What is the difference between a Client and Customer in Katy TX?

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties TX Real Est. 567774


What is the difference between a Client and Customer in Katy TX?


Just within the last few weeks I have had a couple of situations where both clients and potential clients were confused with the concept of Client and Customer relationships with a Realtor. This is the seventh blog in my series of 10 blogs looking at frequently asked questions by clients. The Customer versus Client discussion is all part of the Agency Relationships which exist in the State of Texas and probably in many other states. 


A Customer in very simple terms is any person who is not represented by an Agent but can and will receive information and assistance from a licensed agent in Texas. A Client is a person whom the licensed agent through a written agreement signed by both parties has agreed to represent. A Client relationship creates a fiduciary relationship between the Client and the Agent. There is no fiduciary relationship when a Customer relationship has been established. My example I always use is when you go to Target or Wal-Mart the  individuals working at these retailers have a customer relationship with you and you are not a Client.


A Buyer who is a customer and not a client can expect some of following types of services: providing the customer with information about and showing the customer properties; disclosing any known defects; preparing a written offer; helping with inspections, surveys, etc.; assisting the customer with obtaining financing; assisting with solving problems. The agent does not negotiate the deal or provided specific market information or opinions to the customer. This means that the agent cannot advise the customer as how much they should offer on any given property or what comparable properties n that neighborhood have sold for in the recent past.  In fact the agent cannot provide any details about past offers for the property, seller’s motivation regarding selling, or commenting in any regard which would be detrimental to the seller’s position. When you call a Real Estate office the agent who provides you with information even though this agent might work for a Broker that is not the listing agency Broker actually represents the sellers unless you agree to appoint him or her as your agent.


I personally find it very difficult to have a customer relationship. The Broker I work for expects us to have Client relationships and not Customer relationship and that relationship needs to be completed prior to showing that client any specific properties.


A fiduciary is any person who has a very high duty of care for another person or Client. Texas law requires the fiduciary places the Clients interest ahead of his or hers individual interest. The Client is number one and the Agent has a responsibility to convey any and all facts he or she has regarding any property, situation, personnel and etc.  Fiduciary relationships exist in many different cases such as with Attorney’s, CPA’s, trustees, and of course Real Estate Agents. A licensed agent also has a duty of fairness and honesty to all parties involved in any Real Estate Transaction.


The State of Texas requires at that at the first substantive dialogue with a client, or potential client the agent provide the client or potential client with a form titled “Information about Brokerage Services” or (IBS). The form contains statutory information relating to the various brokerage services which are available to any person. The term substantive dialogue is any meeting or written communication which discusses a specific real property. This includes E-mail or any other electronic means (text). I give my clients an overview of the IBS when we first meet or when we discuss a specific property via E-mail or any other type of communication.

 Actual IBS Form


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© 2016 Bob Gilbert Real Estate


Accredited Luxury Home Specialist


Note: Katy TX is about 25 -30 miles due West of downtown Houston TX.


If you have any questions about Katy Homes for Sale or Katy Homes for Rent in the Katy Texas and/or Sugar Land TX, and/or Cypress TX and/or other surrounding areas, contact me via my cell: 281-904-6772 or via Email:



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Carol-Ann Palmieri
RE/MAX Executive Realty, Al and Cal Realty Group - Franklin, MA
"Cal" the Real Estate Gal

Hi Bob.   We have the same type of disclosure here in Massachusetts.   I do understand that we are making up for past misconceptions, but I often wonder if we make it  more complicated than it has to be.  Your description and explanation is spot on.  One thing I know for sure.  Anyone that works with Bob Gilbert will know exactly where they stand and will be represented fully and with their best interests at heart.    Welcome home!   You have been missed.

May 30, 2012 08:40 AM #1
Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert


Thank you for your very nice comment about my blog. I agree I think we tend to make it a little too complicated for most folkswith all this Client or Customer classification stuff.

May 30, 2012 08:50 AM #2
Erv Fleishman
Realty Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Luxury Prop Specialist Realty Associates

Do the right thing. 

If you follow that rule, most of the time you will end up in the right place.

Want to make it complicated....what fiduciary responsibility do you have to your spouse, or your children?

May 30, 2012 09:01 AM #3
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Agency is so important to explain Robert.  Many customers think they are clients and that's where trouble can brew.  I would find it hard to be in a customer only relationship too.  Terrific way to explain it so that everyone can understand :)!

May 30, 2012 09:05 AM #4
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Welcome back.  Hope you had a wonderful vacation.

May 30, 2012 09:06 AM #5
Dale Baker
Baker Energy Audits and Commercial Properties Inspections - Claremont, NH
New Hampshire Relocation Real Estate Information

Howdy and afternoon Bob

Bob my friend, Welcome home! y'all sure have been missed here in the community!

Its sure best for Home Buyers to be a Client working with a Buyer Exclusive Real Estate Agent. It sure would be nice if New Hampshire would pass the law of Agents to be fiduciary. As with your other parts of this here series, it sure is an outstanding and helpful blog post.

Have a good one
Dale in New Hampshire

May 30, 2012 09:41 AM #6
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Bob -- Great explanation as there are SO many buyers who really do not understand the agent-client relationship.  Most consumers don't know the difference between client and customer and the benefit of being a client and signing a buyer-broker agreement.  Buyers in Katy TX should seek representation from Bob Gilbert to maximize their home buying experience and get expert guidance from home search to closing.

May 30, 2012 11:13 AM #7
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

Good evening Bob.

It is nice to see you back in the rain.


May 30, 2012 01:17 PM #8
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®
I am going to reblog this. I hope you tweeted this post and put it on your Fb fan page. Katy folks need to see it!!
May 31, 2012 02:32 PM #9
Suzanne McLaughlin
Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael) - Saint Michael, MN
Sabinske & Associates, Realtor

Well done, Bob!  The public is often confused about representation, and this spells it out perfectly.

Jun 05, 2012 04:32 AM #10
Baker Home Inspection and Commercial Properties Inspections
Baker Residential and Commercial Properties Inspections - Springfield, VT
Home and Commercial Properties Inspections Vermont

Howdy there Bob my friend, members and non-member folks sure can always visit your blog and find and read all kinds of mighty helpful info which is for folks of all ages, which sure will help them in some way or another. This here sure is some outstanding info for folks and they sure will appreciate you for posting this. Folks if you are needing help with Real Estate, then do take the time to talk with Bob and you’ll sure learn he is the one an only to work along side.

Mar 03, 2014 06:24 AM #11
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