Customer or Client?
What’s the difference?
Have you ever had a REALTOR say that your their Customer or Client? There is a lot of confusion over this wording. Do you know what the REALTOR means when they say that you are “their Client”? What about a Customer? Do you REALLY know the difference? Who does it benefit you to be a Client versus a Customer? I will try to explain…..
If you are the Buyer:
- If you’re a client, a buyer’s agent will seek to negotiate the most favorable transaction terms for you—and will not disclose any material facts about your situation that could hurt your negotiating position.
- If, however, you are only a customer, a buyer’s rep may not be in a position to answer even basic questions, such as “Why are they selling?” or “Is this home priced competitively?” This is because they are acting instead as a sub-agent for the seller.
YOUR SERVICES WILL VARY, DEPENDING ON YOUR STATUS.
If you are a CLIENT (fiduciary relationship), your agent will:
Pay full attention to your needs
Tell you all that they know about the seller
Keep information about you confidential
Focus on choices that satisfy your needs
Provide material facts as well as professional advice
Provide price counseling based on comparable properties and their professional insights
Protect and guide you
Negotiate on your behalf
Attempt to solve problems to your advantage and satisfaction
If you are a CUSTOMER (no fiduciary relationship), an agent will:
Maintain loyalty to the seller’s needs
Tell the seller all that they know about you
Keep information about the seller confidential
Focus on the seller-client’s property
Provide just the material facts
Only provide price information that supports the seller’s listing price
Protect the seller
Negotiate on behalf of the seller
Attempt to solve problems to the seller’s advantage and satisfaction
* Note that not every state or Agency requires a signed Buyer’s Representation Agreement to create an agency relationship. In some cases, an agency relationship can be formed if both parties simply behave as if one exists.