Given the bad rep that most property agents get, it’s understandable why most would want to have an agent that’s a friend or family. After all, if you can’t trust friends or family, who else can you trust?
So while in most cases that may be true, the true issue is one of capability.
On the one hand, it’s true that a friend or relative may be more highly motivated to help you, and may go out of the way. On the other hand, that still may not make them the best people for the job.
Consider, for example, if your friend or relative mainly deals with OCR condos, and hasn’t dealt with tenancy agreements for years. Would this be the right person to trust in renting out your 4-room flat? Chances are, there are other agents with a more up-to-date reading of the market, and a bigger list of relevant prospects.
Another example of this is when you’re dealing with a very new realtor, who is handling their first-ever cases. It’s quite likely that they’ll reach out to any friends and family to be their initial clients.
Now we’re not saying you shouldn’t give them a chance – but that should depend on the kind of transaction you’re looking at.
Giving them a shot at finding you a tenant may be okay; but trusting them to sell your condo, or handle a complex upgrading process where you’re also going to apply for ABSD remission, is something to reconsider.
If they mangle the process, it will make for some very awkward social interactions in the decades to come.
Finally, there’s also the possibility of them taking your friendship for granted.
For example, we’ve had a client who mentioned that he engaged his friend as an agent, only to find that his friend frequently wasn’t able to attend viewings, and just had a serious lack of time for him.
“I later found out that he was concentrating on his other clients, and just assumed that because we were friends that I would understand. It ended up hurting our friendship anyway, when that was what I was trying to avoid from the beginning.”