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Customer vs. Client: What’s the Difference?

In real estate, the distinction between being a customer and becoming a client is crucial. As a customer, you engage with agents without any formal commitment, receiving only basic services and limited guidance. By signing a Buyer/Seller Brokerage Agreement, you elevate to a client status, unlocking a deeper level of dedication and comprehensive service from your agent. Clients benefit from their agent’s commitment to negotiate the best terms and maintain confidentiality, significantly enhancing their position in any transaction. 

The shift from customer to client involves establishing a transparent and trust-based relationship through a written agreement that outlines mutual expectations and responsibilities. A Brokerage Agreement not only facilitates better communication and alignment but also ensures that you, as a client, are placed at the forefront of all negotiations, with your interests vigorously protected. Choosing to become a client rather than just a customer transforms your real estate experience, providing you with a strategic advantage and a trusted advisor dedicated to your success in what is likely one of the most important financial decisions of your life.

Brief History of Real Estate Brokerage Agreements in Georgia

In Georgia, the Brokerage Relationships in Real Estate Transactions Act (known as “BRRETA”) requires that a written brokerage engagement agreement be signed by the broker and his or her client to establish a client relationship. 

Before BRRETA was enacted in 1994, real estate agency law in Georgia was in disarray. Buyers didn’t have an agent representing their best interests, because all agents worked for the sellers. If an agent showed a home to a buyer, that agent legally worked for the seller who they sometimes had never met if it was another agent’s listing. At that time prior to 1994, all agents worked only for the sellers, no matter which agent had the home listed. 

After BRRETA became law, buyers could have their own agent representing their best interests. Buyer Agency finally gave buyers equal agent representation to sellers. 

Dual Agency

Unfortunately, Georgia law also allows something called Dual Agency, when an agent helps both the buyer and seller in the same transaction. In Dual Agency situations, neither side benefits from full representation. Most Georgia brokers allow the practice of dual agency. 

Path & Post does not permit dual agency since it is not in the best interests of our clients. When a Path & Post client buys a Path & Post listing, the buyer and seller each get their own designated agents at Path & Post to represent their individual best interests. 

A client is someone who has a brokerage agreement with a broker, assigned to a specific agent at the brokerage. Clients generally start as a customer at the first meeting with an agent, and then move to a client relationship when the customer chooses full services, including representation. 

Who Represents You Matters 

Not only does being a Client matter more than being a Customer, but who you work with matters as well!

Don’t trust any average agent with the biggest investment of your life; find a Strategic Guide with Path & Post to help you win in the current market!

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