Post # 1
Does anyone have any experience buying with a realtor they’re related to? My stepMIL got her real estate license within the last year, and she has only sold their old house so far, so not a ton of experience. She’s been super helpful taking us to see houses when we’ve seen ones we’re interested in, but now that we’ve found one, she’s kinda getting on my nerves telling me what’s wrong with it.
Even though we are first time home buyers, we know what we want in a house, and we’ve found it. We want to put an offer on it right away and we have since a week ago. She thinks we should keep looking because the kitchen isn’t updated and its an older house. She started suggesting other houses that we definitely don’t want because of their location or lack of yard… 2 things you can’t change. She’s just stressing me out now and I’m wondering if it was a bad idea to go with her.
Also there’s a whole nother story about her husband, my FIL, wanting to help us with the down payment and her not being a big fan of that. He may give us money without her finding out which seems like asking for trouble/drama. How involved is the realtor in the financial part of this whole thing?
Post # 3
If it’s causing problems with other family members, i’d say no. But really though, why not? She’ll give you a more honest opinion than a realtor just looking for a sell. Plus, if someone gets the comission why not family, right? 🙂
Post # 4
@JessyMess: A realtor is pretty involved in the financial part. I think if you continue to look at houses with her and in the decide not to use her as your official realtor, there are going to be major problems. Personally I wouldn’t feel comfortable with my MIL that much in our business, but that really needs to be decided bewtween you and your DH.
Post # 5
We purchased our first home a few weeks ago through FBIL – it was his first sale. It was over all a positive experience. There was one thing though – FI works in finance and is very methodical/demanding with people he hires for specific tasks – therefore he found it a bit awkward to be as questioning/thorough with FBIL just because it was his brother. That being said, we would always 100% support FBIL by using him as our realtor whenever we purchase. We think it’s very important to support family when they are running their own business. It was a positive experience and it was overall fun to have him with us as we are very close.
ETA: FBIL did not, in any way pressure us to purchase – he showed us tons of houses and generally was very understanding about all of our questions and hesitations as first time home buyers. He reminded us each step of the way that it was a very personal decision and we needed to take our time before deciding anything.
Post # 6
The realtor has little/no involvement in regards to the actual finances – at least ours wasn’t’-… they have no idea where the $ comes from at all but they do know how much you have for a downpayment/budget. So that should solve the FIL problem if it comes up. She will onyl need to know how much your budget is and a downpayment if necessary. The rest is up to the bank and none of her business. 🙂 She won’t find out unless you guys disclose to her.
As far as her helping, it could be good if shes willing to cut her commission to help you guys out, has the potential to save you guys a few thousand on a house! Our realtor was a great friend of ours and took less than 2% which is super uncommon. 🙂 If she’s charging the same commission and you’re more comfortable doing it without her, I’d politely tell her that you’re working with someone else 🙂
Post # 7
I don’t have personal experience in the realty aspect…but allowing your MIL to be a part of such a huge decision can go one of two ways—1) sets the stage for her thinking she can help you make all big decisions or 2) get you a good deal and she will be honest about the property and what all is out there (some realtors like to push certain properties and gloss over imperfections). And accepting money from your FIL without her knowing….that can get really scary, really fast. I would be open and honest and have a sit-down with all 4 of you…figure out why she doesn’t feel they should give the money (are they in a private financial pinch, is it a principle thing where she think’s “oh they can figure it out on their own” etc) and then go from there. Misconceptions and secrets are terrible for family dynamics for the rest of your life! Good luck…and go with your gut!
Post # 8
I personally wouldn’t want my MIL to know intimate details about our finances. And buying real estate involves a lot of financial details.
If she’s bugging you already…I would consider not working with her. OR finding some way to keep her opinion a little more quiet. She’s going to need to learn that skill if she plans on having future clients anyway.
Post # 9
Our realtor knows everything about our finances– we are totally depending on her to answer questions and to help us set up things like insurance, closing costs, payments, etc. We’re really dependent on her to get us the sale, too. She’s the one talking to the seller, getting them to fix some things, and pushing us to keep in our closing timeline. (We’re first-time home buyers so we’re desperate for guidance!)
I can’t speak for your MIL but I wouldn’t want a realtor I didn’t trust completely. We’ve been very lucky with ours.
Post # 10
I think it would be fine if you worked well with her.
But, because of your more personal relationship with her than a typical realtor, it sounds like she has a picture in her head of what type of house SHE wants for you and isn’t willing to accept that that isn’t want you want. THAT is a problem.
Post # 11
I would pass – it’s just too many intimate details for my liking. But I will tell you that not using a family member for realtor purposes has created tension (like, cant even be in the same room/admit we’re family tension) in my family and it is BAD.
Post # 13
I honestly would not do this kind of business with a family member, ever.
Post # 14
I say steer clear of mixing family with finances. Really. If FMIL wants to help, as in, go with you both AND the realtor, or make sure you know what questions to ask and what things to check for, that’s totally fine. But hiring family members can end badly.
Post # 15
I am a Realtor so take this with a grain of salt.
My mom (also a Realtor) sold FI his condo. It worked out fine, he loved working with her, had no issues. There is an issue here, she needs to treat you like any other client and you need to treat her like any other professional. Yes, she should point out things that are wrong with the house but she should also write up that offer for you if you want it.
Typically I also know a lot of about my clients’ finances, it’s important because I need to know if they’re actually able to purchase what I’m showing them. Where their money comes from is not important, as long as they have it.
I agree with you, a kitchen can be changed but location and a yard can’t. Go with your guy.
@StaceyA: Most Realtors are not going to cut their commission for their buyers as the sellers are the ones paying them. They can negotiate a lower commission with the sellers but all of that has to be disclosed to any other offers on the table.
Post # 16
eeewww sticky situation. This is a tough one. I personally wouldn’t take money for down payment. I dont want to have him or her throw in my face for years on helping me buy a house. As far as realty, she sounds like she’s helping by taking you to see several houses.