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Who has "the file" on your house?

Updated: Jan 17, 2022

A colleague of mine shared a story the other day that I thought was too good not to write about. It is about a trick that a realtor used to secure the future sale of a home. Even more surprising is that the trick used resulted in my colleague's own family member using a different real estate agent to sell her house.

It is definitely not a given that a seller will want to use a family member in real estate to sell their home. There are lots of reasons for this. Sometimes they feel like they don't want their family member to know too much of their financial secrets or maybe don't want them to know that they have property to sell. That can sometimes cause fights in families and the seller may want to avoid any problems. More often than not, the reason for them not choosing them as an agent comes down to the seller not understanding how the agent is paid. They assume agents receive a salary or other regular compensation and don't want to be a bother to them. Granted, it is also the fault of the family realtor for not speaking to everyone about their job and asking them to support them for future home sales.

In this case, when the seller had purchased the home, the agent said to her before leaving that if she ever wanted to sell the home, she should come to see him because he had "the file" on the house and it would make things much easier. That little phrase worked. She honestly thought that there was a file that only he had access to for the home. This, of course, was false as every realtor has access to all of the information on the home through the MLS system.

When selling your home, please don't feel that you have to work with somebody that has sold your home in the past or that tells you a made up story so that they secure your business. You are free to work with whomever you choose. Hopefully that means you will select somebody that you get along with, someone that is honest with you, that you know has your best interests at heart, and that you actually like to work with! And if you have a family member in the business, then you might want to check in with them first.

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