Thursday, April 4, 2013

Real Talk With Rachel: Bringing Down the House

by Rachel Kurzius

Dear Rachel,

I am a new real estate agent in a suburb of Washington.  I just got a call from a good friend of  mine who is selling his home. He called to tell me that he hired a different agent, another friend, to sell his home.  I felt very hurt and reacted angrily.  His response was that the other agent had much more experience than me and he wasn't willing to take a chance with his biggest asset.

I would have gone the extra mile to sell his house and that would more than make up for my inexperience. Getting this desirable listing would have been a big break for me in the field.  I feel really let down and am having trouble even talking to him.  I know I will forgive him, but it will be difficult to forget.  Am I seeing things clearly?

Rejected Real Estate Agent

Dear Rejected Agent,

Let me just get this whole story straight before we start dispensing advice. You wanted to use your friend's move, a moment steeped in financial importance as well as sentiment, as an opportunity to gain a foothold in a new profession. When your friend told you he felt uncomfortable with this arrangement, you got angry. Okay, I think I can answer your question now.

No, Rejected Real Estate Agent, you are not seeing things clearly. While friends should certainly try and support one another in their new endeavors, you are asking way too much. I bet you would work your butt off to try and sell that house. That extra mile might still not be as good as a seasoned agent’s work. Why would you expect your friend to take that risk?

This is a house we’re talking about here. As a real estate agent, surely you must know how significant an investment this is. I know that I would not want to leave anything to chance in that situation. Giving you a chance to show your worth is just that -- a chance. Your friend deserves more certainty.

I suspect, Rejected Agent, that what rankles most of all is that your buddy ultimately picked another friend over you. That hurts. I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t. But that’s also the way it goes  sometimes. Someone’s got to get picked, which means that somebody doesn’t.

Forgive your friend, because he did nothing wrong. Apologize for acting in anger. You say this will be difficult to forget. Don’t forget this moment, because hopefully it’s the situation that makes you realize this: You need to earn your own big break, instead of depending on a friend to give it to you.

All my best,


Rachel Kurzius revels in giving advice, and has provided counsel both as a columnist and a friend. She lives in Washington DC, where she works as a news producer. Real Talk with Rachel is published on All Life is Local and the Cleveland Park Listserv,, on Wednesdays. Need advice? You can write to Rachel via or advice @

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