Business Is Business but I Feel Bad I May Hurt a Friend

Updated on April 17, 2012
A.M. asks from Albuquerque, NM
19 answers

A friend of mine is a realtor who successfully sold my first house for me about ten years ago. Two years ago my husband and I hired her again when we put our current house on the market. During that time she helped me paint rooms in our house and plant a garden in preparation for putting our house on the market. Ultimately, the he house was on the market for a year with no offers. We are putting our house on the market again but have decided to go with a more aggressive realtor and we have lowered the price significantly in hopes of selling quickly. I know business is business but I feel as though my friend put so much extra time and effort helping us and never got paid. I want to let her know about what we are doing before she finds out on her own.....any advice on how to break the news would be helpful! I can't decide on an approach to take... I just feel so bad :(

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from San Francisco on

Why not give her an opportunity to sell it at the reduced price? It doesn't seem right to drop the price and change realtors. If she can't sell it within say 30 days, then switch realtors. Seems to me since she did give of her own time to help you, you should repay her by giving her one more shot.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You know what? When houses sit on the market for so long, it usually has nothing to do with the realtor.

4 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Phoenix on

My opinion is that if you are lowering the price for a quick sell, then you should just go with your friend. Realtors do things such as help paint, declutter, landscaping, etc in hopes that you remember that effort when it comes time to sell. I would tell your friend that its time to put it up for sale and that you need her to be extremely agressive and can she do that? See what she says, if she seems iffy about it, then tell her honestly you will need to go with someone more agressive. Or ask her if it doens't sell in a certain amount of time, then she agrees to allow you to switch realtors. I think you should at least give her a chance. She will be around longer than your house. Good luck!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Gotta agree with the others...most likely your house was not priced right. But your realtor friend should have had the "business is business" philosophy and mindset to have told you that.

If the house sells at the lower price, then you really can't blame her for not selling it, right? Apples to oranges.

I, personally would give her another chance at the new price, if it's not too late.

If you've already committed, then just be honest with her right away.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I really don't believe it was your friend's "fault" that your home did not sell.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I agree with MzKitty on this one. Perhaps you would have sold the house before if you had had it priced right. Give her 3 or 4 months, and tell her that you are sorry, but if she cannot sell the house in the contracted time, you will be listing the house with a more aggressive agent. Give her the chance since she did so much work for you.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

The thing is, houses were not selling a year ago, nor are they selling now.

Your house is going to sell if the price is right no matter who has it.

I don't think I would do what you are planning. She should mean more than the house.

It sounds like to me that your price was too high. Houses are not selling and they are only going to keep sitting for sale at this time. Real Estate is nearly at a standstill.

I think you should stay with her and listen to her if she says your price is still too high.

I have several friends in real Estate across the USA, they are all worried about losing their own homes due to not making any money from the lack of houses selling.

One of my friends whose husband was transferred within the same state but over 2 hours away had a 4+ bedroom with a park butting up to their back fence, an area for a full garden, 2 car garage, everything. A modest home for an upper middle class family.

They had paid it off several years ago so that when all their children got to college age they would have the free money to pay for BYU.

The house was immaculate. It was one of those I wish I had the money to buy. They put it up for sale and no offers. Lowered the price. No offers. Lower it again, still no offers.

They let it sit for 6 months and the selling price was over $100K below an appraised value of just a few years before. They sold it finally but it was for pennies on the dollar. The family that bought it are so happy. The children have always had to share bedrooms and now they each have their own rooms. They estimated they bought the house for almost the same price the family bought the house for when they first bought it. Nearly 30 years before.

My point is, houses have not been selling for years now unless they are marked down and down and down.

If you do not have your home listed for "pennies on the dollar" the buyers will pass you house by and go find one that is because that is what people who need to sell are doing.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I do not understand why you are not using her as your realtor. She went above and beyond what I have ever heard of any realtor doing. Ultimately it is the price that will attract potential buyers. What does a more "aggressive" realtor do? Advertise more? Have more frequent open houses? I bet your "friend" could have done all those things for you too if you gave her the chance. Your friend did not even have the chance to negotiate a deal because your price was too high last time.
Perhaps you could use her services to help find your new house. Then she can earn a commission. Otherwise, if I were you I would give her a very generous Visa gift card to compensate her for her work getting your house ready.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

I am a realtor and there are two things here. Number one, if you get no offers in a year that is because the price is too high. There is nothing a realtor can do that will "fix" a house that is priced wrong. Every house can sell if the price is matter where it is or what is wrong with it. (Most seller's don't believe that but it is 100% true. Just look at the bank owned properties that sold with holes in the walls and broken plumbing...)
Number two, a realtor can only advise you where to price your house but it is ultimately up to you. To blame the fact that your friend was not "aggressive" enough isn't true. She can only be aggresive when you have an offer and it is time to negotiate.
If you have not signed the contract with another realtor I think your friend deserves the opportunity to try to sell your house at the aggressive price. If you have already signed the listing contract with a different agent, you should definately call and have a talk with your friend. Do not be surprised when your friendship is affected. This has happened to me in the past and it hurt my feelings deeply.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

I'm not sure why you don't tell your friend you and DH decided you want to drop the price for a quick sell and just keep her as your realtor. I mean, what is she going to do, refuse to list it at the price you want to drop it to? If that's the case, she would have to understand you switching realtors, but why not give her a chance with the new low price? Unless she gave you incredibly bad service (and it sounds like the opposite) I wouldn't blame her for your house not selling, the housing market has been tough all around.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

realtors and open houses NEVER sell the house. The price and a sellers agent does! You should've went with her and lowered the price.

OPen houses and advertising is done to help the realtor get more people to list with. It's not actually done to help that house sell. Well hardly. I was a realtor and open houses were for picking up new business. I mean you hoped the home sold but more so than not it was for potention clients. You could've done a short 6 month contract with your friend or told ehr what you wanted.

If I thought the realtor actuayl sold the house and not price, I would agree with you

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

Do you think your friend is aggressive enough for the current market?

The housing market was much different 10 years ago and most homes were haggled over, now the realtor and sellers really need to work hard to get an offer. If you don't think she can handle it then be honest with her that you are going to list with someone else. You can say that you are no longer comfortable mixing business with pleasure and leave it at that.

IMO, I think you would be wise to not list with a friend.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

whoa...hold on just a second.

Did she help because she was a friend, or is she just THAT wonderful of a realtor she does that for all her clients?

Friends do things without expectation of compensation.

Everyone else is business.

If she planted flowers to help you, (regardless of why YOU were planting them) - then she's a friend and you should go on about your day and hire whomever you wish.

If she planted flowers b/c she's aiming for a bigger commission check, which is based upon your selling price - then it obviously didn't work and it's just business.

When you worry about hiring a friend, BECAUSE they are a friend - you are people pleasing. In other words, you are ignoring your own needs and placing someone else' needs ahead of yours. That's not healthy - for either of you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

You and your husband need to do what have to to sell your house. Hopefully it won't come to this but get ready for some backlash at anytime. It could come a week after you tell her, or one day in 5 years after you sell the house. I know you guys are friends but remember "hell hath no fury..."



answers from Tulsa on

I would let her know before too. Can you blame your husband? Seriously. If she is your friend, this is the easy way out.

If you lower the price, with any realtor, it is easier to sell your house. That will probally be her first response. Some realtors do way more than others. Mine calls other realtors personally and does the "I'll show your listing if you show mine." Our house sold fast even though we overpriced it and knew it.



answers from Lincoln on

oh that is a tough one! well, i would call her up and explain to her that since you had no luck with selling your house the first year, you are going to try a different avenue. and for her efforts maybe you could buy her a nice gift card for a $100.00 or something... i know that would not amount to the money she would make in commission on the sale of your house, but if you are trying to sell quickly, you have to do what is best for you and your family, you know? if she is a really good friend, she will understand, sure she might be hurt, but your have to explain that your intention is not to hurt her, but to take care of what you need to. i hope it works out for you. i can see both sides. on one hand, if i was the friend, i would be hurt, but on the other hand, i want a quick sale. i have been in that situation before and it is not fun! good luck!


answers from Chicago on

This is why we do not mix business with pleasure. Simply tell her that you are in need of a realtor that is not a friend, you realize that friendship is more important that business and they should not mix. I would assume since she IS your friend she would have done most of this stuff with out expecting compensation any how. Realtors to TONS of work w/out getting paid - it is par for the course.



answers from Santa Barbara on

Do you think it is going to be the aggressive realtor or the situation of a much lower price that might sell the house. I agree business is business but this doesn't sound like something she can't handle. I would probably talk with her and let her know the situation, she may have ideas for you and can get the sale as well.

Ohhhh, just read it again. It sounds like you already signed with the other person. Well, if it helps I am in in sales and I never get all the sales. I do a lot of extra work and it doesn't fall into place's the nature of the business. Just tell her and be honest. I always appreciate that from my clients. Good luck with the house.



answers from Appleton on

I would sit her down and explain rhe situation. Tell her you would like to lower the price and need to have someone who is an aggressive agent. Tell her you would like to keep her on as your agent but unless she can be really aggressive you will need to find another agent.
You are giving her an out. You will also find out about any contract you already have with her. Do you know if you have any contractual abligations to her at this time?
She may not understand how aggressive you are in getting this house sold.

As far as her not getting paid any good salesperson will tell you it's a numbers game. If she is not seeing or finding enough buyers or listing enough homes she won't make anhy money. She should understand.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions