Are you a Buyer Customer or Buyer Client?

What am I talking about?

Most home buyers, even relatively experienced ones, are often confused about their right to representation.

It’s certainly understandable.  If I asked the question of 10 people who had met with other agents, most would have no idea what I’m talking about.

But, under Connecticut law, an licensed real estate agent is required to disclose the ‘Agency’ options available to you, at the time of your first personal meeting.

If you meet with an agent, and they don’t start the conversation with Agency Disclosure, and how their broker handles the different options, I recommend that you ask before discussing your buying objectives, motivation or financial situation.

Don’t assume that you will automatically receive fiduciary responsibilities from the agent.

These responsibilities are:

  1. loyalty
  2. obedience
  3. disclosure
  4. confidentiality
  5. reasonable care and diligence
  6. accounting

For illustration this table outlines how your status may affect the level of service you receive.

Buyer-Customer Buyer-Client
Maintain loyalty to the seller’s needs Pay full attention to the your needs
Tell the seller all they know about you Tell you all they know about the seller
Keep information about the seller confidential Keep information about you confidential
Focus on the seller-client’s property Focus on home choices that meet your needs
Provide just the material facts Provide material facts and professional advice
Only provide price information that supports seller’s listing price Provide price counseling based on comparable properties and professional insights
Protect the seller Protect and guide you
Negotiate on behalf of the seller Negotiate on your behalf
Solve problems to the seller’s advantage and satisfaction Solve problems to your advantage and satisfaction


The best way to have your interests considered and protected, is to sign a buyer agency agreement with a trained buyer’s representative – with whom you feel comfortable.  This will clearly establish client-level service and will spell out what you can depend upon.

But remember.  Even if you decide to be a Buyer-Customer and are fortunate to have an agent devote time to your search, sign the Unrepresented Buyer disclosure as a receipt of your knowledge.

Questions?  Please call 203.994.1988 or send me this form.

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  • PLEASE KNOW: The Connecticut Real Estate Commission requires that a real estate licensee provide you with an Agency Disclosure Notice 'at time of first personal meeting concerning Buyer's need'.
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