ATTENTION PLEASE! 也谈Agent的作用和职责：
In last few days, there are lots of posts about Agent的作用和职责。 Since I was busy for the whole weekends, until right now I can sit down. I agreed most posts' opinions. But I would like to present my own points here .
First of all, real estate agent is an industry and profession. As an industry, it runs its' own model as any other business. Profit is its' ultimate goal; As a profession, it is regulated by all federal and state laws / rules.
Second, real estate agent is a special power of attorney for their client (buyer or seller) for that particular property during a particular time frame. So agent owes client fiduciary职责. Agent shall put client's interest on the top priority.
Third, agent 的作用is pull buyer and seller together. Agent acts like a middle-man. We know 价格与价值 are two different concepts; 价格以价值为基础，围绕价值上下波动。Sometime you pay below market value; Sometime you pay above market value. It all depends on market situation. Especially for your main home, there is a opportunity cost there because you have to buy one of these houses, this location, this time frame. Does that make sense to everyone? Another thing the market value is a estimate data. Real estate is not accurate as an engineering model. I will say +/-(1~2)% is reasonable range. Say a $500K market value house, one offer is $495K, another offer is $505K. Basically they are the same. But $505K offer get the deal. Which mean you paid extra $5K to get the opportunity.
Forth, you are the principle. Agent can't replace your function. e.g, agent can't sign the contract or other papers for you. Agent is only your help, tool and resource. You principle make final decision. Many times buyer asked us: which school distract is? How much the repair cost? Which mortgage rate I can get? Most time agent will give the information base on their best skill / knowledge. But the correct way is to tell buyer which phone # to call to verify school distract, provide a contract list and refer some loan broker to the buyer. Some time agent can't provide the particular information even they know the answer due to law regulation. e.g: Is seller a Chinese or not? The simialr situation for listing agent.
Some post mentioned agent filerted out some low end sell price houses for buyer to compare. There are two situations here: one is agent purposely hide the fact to boost offer price. This is against the law. You can sue the agent for this misconduct; Another is some low end sell is non-arm length, unusal transaction, like foreclosure, court auction, buyer and seller are related, FSBO etc. Agent only can provide the information from official MLS. Some transactions is not in MLS, like new houses sell, court auction or FSBO. Agent can't use free, public web site information to their clients because MLS is a trade orgnization.