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Hiring an inexperienced real estate agent

Hiring an inexperienced real estate agent
ask phyllis a real estate question

Ask Phyllis: a blog series of frequently asked real estate questions.

Dear Phyllis,

I have yet to see this exact scenario in your article. After a long illness, my mother passed. I have two sisters and am the one in charge of selling her home. One of my sisters has been a stay-at-home mom for years. Now that her children are off independently, she is understandably bored. She lives in San Diego and has been discussing getting her real estate license. She believes that selling our mother’s La Crescenta home is the perfect way for her to break the ice in her new career. While my other sister and I want to be supportive, we seek your advice.

Supportive Sisters

Dear Supportive,

Obtaining a real estate license does nothing to prepare an agent for the job. I was very fortunate that I came from a mortgage banking background. In addition, for several years, I worked with my mother, a seasoned Realtor.

The fact that your sister does not even live in the same county as the home rules her out as a wise choice as the agent. You were selected to be the trustee of your mother’s estate. You have a fiduciary duty to act in the trust’s best interest. Hiring an inexperienced real estate agent is not in the trust’s best interest. If there are additional beneficiaries other than your sisters, you could set yourself up for litigation from the other heirs.

To many, the process of selling a home is basically matchmaking. They may believe it is simply finding a buyer and negotiating the price. It is much, much more complex. Because our business is not a science, many decisions are based on experience and intuition. In today’s changed real estate climate, negotiations often occur after the buyer inspects the home. An inexperienced out-of-area agent can cost the beneficiaries tens of thousands of dollars.

I understand you want to support your sister and that this could be a learning opportunity. But selling a home in La Crescenta will offer her little experience in the San Diego marketplace. Moreover, selling a vacant home will not offer her the needed understanding of the stress of someone selling a home they are living in, keeping it show-ready-condition, etc.

I wish you and your sisters the best of luck.

Related Post: Studies show only 20% trust Realtors

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