Ask Denise: Doing Business with Family | The Zebra Blog

Ask Denise: Doing Business with Family

Q: “Denise, my brother and sister-in-law are ready to become first time homebuyers in the next few months. They have asked me a few questions but haven’t really indicated they will be using me for that purchase. I don’t want to be pushy, but I would like their business. How should I proceed?”

A: First, I would like to commend you on providing information without pushing for the sale. But I actually think it is time to address the elephant in the room so it doesn’t become a barrier in your relationship whether they use your or not. I believe that having an honest discussion is the best way to move forward. It looks something like this:

“Teresa and Nate, I know you have both been thinking about buying a home and I am so excited for the both of you. As you know, I am a real estate agent and would love to help you with this transaction. However, I understand that everyone has a different comfort level when doing business with family members, so I respect your decision as to whether you want to use me or not.

If you feel like you would like to not mix business with family, I do have a number of colleagues who I think would do a great job representing you and they work with first time homebuyers. If you would like to go that route instead, I would get you connected with one of them.

The key is making sure you are comfortable and have rapport with whomever you choose to represent you. Please let me know how I can help!”

This way you are making it clear that you would be happy to represent them, but if they aren’t comfortable with that, they aren’t being put in the position of having to reject you because you have presented them with two options. Plus you get to refer a colleague if they don’t move forward with you. It is a win-win!

Please please please don’t let rejection from a friend or family member go to your head. Some people really like to keep business out of the friend and family dynamic, so don’t take it personally! The more proactive you can be when you hear that someone close is going to be buying or selling by presenting them with options, the more successful you will be in that arena because you won’t have people tiptoeing on eggshells around you.

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