The Washington Post had a story, Your Friend, Your Agent?, debating the merits of hiring your frends v.s. hiring some stranger to assist one in a home purchase or sale.
The article includes several stories of buyers and sellers who chose relatives or friends over someone they didn’t know, and discussed the merits of each choice.
One point of advice it gave:
Before you choose to work with a friend, ask yourself what type of agent that person is. If you are moving out of the area, does he have the experience and affiliations to find you a home in another state or country? Also realize that an agent will be privy to your financial data and other personal information.
If you are staying local, will you continue to have contact after the transaction? If hiring someone destroys your friendship, what other parts of your life will be affected? Do you have mutual friends, share a place of worship or spend holidays with the prospective agent? If your friend is doing you a favor, even reducing his commission, would you hesitate to ask questions, tell him you are not completely satisfied or disagree with his advice? And when it comes to doing the deal, you want someone who can negotiate so that you’re confident you were properly represented.
I would think that NOT hiring your friend would be more likely to destroy the friendship than hiring them.