Consumer, Customer, and Client – What’s the Difference?

by Debe

in Charlotte Home Buyers, Charlotte Home Sellers

Consumer, Customer, and Client – What’s the Difference?

 

Thanks to my good friend and colleague, Elizabeth Golden, for her contribution of this well-written article that simplifies the difference in being a customer, a client and/or a consumer.

The Real Estate Industry

Elizabeth Cooper-Golden - Huntsville Broker/OwnerOften times, we as average consumers see the terms of ‘customer’ and ‘client’ and interpret them as synonyms of similar meaning. However, within the Real Estate industry and specifically within the laws of each state, there are major and explicit differences between being a ‘Customer’ or ‘Client’ of provided Real Estate services.

Client or Customer?

Thus one of the most important pieces of information real estate consumers need to know, is that, when working with a particular real estate professional;  Are you a client or a customer?

A real estate agent legally owes certain duties to a client that are different from the services they perform for a customer and primarily relate to contract negotiations and confidential or privately held information.

Real Estate Clients

In a client-relationship the real estate agent represents the client. An agent is a person who acts for or represents you in negotiations with other parties. The real estate professional when acting as an agent, must loyally represent the best interest of the client by placing the interests of their client ahead of the interests of any other party participating in the transaction and provide ALL known transaction relevant information to their client.

In a real estate transaction, when a real estate professional is employed as an agent, they are obligated to negotiate the best price and terms for their client and bring all their knowledge and skill to bare for their client, moreover a client relationship must be formalized via a signed agency agreement whether buying or selling real estate.

Real Estate Customers

In a real estate customer-relationship; customers represent themselves. A customer is a person who is provided services by a real estate professional, but who is not a client. In this case, the real estate licensee is not acting as an agent and is not obliged to place your interest ahead of other parties within the transaction nor provide known confidential information to their customer.

The actual services you receive from a real estate professional as a customer depends on the arrangement that is established between you and the licensee. Moreover, a Transaction Broker agreement specifying customer services may or may not be formalized, but the licensee is obligated to provide Transaction Broker services to customers by default. These services include:  providing services honestly and in good faith; exercising reasonable care and skill; and to answer your questions completely and accurately.

Real Estate Consumers

Real Estate Consumer Rights

Often times when used generically ‘consumer’ can mean either a buyer or seller, customer or client.

However here at the @Homes Realty Group;  ’Consumer’ takes on a completely different meaning and makes up a very valuable and important part of our business strategy.

We are fortunate to have a very popular and successful web-presence that we provide to the general public for free and without obligation. With such a resource we have 80,000 – 100,000 real estate consumers visit our website every single month. As such we are contacted many times on a daily basis via email, phone, and text by consumers who ultimately will not become our customer or client.

Many of these consumers are already working with various local real estate agents, and we respect these existing relationships and will not violate them in any way. We also have many local agents that research these pages and have commented to us on their ease of use. Our consumer and agent website users are very important to us and we put their user experience first in all our web-design efforts and upgrades. That is why unlike many of our competitors,you will never see a forced registration mechanism to simply see public listing data. We do put our real estate consumers first even at our own expense!

Moreover almost all of the unique features that you will find on our website, including our subdivision maps, instant search technology, and one-click agent and office search mechanisms came from suggestions from you: our website users. In particular, our agent and office search mechanisms, which have brought us quite a bit of unwarranted criticism from a minority of our colleagues, yet we are making the decision to not buckle under this external pressure and continue to provide the best consumer user experience that we possibly can.

As I stated earlier, we do put our real estate consumers first, always!

- Elizabeth

© AtHomesRealty | Savvy + Company Real Estate | SavvyBroker@me.com | www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | Consumer, Customer, and Client – What’s the Difference?

 

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The data relating to real estate on this Web site derive in part from the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. IDX program. Brokers make an effort to deliver accurate information, but buyers should independently verify any information on which they will rely in a transaction. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither Savvy + Co. Real Estate nor any listing broker shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, or misprints, and they shall be held totally harmless from any damages arising from reliance upon this data. This data is provided exclusively for consumers -- personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties they may be interested in purchasing. © 2014 Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc.

The Maxwell House Group
RE/MAX EXECUTIVE
2901 Coltsgate Road
Charlotte, NC 28211
Tel: (704) 491-3310

Phone Numbers
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Phone: (704) 491-3310

Email Addresses
CharlotteBroker@icloud.com
DebeM@ReMax.Net

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