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Real Estate Agency Relationships in Michigan

Instructor: Tara Schofield

Tara has a PhD in Marketing & Management

What are your responsibilities to your client? There are several types of agency relationships that you can consider when deciding how to best work with your client. Learn about the different relationships available in Michigan.

Agency Relationships

You just got a call from a woman who wants help selling her home. You take some information and set up an appointment to meet with her later today. Before your meeting, you review the types of arrangements you could have. An agency relationship describes the way you will work with and represent a client. Because there are many different types of needs, there are many types of agency relationships. Let's explore the types of relationships you may have with your clients in Michigan.

Broker/Salesperson Relationships - Buyer's or Seller's Agent

This is the most common and basic type of relationship. As a buyer's agent, you represent the buyer, and as a seller's agent you represent the seller. Regardless of which party you represent, your goal is to get them the best and most fair offer you can. You focus on their needs and treat them fairly and honestly. You maintain their confidentiality, ensuring you do not share details that could affect the result of the transaction.

Dual Agency

A dual agency means one agent represents both the buyer and the seller. Going back to our example, if you were holding an open house at your seller's home and a couple comes to look at the house, they can ask if you will help them buy the home as well. In Michigan, it is legal to represent both the buyer and seller with the appropriate disclosures and consent from both clients.

Designated Agency

A designated agency is a transaction that has the buyer's agent and the seller's agent in the same office. There are two separate agents, one for each client. Even though they are in the same office, the agents are required to maintain the confidentiality of their client, just as if the opposite agent were from a different agency. Additionally, there must be two separate managers for the agents to work with within the office to ensure the managing broker isn't involved with the negotiations on both sides of the transaction.

Transaction Coordinator

An important person in real estate sales is also the transaction coordinator (TC), who acts as an assistant to a real estate agent. This person is often not licensed, but they can perform some basic activities that support an agent. A TC can help with scheduling activities, showing a property, helping with an open house, and preparing paperwork. The busier you get with your business, the more help you will need, and this relationship can help you as well as the seller/buyer meet deadlines.

Agency Disclosures

Regardless of what your agency arrangement is, you must clearly disclose it to your client. If you are representing both clients, it is essential they both understand you are helping both the buyer and seller complete the sale and will remain neutral when handling the details. Both parties must agree to the arrangement in writing or you cannot proceed.

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