Client vs Customer in Real Estate: Understanding the Differences

If you're new to the world of real estate, you might be wondering what the difference is between a client and a customer. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they actually have different meanings in the real estate industry. In this blog post, we'll explain the difference between a client and a customer in real estate.

What is a Client in Real Estate?

A client is someone who has hired a real estate agent to represent them in a transaction. When you hire an agent to work for you as a client, they have a legal and fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interest. This means that they must provide you with confidential advice, disclose any known defects in a property, and negotiate on your behalf to get the best possible deal.

To become a client, you will typically sign a contract called a buyer's representation agreement or a listing agreement. This contract outlines the terms of the relationship between you and your agent, including their commission and the length of the agreement.

What is a Customer in Real Estate?

A customer is someone who works with a real estate agent, but has not hired them as a client. When you work with an agent as a customer, they do not have a legal or fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interest. Instead, they are required to provide you with honest and accurate information, but they do not have to keep your information confidential or negotiate on your behalf.

Customers typically work with agents on a one-time or occasional basis. For example, if you attend an open house and talk to the listing agent, you are working with them as a customer.

What's the Difference Between a Client and a Customer?

The main difference between a client and a customer in real estate is the level of service and protection you receive. When you work with an agent as a client, they are legally and ethically obligated to act in your best interest. This means they will negotiate on your behalf, keep your information confidential, and provide you with advice and guidance throughout the transaction.

When you work with an agent as a customer, they are not legally obligated to act in your best interest. Instead, they will provide you with information and assistance, but they are not required to negotiate on your behalf or keep your information confidential.

Which is Better: Client or Customer?

Whether you should work with an agent as a client or a customer depends on your needs and goals. If you're buying or selling a property and want the highest level of service and protection, you should work with an agent as a client. This will ensure that your agent is legally obligated to act in your best interest and negotiate on your behalf.

If you're just looking for information or assistance with a real estate transaction and don't need a high level of service, working with an agent as a customer might be a good option. This can be a good way to get a feel for the real estate market and work with an agent on a one-time or occasional basis.

Conclusion

In the world of real estate, the terms "client" and "customer" have different meanings. While a client has hired an agent to represent them in a transaction, a customer is someone who is working with an agent but has not hired them as a client. Whether you should work with an agent as a client or a customer depends on your needs and goals. If you're buying or selling a property and want the highest level of service and protection, working with an agent as a client is usually the best option

Whether you're buying or selling a property, understanding the difference between a client and a customer in real estate is crucial. By knowing your options and what to expect, you can make informed decisions about who you work with and what level of service you receive.

If you're ready to start your real estate journey, contact a qualified real estate agent today to discuss your needs and goals. Whether you choose to work with an agent as a client or a customer, they can provide you with the information and guidance you need to make the most of your real estate transaction. Don't wait any longer to get started!

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