Customer vs. Client
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CUSTOMER AND CLIENT
In real estate transactions, buyer-clients are entitled to a higher level of service than buyer customers.
When working with an Exclusive Buyer Agent you are a “client” because an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent owes you fiduciary duties. This means that your buyer’s rep is expected to exercise discretion when acting on your behalf, including adhering to very specific responsibilities, obligations, and high standards of good faith and loyalty.
For example, if you’re a client, an exclusive 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.
When working with a transactional agent or Seller’s agent you are a customer. A “Customer” means a consumer who is not being represented by a licensee but for whom the licensee may perform ministerial (dutiful yet not representative) acts.
YOUR SERVICES WILL VARY, DEPENDING ON YOUR STATUS.
- 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
- If you are a CLIENT (fiduciary relationship), your exclusive buyer’s 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