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If you want to buy or sell a house and you’re looking for a real estate agent, you may be thinking about working with a family member or friend in the business, or someone you know socially may have recommended an agent. When it comes to such a major financial transaction, it’s important to put your personal relationships aside and choose the agent who is the most qualified to help you.

How Hiring a Family Member or Friend can Backfire
If you have known and trusted someone for years and that person is a real estate agent, you may think that individual is the perfect choice. The reality is that hiring someone you already have a personal relationship with can complicate the process and may leave you at a disadvantage.

Not all real estate agents are equally qualified and knowledgeable. They may specialize in different geographic areas and types of properties. Even if your family member or friend is an excellent agent, that person may have little or no familiarity with the city or type of home that interests you.

If you and your real estate agent have a personal relationship that you don’t want to damage, you may not be completely honest with each other. A friend or family member may not be willing to tell you directly that your house has problems that need to be fixed. You may be reluctant to tell your agent that you disagree with his or her approach.

If you are honest with each other and get into an argument, that may cause irreparable harm to your personal relationship. A fight may also affect your other relationships, since individuals who know both of you may feel that they are caught in the middle.

When you buy or sell a house, you will have to produce a trove of financial documents. If you hire a family member or friend to represent you as a real estate agent, that person will gain access to your intimate financial details. Depending on the circumstances, that might make things awkward in your personal relationship.

Why Taking a Family Member’s or Friend’s Recommendation May Not Be a Good Idea
Someone who has the best of intentions may recommend a real estate agent that he or she has worked with in the past. Even if that agent is well qualified and delivered excellent results for another person, that doesn’t necessarily mean that agent is the right fit for you. The agent may not have the right combination of knowledge and experience for your situation.

Choose the Agent Who is Right for You
Buying or selling a house is a major financial transaction. That’s why it’s so important to keep your personal relationships out of the equation. Find an agent who is qualified and whom you can interact with in an honest and professional manner, without worrying about how it may impact other aspects of your life.