wife) didn’t encourage them to make an offer fast enough. By the time they did, two other offers were on the house and she told them not to bother at this point, that they weren’t likely to get the place.

Making it a win-win for everyone

They still want to list with me because eventually they’ll find a house. She said they would love to look with me but they feel they want to give this girl a shot, and she can use the money badly. That was my “AHA” moment.

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I told them if they were worried about her being compensated and if she needed money, I could be their buyer’s agent and I would give the girl a referral fee. She would not have to do anything–but she’d still be paid part of my commission.

The husband and wife looked at each other and actually let out a collective sigh of relief. “That is so great! We wanted to get her some money but we really don’t trust her. We think we know more about real estate than she does. She didn’t even know we could put an offer in and make it contingent on selling our home. When I told her that’s what we wanted to do, she said she had to ask her boss if it could be done that way.”

So I got the listing, and signed on as a buyer’s agent (no, the other agent never had them sign a BA). I also signed them up for automatic emails from our MLS system. It takes five minutes to set someone up like this and they get emails of new listings automatically. The other agent never even did that. Sure, I’ll give her a referral fee (even though I don’t have to — they weren’t under buyer’s agency with her). That’ll make it a win/win for her, for me, and for the clients.

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Written By

Erica Ramus is the Broker/Owner of Ramus Realty Group in Pottsville, PA. She also teaches real estate licensing courses at Penn State Schuylkill and is extremely active in her community, especially the Rotary Club of Pottsville and the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce. Her background is writing, marketing and publishing, and she is the founder of Schuylkill Living Magazine, the area's regional publication. She lives near Pottsville with her husband and two teenage sons, and an occasional exchange student passing thru who needs a place to stay.

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