Carlos Cardo, Associate Broker, RE/MAX ULTRA


Client Or Customer - Which are you?

Posted by Carlos Cardo on Nov 22, 2021 in "Real" Estate Talk

This is important and not just when it comes to buying real estate.

As we head into the black Friday holiday buying season understand the difference. I have heard different organizations and salespeople tell me I am their client, but truly they are wrong, There is a difference.

Who’s looking out for you and why is this important?

Bearded Man

 If someone calls you their client, then they are your agent! Really rich people have all sorts of agents that select/organize/purchase: vacations, car, houses, dinner plans, quick getaways, other purchases, investments, retirement plans, etc.

As we head into the black Friday holiday buying season understand the difference. When someone (anyone) refers to you as their client (such as a bank, REALTOR, salesperson, financial institution. etc.) they should mean they have a fiduciary relationship with you and that requires a signed document (The only exception I have found is in the Movie "Miracle on 34th St" when Santa tells a parent that they can get an item from the competing department store.). So, what is a fiduciary? 


fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of a person or persons and is legally bound to act solely in their best interests.

It is important to understand the signed legal document requirement. Unless you have this signed legal document, you are their customer and not their client. Is this bad? No, but think who they represent  and who’s interest they are watching out for. In other words, if there is NO SIGNED DOCUMENT and you are buying or selling, the other person/organization represents the other side and hopes to get the best options, price, terms and so on for them. Trust me, that the salesperson/agent does have a signed document that says THEY represent THEM (in stores, they are most likely as an employee).

Who is not your agent?

Everybody else. Who are these people/organizations? Everyone! Some examples are:
Banks, Walmart, bestbuy, homedepot, real estate agents, car salesperson, repair services, contractors, gyms, cosmetic departments, insurance agents, anyone on amazon, ebay, etc. (Unless you have a  signed legal signed document with that person/organization as YOUR agent)

This is normal and everyone buys and sells products and/or services all the time, but it is important for you to realize when one of those organizations states "we work for you" or  "you are our client", say “That’s great, although I haven’t paid you to be my agent, where do I sign and where does it say what you will do for me?”

Please watch out for scammers and have a great and safe buying holiday season!