fiduciary relationships in sacramento real estate

Sacramento Realtors Owe a Fiduciary Relationship to Clients

Real estate market - young Indonesian couple looking for real estate apartment or house to rent or bProtecting a client’s privacy and maintaining a fiduciary relationship are things some Sacramento Realtors most likely never think about but are necessary to do. As a Sacramento REALTOR we have to be continually “on guard” about questions we receive and how we respond to demands made by other people. Just because somebody asks a question does not mean we are required to answer it. I imagine the shared comradery and cooperation among real estate agents blurs certain lines that others may unknowingly cross, but I certainly try not to do it.

Every so often, though, we run across an agent with an agenda to supposedly protect her buyer that can be way out of line, and those agents can make demands that are unreasonable. For example, last year I sold a townhome for a seller near American River and helped her to buy a new home in Elk Grove. She is a professional who travels all over the world, and a very sweet, honest individual.

The buyer’s agent demanded a receipt for repairs that her buyer had requested, and the seller, out of the goodness of her heart, had agreed to undertake. My advice had been to reject the request for repairs, but the seller wanted to do it. We gave the buyer’s agent a copy of the receipt. The agent said she could not read it, even though the rest of us could. The buyer’s agent raised a tremendous ruckus over it and threatened to cancel the escrow while the seller was in Hong Kong and completely unavailable.

Honestly, part of me wanted to say go ahead and let your buyer cancel, you jerk, but, no, I owed a fiduciary to the seller to close. I take very seriously my fiduciary relationship with my sellers. Eventually, we were able to produce the original document for the buyer’s agent who, much to our dismay, was still unhappy with the receipt and continued to yelp she could not read it. At that point, the only thing we could advise the agent to do was to buy a pair of reading glasses.

The transaction closed.

In the spirit of cooperation, I often go out of my way to accommodate a buyer’s agent’s request; however, if that request is not in the contract and not in the seller’s best interest, the agent ain’t gonna get it. The agent can stomp his feet and parade up and down in front of my house carrying picket signs for all I care. Sometimes the answer is no, you are not entitled to know the answer. Giving parties to a real estate transaction answers to questions they are not entitled to know can lead to a potential lawsuit, especially if there is an adverse reaction. A Sacramento REALTOR should think before she speaks.

Practicing risk adversity is a good thing. It might not win popularity contests, but it elicits respect. And my clients love me for it.

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