Understanding Agency Disclosure in Michigan

Dated: 04/22/2018

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Agency Disclosure

When you call a real estate agent for information because their name is on the "for sale" sign in front of a home, you should be aware of the existing agency relationship that agent has with the seller and who they legally represent. 

Yes, this sounds like a boring topic, but it's pretty important, especially if you're the talkative type.  

Before you reveal any important information to any agent, you should be aware of who they work for.  Agents are required to provide you with an Agency Disclosure Statement upon first meeting.  An Agency Disclosure Statement should indicate who's best interest the agent is working for - the buyer or the seller. 

If it's the agent whose name is on the sign in front of the property, the agent is working to for the seller.  That means the agent is trying to get the best, highest possible price for that home.  The agent is not allowed to tell you the lowest price the seller will take or reveal any information that will allow you to benefit during your negotiation. 

In fact, if you happen to reveal information to the seller's agent about the highest or lowest price you're willing to pay for a home, the agent on the sign is legally required to share that information with her client - the seller - to help that seller's negotiation standpoint in case of an offer.  

Listing agents work for the seller, buyer's agents work for the buyer.  In Michigan, it may be possible for one agent to work for both the buyer and the seller, but only with informed written consent from both parties.  This is called Dual Agency.  

When you sign an Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement, your Buyer's Agent works exclusively for you, and cannot reveal any confidential information about your negotiating standpoint to the seller's agent.  

So always be careful about what you reveal to an agent upon your first meeting until you determine who that agent is actually working for.  It could save you quite a bit of money in the long run.

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Rhonda Wright

For most people, a home is one of the largest purchases they will ever make. My clients hire me to make the process of buying or selling their home go as smoothly as possible. At the end of the tran....

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