Being A Real Estate Customer

A customer is a person seeking information or assistance in a real estate transaction from a real estate professional, but does not want that professional to represent them. If you’re the customer of a real estate professional, they don’t have the same obligations or responsibilities to you that they would if you were a client.

Why would I want to be a customer?

  • you simply want to view a property through a brokerage or attend an open house, but you aren’t looking for advice
  • you haven’t decided if you are serious about selling or buying property and you aren’t ready to commit to a client relationship
  • you are still talking to different real estate professionals and are not ready to form a client relationship with anyone
  • you think you have the experience or sophistication in real estate matters to represent yourself
  • a conflict of interest arises while you’re working as the client of a real estate
  • professional and your real estate professional is no longer able to represent you

As a customer, the real estate professional is obligated to act honestly, ensure any information provided is correct, and exercise due care and skill at all times. Your real estate professional is also obligated to hold any monies received from you relating to purchasing a property in trust. A real estate professional can’t provide customers with advice, services that require the exercising of judgement or confidential information.

Customer Acknowledgement Form

If you want to be the customer of a real estate professional, they may ask you to sign a customer acknowledgment form. The customer acknowledgment form clarifies the details of the customer relationship, and it can help avoid disputes or misunderstandings later on.

The customer acknowledgement form requires you to acknowledge:

  • you have chosen not to be represented
  • the real estate professional does not owe you any agency obligations, including fiduciary obligations
  • that the real estate professional will not give you services that require discretion, exercising of judgment or provision of confidential information