I live and work in Milford, Michigan, a great little Village about an hour north and west of Detroit, Michigan. Milford is one of those Mayberry RFD towns that people fantasize about. You can get a good feel for Milford at my Web site - www.MoveToMilford.com, which has virtual tours of the downtown, the restaurants the churches, the shopping areas and more.
I live with my wife Carolyn and our Lab (Odie) in one of Milford's historic homes. My home was built in 1885. I'm also a board member and the Webmaster for the Milford Historical Society. You can visit the Web site at www.milfordhistory.org. Before getting into real estate I had a 30-year career selling computers and IT services mainly to the automotive industry. I enjoy golf in the summer months and have a 1978 MGB that is only on the road during those warmer months.
I also enjoy doing all of my own Web development and maintenance for the four real estate sitres that I run, as well as for the Historical Society and my church - www.spiritdrivencurch.com. See below for more on my other sites.
How I do business -
If you're looking for pushy, in-your-face sales people, you've come to the wrong place.
This is not about me. I believe that this is all about you - understanding your needs and helping you meet those needs. So, I promise to listen more and talk less, to understand why you are making a move and what you want, and then figure out the best way that I can help you.
Whether you are trying to buy or sell a home, you deserve the best, most understanding and courteous service available. That's what I strive to provide. I work hard to understand your needs and tailor my efforts to meeting those needs.
I also believe that it is important to establish proper expectations up front, on both sides. Follow the links below for more on those expectations.
What you can expect from me as a home seller -
You have the right to set the price at which the house will be listed and to decide on the price for which the house eventually sells. I will do market research and advise you on what I believe the current market value to be, but the final decisions are yours.
You have the right to decide on any price changes that may be made to the listing during the time that the house is on the market. Real estate agents do not have the authority to change the listed price without your written consent. I will always explain any changes to the listing that I believe that you should authorize and have you sign a Status Change Form.
You have the right to decide upon the showing requirements for your house, such as whether or not a lockbox with key will be placed on the house and how much and what type of advanced notice you will need before a showing. I will clearly explain your options and set up the showing instructions according to your decisions.
You have the right to decide whether or not you wish me to hold open houses for your house. I will make recommendations about the number, the length and the scheduling of any open houses, but you make the final decisions. Expect that I will want to do an open house at least once per month, perhaps more often.
You have the right to make the decision on whether or not to remain in the house during showings or open houses, but remember that potential buyers feel more at ease if the owner is not in the house at the time of their visit. Expect that I will ask you to leave when the house is being shown.
You have the right to remove your house from the market at any time or to refuse any offer. Remember, however, that if I have brought to you a full price and terms offer and you refuse the offer, you may owe me the commission that was agreed to in the original listing agreement. Also remember that according to Michigan law you may not discriminate against any buyers based upon race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, height, weight, age, or physical or mental disabilities or familial status. Do not expect us to be a party to any attempt at discrimination.
You have the right to negotiate the occupancy deadline for turning over the house to the buyers. Remember that most buyers are anxious to take possession as soon as possible after closing and that you will effectively become a "renter" in your house after the closing and will need to pay rent for the time that you stay. Expect that I will recommend a very short timeframe for surrendering possession of the house after closing, usually less than one week and immediately after closing, if possible.
The listing agreement between us is a contract. In that contract I promise to perform certain duties to sell your house in return for your promise to pay a commission at closing. I will be making investments of time and money in the marketing effort, which I will only recover when the house sells. You should expect our best effort, however, if you are not happy with our performance of those duties, I expect that you will make a good faith effort with us to resolve the issues you have with our efforts. If I cannot resolve the issues, I will release you from the agreement.
You have the right to professional real estate advice and to legal advice at the time that you consider any Offer to Purchase. This is the most critical point of any real estate transaction. When you sign the Offer to Purchase it becomes THE CONTRACT TO SELL YOUR HOUSE to the buyer. You should expect that I will provide our analysis of the offer and advice on whether to accept or counter the offer, but the final decision on whether to accept any offer is yours and yours alone. I will also advise you to seek the advice of a lawyer on any and all legal issues.
You should expect our best effort to perform the fiduciary responsibilities that I have to you to protect and serve your interests and keep safe any information that you share with us in confidence.
What I would expect from you as a home seller -
I expect to have a relationship of mutual trust during this process, which starts with your serious consideration of our real estate advice on pricing and other market factors.
I expect that you will be completely open and honest with us about any known issues that the house may have. You should fully disclose any known faults or issues on the Seller's Disclosure Form. Failure to disclose know problems could result in legal actions being taken against you and us.
I expect that you will not discriminate against any buyers who may wish to see or to make an offer for your property. Your only recourse is to remove your property from the market and even that may be interpreted by the courts as discriminatory behavior.
I expect that if you refuse a full price and terms offer for any reason, you will pay us a commission.
I expect you to cooperate in the marketing of your property by keeping it maintained and looking presentable during the sales process and by allowing reasonable access for showings by other agents or us.
I expect that you will make reasonable efforts to maintain a line of communications that I can use to contact you about showings or offers.
I will be making investments of time and money in the marketing effort, which I will only recover when the house sells. You should expect our best efforts, however, if you are not happy with our performance of those duties, I expect that you will make a good faith effort with us to resolve the issues you have with our efforts. If I cannot resolve the issues, I will release you from the agreement.
What you can expect from me as a home buyer -
If you sign an exclusive agent agreement with our team to represent you as a buyer, you have the right to our complete fiduciary responsibility. If you are not ready to sign and exclusive agreement, I have a non-exclusive agreement available that we can use. I will not work for you without some form of agency agreement between us.
You have the right to be informed on any occasion where we are acting in a dual agent capacity - representing both the sellers and you as the buyer. This will occur whenever I may show you a property that is listed by our broker. As a dual agent. I cannot perform to the level of complete fiduciary responsibility for either you or the seller; however, you are still entitled to complete honesty and integrity from us, even in that capacity.
You should expect that I'll make every effort to keep you apprised of any and all houses within the market area that you have specified that meet your criteria. I'll do searches at least once a week for any "New" listings that meet the criteria that you have specified. I may set up an automated search for you that will send you an email anytime a new listing comes on the market that meets your criteria.
You have the right to be shown any house that you may wish to see. I will not try to "steer" you towards specific neighborhoods or houses or discriminate against you in any way for any reason. However, you have an obligation of honesty to share with us information about your financial position. You should expect that I'll ask you to pursue a mortgage loan pre-approval which will help us narrow the search and facilitate and speed up the purchase offer process. I'll try not to waste your time and the time of the sellers looking at houses upon which you cannot afford to make a valid offer.
You should expect honest and knowledgeable real estate advice from me concerning any questions that you may have about the properties that I show you. You should also expect that I'll inform you if the areas that you have questions about are outside of my realm of knowledge. In that case I'll try to recommend a course of action to get the answers to your questions or to put you in touch with professionals with the knowledge to answer the questions.
You should expect that I'll help you create, and then promptly deliver, any and all offers for property that you may wish to make. Further you have the right to expect that I'll negotiate on your behalf to obtain the best possible price, terms and conditions. But, the final decision on any and all of these is yours.
You should expect that I'll stay engaged with you completely through the closing process to make sure that everything goes as smoothly as possible and to help resolve any issues that arise prior to closing.
I'll help you avoid post the pitfalls that can occur after you get an offer accepted, too.
What I will expect from you as a home buyer -
Just as it is reasonable for you to have both rights and expectations of us, I will have some expectations of you. I expect that:
You will be completely honest and forthcoming with us about your needs and desires in a house.
You will be forthcoming and honest about your financial situation and will pursue a mortgage pre-approval and present proof of such as soon as it is obtained.
You will sign either a non-exclusive or exclusive agency agreement with me. I will not continue to show you houses without an agency contract of some sort.
You will let other agents that you may meet at open houses know that you are working with me and will be making any offers through me.
You will deal with For Sale By Owner sellers through me, allowing me to set any appointments and make any offers.
You will extend to us common business courtesies, such as calling if you have to cancel an appointment.
If in doubt on anything that you will act towards me in the same manner that you would have me act towards you.
For more details see my Web site - www.themilfoirdteam.com
I sometimes tell potential clients that if it's in the Lower Peninsula I can list it or show it. In reality, I tend to work primarily in Oakland and Livingston Counties in southeastern Michigan, with occasional listings or sales in Wayne County and Washtenaw County. My direct marketing focus tends to be on the townships on all sides of Milford, which include Highland, Commerce, West Bloomfield, White Lake, Lyon and Brighton Townships. My primary Web site is http://www.themilfordteam.com at which you can see my listings, view virtual tours and learn about the real estate process from either a buyer's or seller's perspective.
I also run a Web site www.movetomilford.com that is all about the little viallage in Michigan in which I live and work. It is on this site that I display the weekly statistics from my six township marketplace.
Norm Werner is a full-time, full-service Realtor covering southeastern Michigan in Oakland and Livingston Counties