Client Or Customer Service
Undersatnding the differences between client and customer service


 Always work with an agent who represent your interests

Understanding Client and Customer Service
Who Is Working For You?

Most buyers/renters in their eager search for homes are not aware of the two types of services that realtors provide,  Client and Customer Service.  Before you start calling realtors to show you homes, take the time to understand who the realtor will be representing when he/she is showing you homes. 

Sellers/landlords will always have an agent to represent their best interests, they have entered into an agency relationship with the agent. You as a buyer/renter may choose to or not to enter into an agency relationship with a realtor. If you choose not to enter into a Buyer/Tenant Agency relationship with a realtor, the realtor is not representing you and is representing the seller/landlord. Be aware of your actions.

The main difference between customer service and client service is that a protective, ongoing relationship is formed with a client, but not with a customer.

Working exclusively with a realtor who knows the local market, is reliable, experienced, accountable and responsive and one who pays attention to your individual needs and not the seller or the landlord needs is always the best choice. Client service is always better than customer service. See below to learn all about the differences between customer and client service.

Real Estate Definitions and Relationships

Often referred to as a principal, a client is a person who asks an agent to act on his or her behalf during the purchase, sale, exchange or rental of a property or business. An agent owes their clients full fiduciary duties, such as loyalty, confidentiality, accountability, duty of care, obedience to all lawful instructions, and full disclosure of all pertinent facts. This relationship is call Client-Agent RelationshipThis relationships provides full representation and protection for the client. 
A customer is a person who has not retained an agent to work on his or her behalf. While a customer does not enjoy the fiduciary duties and benefits of the Client-Agent Relationship, they are nevertheless entitled to be treated fairly, honestly and with due care at all times and cannot purposely be misrepresented.    
While the term "Agent" is not specific to the Real Estate industry, most Real Estate Salespeople, Brokers and REALTORS act as agents when conducting business. An agent is commonly defined as any person who represents another person in a business transaction.
A person in a position of trust and confidence who must put the interests of another person (their client) above all others.
The Four Types Of Agent Representations:  


  1. Buyer/Tenant Representation: Client-Agent relationship is established
  2. Seller/Landlord Representation: Client-Agent relationship is established
  3. Multiple Representation: Client-Agent relationship is established
  4. Customer Service Representation: No client-Agent relationship is established
Who Is Working For You:
As a buyer/renter it is critical that you understand who the realtor is working for in the Real Estate transaction. Listing agents always represent the seller/landlord interests, buyer agents represent the buyer/renter interests (only if the buyer/renter has chosen client service.)  Realtors must disclose in writing the nature of the service they are providing, be it client or customer and obtain written acknowledgement of that disclosure. Having an agent represent your interests is always a good choice. Be Smart! Be A Savvy Buyer/Renter.

Client and customer servicies explained

Client Service 

Complete Protection


Costs For Services: FREE

Buyer Consultation:  A Buyer Consultation is required to determine want and needs and to get an understanding of Buyer AgencyNot applicable for renters.

Buyer/Renter contract is required to create an "Agency Relationship" 


Access to MLS Information: The Buyer agent must ensure the client has full access to all homes for sale on the market. The  information must be provided to the client ASAP. 


Loyalty: The agent has loyalty to the client.


Confidentiality:  Buyer/Renter information is never disclosed to the seller/landlord. Buye/renter position is enhanced


Obedience: The Agent is under legal obligation to obey the instructions of the client.


Accountability: The Buyer Agent has full accountability for all actions taken. 


Market Analysis:  The Buyer Agent is under obligation to present all sales statistics to ensure the Buyer/renter does not pay more for the home than it is worth.  
Buyer/Renter Needs:  The Buyer Agent is under obligation to pay full attention to the buye/renterr needs. Price, mortgage financing, etc,  Lease price  

Disclosure: The Buyer Agent must disclose all known facts about the seller/landlord and the property(Good or Bad).

Negotiating Strategy The Buyer Agent is under legal obligation to provide strategies that are in the best interest of the Buye/renter.  
Showings to find a home:  Unlimited. The Buyer Agent is under legal obligation to show the client as many homes as possible until the client finds the right home.  

Clauses In Offer:  The Buyer Agent is under legal obligation to insert clauses in the offer that protects and  serve the interests of  the Buye/renter


 Customer Service 

No Protection


Costs For Services: FREE

Buyer Consultation is optional:  The customer is  free to make a request to learn about the buying process and to get an understanding of Buyer agency. Not applicableto  renters.

A service agreement is required

Access to MLS Information: The  agent has no legal obligation to provide listings to the customer. The customer may do all the searching on his or her own. 

Loyalty: The agent has loyalty to the Selle/Landord..

Confidentiality:  Buyer information is disclosed to the seller to enhance the Seller's position.

Obedience: The agent is under no legal obligation to obey the customer. The agent should however listen to the customer.

Accountability:  The agent has limited accountability to the customer.

Market Analysis:  The Agent is required to show statistics to support the seller's/landord asking price.  Even if the asking price is over current market conditions

Buyer/Renter Needs: The Agent is under no obligation to satisfy the customer needs, but must treat the customer with fairness.
Disclosure: The agent has no such obligation to disclose facts about the seller/landlord or the property to the customer.
Negotiating Strategy: The agent has no such obligation to the Buyer/renter. The agent has to provide strategies to help the seller/renter.
Showings to find a  home:  The agent has no legal obligation to show all homes to the customer. The agent can show homes as he or she deems necessary.

Clauses in Offer:  The agent is under no legal obligation to insert clauses in the offer that protects the Buyer/renter. The Buyer/renter must be treated with due care and fairness.

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