QUESTION: Sir John, how do we distinguish a CLIENT from a CUSTOMER? Is a Buyer a client or customer?
ANSWER: The Client is your PRINCIPAL. An agent is entitled to compensation by serving and protecting (with 100% loyalty) the interest of his client. A BUYER is treated as "Buyer Client" by an Exclusive Buyer Agent (EBA). A BUYER is treated as a "Buyer Customer" by the Seller's Agent. A Seller's Agent treats the Seller as his client and treats the Buyers as his customer. On the other hand, the EBA treats the Buyer as his client and treats the Seller as customer.
A buyer cannot be admitted as a client by the EBA if the buyer prefers to be unrepresented or be treated as a customer. A Seller's Agent is ethically obliged to treat the buyer customer fairly and honestly, but rules on ethics restrict the Seller's Agent from providing representation service to the buyer customer because he is already tied-up to the Seller. A Seller's Agent cannot represent buyers because it is a form of disloyalty to the seller, popularly known as "conflict of interest". In terms of loyalty, only an EBA has the professional capacity to represent the buyer and advocate the interest of the buyer.