ListingsMarket Updates October 16, 2020

What Does a Real Estate Agent Do? The Fiduciary Duty

As a full-time Realtor for the past 30 years, many potential buyers and sellers have asked me the question:   What does a Real Estate Agent do?

I have given a lot of thoughts by reviewing my own behaviors and my colleagues.  The following requirements and responsibilities, I believe, the Realtor’s role should be:

  1. A Real Estate Agent provides guidance and assistance to sellers and buyers in marketing and purchasing property for the best terms and price.
  2. Being the trusted professionals determine a client’s preferences or needs for properties and propose the best solutions depending on their financial abilities.
  3. Real Estate Agents should carry out comparative market analysis to estimate the value of properties.
  4. They also accompany clients to property sites, discuss conditions of sale and draw up real estate contracts.


Never in my past 30-year practice, I realize how important that we, as the Realtor, study the comparative market analysis and provide the accurate estimate property values and trend accurately is the ultimate fiduciary duty we should hold us not only to the sellers and buyer, but to our professional integrity.

Recently, I have listed and sold a property in Pinole.  This property is located in a stable neighborhoods with few turnover sales in the past 15 years.  Due to the Pandemic, one of the unit owner who has a special needs child and need to sell her home in a hurry so she can move in with her family.  The unit was sold about $35,000 less than the market.  In the meantime, there was another property nearby was listed about $40,000 above the average market value, which the seller was not willing to reduce the price, and the buyer was not willing to pay for higher than  the appraised value.  After 2 independent appraisal evaluations, the property has been stucked in the pending status for more than 2 months now.  Eventually, the seller might receive the price they wanted when the rest of the market moved forward when there would be a property sold closed the stucked price, which could take probably 90 days after the listing stays  on the market.

However, these have affected my listing on the market.  We have to cancel a very good escrow because the appraisal value was affected by the below-market sale next door.  My listing went into contract again shortly after the cancellation.  The second accepted offer is acceptable within the range of the market value.  In order to help the lender understand the market trend and market value, I performed the intensive city-to-city, year-over-year, month-over-month, neighborhood-over-neighborhood market analysis to support the value..

A Realtor has the fiduciary duty to share the market knowledge with the seller/buyer and provide the pricing strategy to assist the seller fulfill his/her financial needs.  We all know the property can sell quickly if seller is willing to sell below the market; but, what does that mean to the neighborhood? and to other homeowners in the neighborhood if they would like to do refinance or sell their property?

This is an eye-opening real experience for me and reminded me not to take the market value analysis lightly.  I have done very best to make sure I provide the best service to my seller, and I truly believe I sold my listing with a highest value in the neighborhood as of now.  It was done with days of home works, sweat and perseverance.

It is very important who you choose to represent you buying or selling a property. Choose it carefully!

If you know anyone who is interested in buying, selling, or investing, please give me a call.  I am happy to be of service!

Wishing you and your loved one’s good health.


The best,

Wendy T. Louie/DRE01038800

510 8519888 /