Realtor selling your house home saleHave you ever thought about having a really good friend be your real estate agent?

September is a special month around Girlfriendology – it’s International Women’s Friendship Month (aka: #FriendshipMonth) and we’re celebrating with 30 great guest blogs filled with fabulous girlfriend advice and wisdom.

Today we hear from guest blogger Girlfriend Guru Cathy Perry shares her perspective on having your BFF be your realtor.

Just about everybody knows a real estate agent – your mom, your sister, your best friend, your friend’s mom’s cousin.  And with the real estate market generally in the doldrums, if you have a house to sell, you can feel under a lot of pressure (from the agent, your family or friends, or just from yourself) to hire that person because you know business is slow for her.  Should you?

The answer is a rousing “it depends.” Selling your home is one of the biggest financial transactions you may experience in your life, and particularly in a buyer’s market, you want an agent who will make selling your home a priority, has a solid plan to market it, and will always put your interests first.

Here are a few things to think about before signing that listing contract with your BFF:

1)       Does your BFF work full time in real estate, or does she have a “real” job and dabble in real estate part time to make some extra bucks?  You want a full-time agent who is up-to-date on the latest rules and regulations and stays on top of current real estate technology, since 90% of buyers are looking on the internet first.

2)      Is your BFF a top producer? If so, that’s awesome – just make sure you’ll be working with her and not her assistant.

3)      Is your BFF a newbie agent? Newbies can be fabulous agents; just think about what she did before real estate.  Is she a go-getter with a strong work ethic?  Does her prior career or experience translate well to real estate?  Has she immersed herself in continuing ed classes to be the best agent she can be?  Does she work in a firm where there is a strong broker to stand behind her and give her good advice?  If you can answer “yes” to these questions, your newbie agent/BFF is likely to bust her butt to get your home sold.

4)      How comfortable are you at sharing confidential information with her? Your agent needs to know some intimate financial information from you in order to do the best job of pricing your home and negotiating contract and inspection issues.

5)      Can you and your BFF handle typical problems that can come up in the real estate relationship, and still keep your relationship intact? Can you talk frankly with her if you aren’t sure her marketing strategy is working, and can you handle her passing on negative feedback from a showing?   Can you let her put on her “real estate” hat and give you advice, and then both of you put your “BFF” hats back on afterwards?

I’ve been hired by friends because they know I will, indeed, bust my butt for them, and I’ve been not hired by friends because they “wanted to be able to yell at their agent if they needed to.”  So think through these points, don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something you’re uncomfortable with, and you will make the right decision.

Buying or selling a home involves a lot more than looking at homes on the internet or putting a “for sale” sign in the yard.  With a background as a wealth management executive and an interior design entrepreneur, CATHY PERRY brings it all together into a concierge model of real estate services designed to give her clients the highest level of service and expertise. You can find Cathy at her blog http://activerain.com/blogs/cathyperry or her website www.stlrealestateconcierge.com.

How have you handled the Real Estate/Girlfriend dilemma? Share your experience with us in the comments below!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

Note: It’s September – International Women’s Friendship Month (#Friendship Month) and we’re celebrating all month long! From this interview and guest blog by Miss America, to a month of women’s wisdom and 30 guest blogs, to our Newsletter Sign-up Contest and Facebook fun, and more! Don’t miss out on any of it! SIGN UP for our Newsletter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the fun friendship festivities and more!

Our September Friendship Month Guest Blogs so far …