Free Advice?


Our friends Hal and Kathy recently put their condo up for sale.  Obviously in this market, not the easiest thing to do…  So, they decided to try to save on brokers fees by selling their home themselves.  However, to sell a home “For Sale By Owner” is a ton of work – and a lot of questions arise when you are doing it on your own.  As the process went on, Hal and Kathy found themselves asking their friend Linda – who is a realtor – endless questions on how to handle the sale. When it did finally sell, Linda was delighted for her friends, but was a bit let down when they sent her a lovely thank you note – with no check or even gift certificate enclosed…

Linda wasn’t expecting a full commission, but she had given them tons of free advice for several months – which amounted to many hours of her time.  In return, she had assumed they would offer her some sort of bonus.  Was Linda wrong to expect a little monetary thank you?  Or should Hal and Kathy have offered to pay her a reduced fee?  Tell us what you think!

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3 Responses to “Free Advice?”

  1. dnc says:

    I think Linda, Hal and Kathy should have had that discussion BEFORE giving/getting advice and not make assumptions about what was friendly help and what was a professional consultation. Hal and Kathy, unfortunately, did nothing wrong.

  2. rebekah says:

    This is like assuming just because your friend works at a salon, you get free haircuts. Your friend may be nice enough to come over and cut your hair instead of charging you a salon price, but you should definitely tip her or give her some sort of gift as a thank you. If not you are rude and taking advantage, in my opinion.

    My friend Rebecca offered to do my flowers for my wedding. She is trying to build up a business and was hoping I would show others pictures of her work and recommend her in the future. She told me up front I would not owe her any money other than for the cost of the flowers. However, when we returned from our honeymoon, my husband and I sent her a generous gift certificate to thank her for the beautiful job she did. I cannot imagine doing otherwise would have been appropriate- she saved us a huge amount of money.

  3. Karen says:

    Hal and Kathy did not list their home with Linda, why would they give her any kind of a commission check??? She is a friend and friends help each other. A thank you and a nice dinner out should be sufficient. Linda was ridiculous to expect more. If Hal and Kathy were able to afford paying commission they would have listed their house with her in the first place.

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