I Used My Friend as a Real Estate Agent — Here’s What I Learned

published Aug 7, 2023
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Standard advice tells you not to work with your friend as your real estate agent. Typically, I think, that advice applies to working with a friend or family member who just got their license and has little to no experience. In my experience, working with your friend as your real estate agent can be incredibly fun — if you do it right.

My husband and I recently bought our first home, and we decided to go with a good friend of mine, Stephanie Weidenhoft with Property Shoppe Realty in Strum, Wisconsin, to help us. I’ve known Stephanie for a few years and have watched her start and grow her business. We both have a love of real estate, so we bonded over market news and listings in our area, as well as a mutual love of Love Is Blind and Schitt’s Creek. “We got to grow our friendship and our love of properties through the transaction,” Weidenhoft says. “We also shared countless jokes and TV show conversations and always ended up in laughter.”

Here are our takeaways when it comes to working with a friend throughout the homebuying process

Your business relationship may be different from your friendship.

Stephanie has four kids and I have three. We’re both primarily stay-at-home moms who’ve grown our respective businesses over the last few years. Typically, we’re busy and will catch up sporadically or meet at the park. If calls are missed or go unreturned for a week, it’s no big deal. Same for texts. But when it came to house-hunting and buying, we knew there were different expectations — it helped that I wanted to buy a house and she wanted to sell one. 

When it came to calls related to the house, I expected her to answer or text back quickly and she expected the same from me. It was a different expectation than we would typically have for our friendship, so understanding that shift in communication was key to a successful business relationship.

Credit: Amy Covington/Stocksy

Showings are extra fun.

It’s always fun to walk through a house that you’re considering buying (for me at least), but it’s even more fun when your friend is walking through with you. Stephanie showed us three houses: We would do the walkthrough, discussing the house and if it would meet our needs, then we took advantage of some rare child-free time to catch up. When we looked at the house that we ended up buying, Stephanie and I talked about how we would drink coffee on the deck while the kids ran around the yard.

“One of the benefits of working with a friend is it makes my job more rewarding and exciting,” Weidenhoft says. “I get to help my friends in one of the biggest steps in their lives and it’s pretty cool to be able to work alongside them for a few months.”

You get the benefit of working with someone who truly understands your needs.

Stephanie had been to my old house many times, so she saw how it was set up. She knows my kids, so she knew what they needed. Above all, she knows my husband and me — and understood our goals for a future home. When I got out of the van at the house that is now ours, I knew quickly that it was the right one, and so did she. But after essentially 10 years of saving and being on the lookout for the right house, it was hard for me to believe this was really it. She, on the other hand, had no trouble, and helped me see that it was the right house and helped me work through any hesitations I had.