“My friend is a realtor, but I’m hesitant to mix friendship with finances. How should I approach it?”

Choosing a realtor is a deeply personal decision. The realtor you choose will likely see you at your best and worst as you cycle through moments of excitement and stress. They will also be privy to certain personal information, like your reasons for moving and your budget. 

Some feel there’s no one they would rather share that experience with than a friend, because that person has likely already seen them at their worst and already knows their personal details. They may feel a friend is most likely to have their best interests at heart — trusting your realtor is essential. 

Others are not comfortable mixing friendship with such a huge financial and emotional transaction. A friendship is no doubt different than a business relationship, and the two don’t always mesh together. They may feel an unbiased and arms-length third party is a more sound decision. 

In my experience, I take cues from the client as to how personal and involved they want me to be. Friend or not, it’s important that I respect privacy and confidentiality. It’s equally as important that I’m there to act as a therapist or shoulder to lean on for clients who need that support. Many of my clients like to keep things strictly business, and many more have become friends if they weren’t already — and both scenarios are okay!

Ultimately, your decision has to be based on your comfort level. Buying or selling a home is a huge undertaking, so your decision on representation shouldn’t be taken lightly. Focus on the most important qualities: trustworthiness, experience, intelligence, how they handle negotiations and stressful situations, etc. If that’s your friend — great! Working with friends is my favorite type of transaction and adds a unique element of fun. If it’s not your friend — that’s okay too. Be honest with them and remember that your friendship comes first. 

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.