How to Hire a Buyer Agent in Michigan

Buying a home is a huge financial investment; aligning with the right professionals can save you or cost you thousands of dollars.


  1. Image titled Hire a Buyer Agent in Michigan Step 1
    Understand that the agency status in real estate is determined by the relationship with the brokerage, not an individual person. In buyer agency the whole company represents you. In designated agency, only a single agent and their supervisor represents you. Designated agency is fairly confusing so a written contract is required by state law. If the brokerage provides full buyer agency a written contract is not required.
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    Interview some agents by asking your co workers or neighbors for recommendations. Investigate on the internet by looking at web sites and evaluate response times.
    • At the interview, does she review and have the required Michigan agency disclosure signed? The buyer’s agent owes legal duties to the person he/she represents. Does she discuss the buyer agency commitment and time frame? Is she/he a full time agent?
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    Uncover the agent's honesty. Is she going to help you objectively look at the house compared to others to determine value?
    • What happens to you if the REALTOR is sick or on vacation? Who covers the agents business? Do you feel handed off or are you working with a fellow team member?
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    Ask about training in home evaluation techniques. The best buyer agents do much more than just open doors for buyers.
    • Buyers Representatives in Michigan get paid a percentage of fee or usually one half of the fee that the listing agent gets paid, so a buyer’s representative is free to the buyer.
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    Talk about communication; discuss your needs and time frames. Does the agent work from 8 am to 8 pm? Does the agent have a day off? How do you want to be communicated with? What are your expectations? Do you prefer email?
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    Ask for references and or watch video testimonials. You are interviewing someone to work for you. What special designations or training does she or he have?
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    Ask what the strategy is for buying? What is the process? What is the time frame?
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    Ask how inspections are arranged and how are issues to be handled? What are some examples of negotiating that may come up in the local area?
    • Will she provide you with an industry resource list or preferred vendor list that will be helpful in home buying like reputable lenders, painters, electricians, radon experts.
  9. Image titled Hire a Buyer Agent in Michigan Step 9
    Ask about loyalty. How often does the buyer agent company become a dual agent? Designated buyer agency often becomes dual agency also. Some designated buyer agents get paid significantly more if you buy a home listed with their brokerage. Ask about it. If you want a company that will always be loyal to you look for an exclusive buyer agency. These companies only work for buyers. They never list homes and they never work for sellers.
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    Use Assoc. of Real Estate License Law Officials Consumer Resouces to check for licensing status. The name must be an exact match, i.e. Kathleen may be the legal name for licensing vs. Kathy.
    • Will you be looking at houses in the multiple listing service and for sale by owners, by builders and upcoming homes that will be on the market? How is commission handled?
    • Does your agent get a title insurance pre commitment before writing an offer so you can see what potential title policy issues are on the property? Examples are divorce, or disputed easements, lis pendens, IRS liens, or judgments.
    • Does your agent get a clue report Ann Arbor Insurance Policies before you write an offer to determine if there have been previous home owners insurance claims on the property? Is the property in a flood zone requiring extra insurance cost?
    • Will the agent help you negotiate a good mortgage? Be careful, many real estate companies make significant income from their affiliated lenders and title companies. This is a conflict of interest an agent should discuss with you.
    • Do you feel comfortable with your agent in helping you minimize risk and to coordinate this large investment through to a successful closing?
    • Has the buyer agent or designated buyer agent shown you evidence of their success? The best ones will show you examples of how they have helped past buyers save money.


  • Print out this list and interview all agents with the same questions.
  • Get extra cards to take to open houses to let other agents know you already have agent and hand out your agent's cards so you don't have to sign in to the registration.


  • Can you terminate your relationship if the agent is not performing or you choose to not purchase? Discuss this before signing the buyer agency agreement.

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Categories: Real Estate