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How to Turn Down a Real Estate Listing From a Friend or Family Member

How to Turn Down a Real Estate Listing From a Friend or Family Member

Doing business with your loved ones can go really well… or really badly. Tales of deals gone wrong ending with alienation and broken relationships are brought up every time the subject is mentioned. But why is doing business with friends and family such a bad idea?

real estate listing

It all comes down to a couple of things. First of all, doing business with friends just has too much potential to strain or even destroy relationships if it goes poorly. All too often one party or the other will feel that they’ve gotten the short end of the stick, even if neither party does anything wrong.

One of the worst types of business to do between friends or family is the business of property. Selling a piece of property to a friend or family is a recipe for disaster. If it’s a house, something is bound to break, cave in or leak. If it’s undeveloped property, it could have sinkholes, bad water or rowdy neighbors. Whatever the issue is, you can be sure of one thing: You’ll get the blame because you are the real estate expert.

How to Turn Down That Unwanted Listing

So now I’ve convinced you that it’s a bad idea to buy real estate from family or friends. “But how can you turn down this offer?” they might ask you. “It’s such a good deal, what could possibly go wrong?”. “You’d be doing me a huge favor.”

If you’re having trouble finding the right way to turn down this unwanted listing, never fear: here are a couple of ways you can turn down unwanted offers without doing too much damage to your friendship or wallet.

Be Frank With Them

No, I’m not telling you to legally change your name to frank and assume a new identity. In fact, I’m recommending you do the exact opposite! Sometimes the best way to turn down an unwanted offer is to simply be your honest self and explain why doing business with friends or family is a bad idea, and why you don’t want the property.

A lot of the time, this is actually much easier in the long run. Most people will simply laugh understandingly and move on. You’ll stay close, and you won’t have to deal with the unpleasantness of keeping something from your friend or family member.

Recommend Another Real Estate Agent

Now that you’ve told them why you can’t work with them, offer a solution. Recommend that they find a real estate agent from your contacts. There are many real estate agent directories which will give them plenty of options to get rid of that listing they are so eager to dispose of.

The key is to be honest and offer other solutions. Most friends and family members will appreciate your honesty.

Author Bio

Theresa Hus is a member of the content team at The OFFICIAL Real Estate Agent Directory® producing countless informative and trendy real estate articles monthly for and its many outlets.


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