Frequently Asked Questions
Q: O.K., I believe you have the best service for me, but how do you get paid?
A: There are a number of ways buyer’s agents can be paid, in general the best way is to have us paid right out of the transaction just like a traditional real estate agent. This way you can have the services of a buyers agent and not pay any more than if you had used a traditional agent. (Often you would pay much less because we are negotiating for you.) There are other ways we can be paid including hourly and flat fee, the final choice is really something to discuss with your buyer’s agent during your first meeting.
Q: Your service sounds great but I was talking to a lender and he said you guys are hard to work with and he would never use you. What did he mean?
A: Lenders expect real estate agents to give a buyer very little guidance on mortgage interest rate shopping and lender choice. Our office actively compares mortgages and junk fees. Our office also has tremendous leverage with lenders since we are the largest buying specialist in the area. You still choose the lender. But once we gather the information from three to twelve lenders and explain the various service levels, rates, and junk fees, you may find you will want to use some other firm. Or, we can go back to the lender you know and pressure him to shave hundreds of dollars off his rates and fees. That is why few local lenders like us, we are on your side and they don’t like the pressure. Since other real estate companies let them take advantage of buyers, I wouldn’t expect most lenders to like us.
Q: What areas do you service?
A: All of Washtenaw county and about one township north, east, and south. This spans about from Brighton to Novi to Romulus to Clinton to Manchester to Stockbridge. If you are interested in other areas give us a call and we can usually direct you to the best buyer’s agents in any given area.
Q: What is the next step?
A: Call us to arrange for a no-obligation meeting to discuss your needs and how we can help you achieve your home purchase goals. Call (734) 662-6240, if no one is at the office when you call, leave a message with times that would be convenient for you to meet. Our voice mail system usually pages an agent so they can respond to you fairly quickly, even after hours.
Q: What do other agents think about you guys?
A: When we started sixteen years ago most agents were completely confused by the idea. Then, most agents became afraid of the idea because it had always been easy to manipulate the buyer. In 1994 when real estate agents became legally obligated to tell buyers they were really working for the seller, many agents took classes to try to figure out how they could compete with us. They even started calling themselves buyer’s agents!
Over the last seven years most of the top listing agents in our area have done business with our buyers and they have found out we are very easy to work with once the price negotiation is completed. (Unless the inspections find problems with the house.) As a result, since 2000, most of the top traditional agents like to work with us because we have the best qualified buyers in the market and we don’t compete with their lucrative listing business.
These days the only agents who still have negative feelings toward buyer’s agents are either old time Realtors who still don’t understand agency or companies who are afraid we will expose some kick-back arrangement they have (since our office doesn’t take kick-backs).
Q: I am going to sell my home. Do you work with sellers?
A: We offer no services to sellers because if we did, that would mean we couldn’t offer the best service for buyers. What we have is buyers looking for homes. If you are selling a home it is very smart to send our office a description of the home you have to sell. If we have any buyers in the market for that type of home we will call you for a showing appointment. You have no obligation. You sign no listing contract. We bring a well informed, well qualified buyer through your home.
Now, if the buyer is interested in your home we will write a purchase offer for the buyer and present it. That offer may include you paying some closing costs for the buyer and it may not be at your asking price. (Since we work for the buyer we are working to get the home at or below market value.) However, if you don’t like the offer you can always counter us at terms that are acceptable to you.
The result is that we do a lot of business with for-sale-by-owner home sellers and they normally end up saving thousands in commissions and a lot of frustration.
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Saving you money and protecting your interests! This philosophy has made us the Ann Arbor area’s largest and most successful Buyer’s Brokerage. More importantly, it has allowed us to save home buyers like you a lot of money!