This is a very interesting subject and the meanings are very specific with real estate. Basically a customer is defined as someone who buys goods or services from a business, o receives goods or services from a business. A client is a person who pays a professional person or organization for services, anyone under the patronage of another, a person or group that uses the professional advice or services of a person. In real estate the customer is a person who wants to buy real estate but is not represented by an agent. A client would be someone who allows a licensed real estate agent to represent him and establishes an agency relationship with him.
While all of the above is fairly defined my point in this writing is that the client/customer relationship works both ways. In the many years of being a farm and land broker I have increasingly interviewed customers and decided who I want as clients. While there are increasingly more agents in the business, as in any business some are knowledgeable and some are not. I have seen to many times where a client who should have been only a customer will be unrealistic, untruthful, time wasting and will argue and fight the agent all the way to the breaking point. Point being is that while everyone dreams of large sales and successful closings it is becoming more advantageous to turn down unrealistic listings with large prices and selfish owners who might not really want to sell but always think that for the right price they will sell. Often times these are the people that have had numerous agents and it would be beneficial for them to come to the realization that what they are asking is not market appropriate.We make it a habit of really opening all lines of communication with our clients as we figure that a good open line of communication at the beginning will help us with trust factors in the negotiating when a contract comes in. It just happens more and more where the respect of not responding, not working with the agent, making unrealistic demands is causing me to fire clients and learning to say no to the customer at the beginning. I was once told you can have a bad closing with good people but never a good closing with bad people. This is true and I think that the word respect is a word to be discussed by both the agent and the customer before ever reaching the client stage. So I can proudly say that my company is referral based most of the time and for that I am extremely proud. So I would love to work with anyone to get top dollar for their property but I would ask for respect as I will respect you as well.