January 20

Client or Customer: Which is Right for You


When buying a home the Agent that you are working with is going to want you to become their Buyer client, while many buyers would choose to be customers. They want to be a free agent with no commitment to an agent.

What does this all mean and why should you become the client vs remain the customer?


A buyer may not wish to be under contract as a client with the brokerage but would rather be treated as a customer. As a REALTOR® I am obligated to treat every person in a real estate transaction with honesty, fairness, and integrity. Unlike a client however, I am a representative of the seller until we mandate and sign a Buyer Agency Agreement.

When you choose to be a buyer customer you have to find properties on your own and when you find them I only have to present the facts. I can’t offer opinions on what to pay, whether it’s a good or bad choice, or what to look out for. You are left to decide based only on the listing information. In this market, with a shortage of listings, what would I do when I come across a great property? I will show it to my clients first? I have to. However, with a customer I don’t have to show it to you at all. Or maybe I will show it after all my clients pass on it. It’s something like getting the leftovers. When buying a property what would you like, first choice or the leftovers?

Key Takeaway

As a buyer customer my obligated responsibility is to the seller

Buyer Customer

My obligated duty to you is:

  • give you only the material facts about the seller’s property
  • only answer questions that are public knowledge
  • treat your needs fairly and honestly
  • be diligent in my business relationship with you
  • uphold fair housing protocol
  • be responsible for the accounting function
  • write a contract for you but negotiate in favor of the seller
  • Offer no financial advice about purchase price or offer price.


  • I must look after the seller’s best interests
  • negotiate on behalf of the seller
  • protect the seller’s personal information
  • work for the seller completely


A 'client' relationship creates the highest form of obligation for a REALTOR® to a consumer. I must protect the interests of the client and do what is best for the client. I must strive for the benefit of the client and must not disclose a client's confidential information to others. I must also make reasonable efforts to determine any material facts relating to the transaction and would be of interest to the client and must inform the client of those facts.

Key Takeaway

As a buyer client my obligated responsibility is to the buyer. 

Buyer Client

My obligated duty to you is:

  • be loyal to your needs
  • disclose everything I know about the seller
  • disclose all I know about the property
  • share other pertinent information about the location with you
  • assist you to get pre-approved for a mortgage
  • ensure you have options in terms of mortgage
  • be responsible for ensuring your accounting is done correctly and in your favor wherever I can
  • protect your interests
  • protect your personal information as best I can
  • find you a home that suits your needs
  • negotiate in your favor wherever I can
  • offer advice and tips to you exclusively
  • write a contract to benefit the you whenever I can
  • be honest and diligent in all my negotiations on your behalf
  • do a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis) to ensure you pay the correct price for the property
  • look after your needs throughout the transaction and beyond


  • I have to uphold Real Estate Law and be fair in my dealings with both parties


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