We've all heard the warnings: Don't mix business with family or friends. But this old rule doesn't hold a lot of weight with real estate agents. In a 2003 California Association of Realtors survey, 18.3 percent of Realtors reported that their latest real estate transaction was with a friend, relative or neighbor. That compares with 15.4 percent of Realtors surveyed in 1999. And a Texas A&M University Real Estate Center study released this year found that 10 percent of home buyers who participated in the study selected a real estate agent who was a friend or relative. Donna B. Thomas, a Realtor for Keller Williams in Plano, Texas, who has been an agent for about four years, said working with friends and family can be stressful and rewarding. "There was a little trepidation," she said, when she first considered working with friend and relatives. "I had been in business a year before I started marketing to my sphere of influence. The stress is so high working with them. It was diffic...
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