Difference Between Clients and Customers

Question: What’s the difference between a real estate client and a real estate customer?

Answer: Quite a bit.

I was with a a customer a few weeks ago and and we had an interesting conversation about the differences between a customer and a client.

Some basic definitions from the Code of Virginia:

“Customer” means a person who has not entered into a brokerage relationship with a licensee but for whom a licensee performs ministerial acts in a real estate transaction. Unless a licensee enters into a brokerage relationship with such person, it shall be presumed that such person is a customer of the licensee rather than a client.

“Client” means a person who has entered into a brokerage relationship with a licensee.

“Licensee” means real estate brokers and salespersons as defined in Article 1 (§ 54.1-2100 et seq.) of Chapter 21 of this title.

“Ministerial acts” means those routine acts which a licensee can perform for a person which do not involve discretion or the exercise of the licensee’s own judgment. (bolding mine)

If I meet you at one of my listings, I will explain to you that I don’t do single agent dual agency. (Guess who benefits from single agent dual agency?)


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