I wrote a blog post earlier about appraisals, and what we as buyers agents can do to help our buyer clients to understand current market value and to avoid appraisal issues.
One of the comments I recieved said something like "You may not make the sellers happy..."
I'm a nice person. I like to think that I'm an easy agent to co-op with, and that I do perform my duties with care and diligence. My brokers have never received a complaint about me, nor do I ever expect them to. However, being nice and co-operating with the sellers agents doesn't mean that I won't do my job to the best of my ability for my client - the buyers.
My fiduciary responsibility as a buyers agent is to my buyers. When they find a home they wish to purchase my responsibility kicks in to high gear. I will analyze the current market for them and present them with all of the facts that I have on hand. They will then be able to make an educated decision about the price to offer for the home. I will then take their offer to purchase, along with my data and present it to the sellers.
Not long ago I heard these words from a sellers agent after my buyers offer was presented to them: "My seller is a nice man. He's worked hard, and his home is in good shape. He really deserves a better offer and isn't happy with this one."
My reply? "I'm a nice lady. I work hard. My home is in nice shape. I deserve good things to happen to me. But my home is still only work XXX and it wouldn't appraise for more than XXX, and I surely wouldn't expect a buyer to pay more than XXX."
My buyer didn't overpay for that home, and we moved on to find them another home.
Listing agents need to keep their sellers in the loop. Sellers need to know current market values. They need to understand the danger of overpricing their home, and have realistic expectations of a sales price. All sellers deserve this information from their agents on a regular basis - not just the nice sellers :-)