Rental & Relocation



In order to have the best experience possible, it’s important to understand the rental process, from complete initial documentation, to the search process, and finally to signing your new lease:

Signing Agent Agreement

When you work with a real estate agent, you’ll be asked to complete the following legal disclosures and forms to start the process:

  • Exclusive Tenant Agent Agreement. We provide this form so that you understand the legal ramifications of renting a home, and the limits of agent’s representation of a client, ensure that client understand the scope of client’s representations based on REALTOR Code of Ethics.
  • Photo ID. You will need to provide a government issued ID.

Once the agent-client relationship is established, a standard rental application and credit check authorization need to be filled out.

The rental application contains all the information that most landlords requires before considering an offer to lease their property. Each company’s application has some variation from the other, but a typical rental application includes the following information:

  • photo ID
  • name
  • address
  • phone number(s)
  • email
  • employment and income information
  • previous address
  • pets (if applicable)
  • emergency contacts
  • background information
  • landlord references
  • personal or professional references


Note: Every person planning to move in needs to fill out a separate lease application form.

Once you have your documentation completed, with all the information provided, agent can narrow down the inventory to show you only what might meet your need. Such as:

  • How much can you afford?The basic guideline is that you should dedicate about 25-30% of your monthly gross income (before taxes, social security, other recurring debts) on your monthly rent. 
  • How long do you plan on staying there?Most tenants prefer a one-year lease term, because one of the reasons they are renting is to retain flexibility and mobility. But if you plan on staying longer, you can propose a multi-year lease. Most landlords are open to longer-term leases
  • Where do you want to live?Renting a home is about becoming part of a community (and a school district, if that’s important), so you need to decide what town or village you wish to live in. Most areas of our region provide for rental housing, so you should have enough inventory to choose from.
  • What type of home?Most tenants rent a condominium or apartment unit, but in today’s rental market you’ll find many options for single-family homes. The single-family homes are more expensive, and might require more maintenance, but they do provide more room and a home-like feel.
  • Do you have any special needs? Such as bedroom needs, pets, mobility issues, or anything else that might be unusual.


Expect credit and background checks

The application process means you will most likely be asked to agree to background and credit checks. A rental application credit check accounts for how financially responsible a potential tenant is. Are they a reliable person who pays rent on time?

Most landlord typically charges $35 to $75 as Application fees to do background and credit checks. These fees are usually non-refundable.

Your agent should provide you with a comprehensive list of all rental properties that meet your price range criteria and your particular needs. Now it’s just a matter of going to view the properties.

Here are some guidelines for viewing potential rental properties:

  • What do you think of the neighborhood?
  • Is there adequate parking for your needs?
  • Is the condition of the property suitable?
  • Is the property convenient for your commute, shopping needs, or school needs?
  • Will you need additional or new furniture for the new home, and can you fit your current furniture in the room layouts?

Finally, once you have identified the right new home to rent, and you are approved, you need to sign the lease. Understand that a lease is a legal contract with binding provisions. The tenant agrees to pay the rent on time for the entire lease term.

Lease signing details
Reading the lease agreement carefully is essential. Make sure you take your time to understand the details in your lease before planning your move-in date, Since both the tenant and the landlord make important commitments in the lease, it is vital to read it with care.

Remit payments due
In most cases, payment of the first month’s rent is due when the lease is signed. Some properties also require payment of a security deposit, in Michigan, it equivalent up to one and half month’s rent. Many properties charge a nonrefundable move-in/cleaning fee. This fee is typically less than a security deposit. Those moving in with one or more approved pets may also pay a pet fee and/or monthly pet rent.

Get ready to move in
Once you’ve signed your lease, it’s time to begin moving into your new home. Ask when you’ll get the keys. Make sure you’re aware of any monthly parking fees or pet fees, if applicable. Know what the penalty is for a lost key or electronic key fob. Many properties include all amenities in the rent, but you’ll want to know the cost of optional amenities if there are any. Finally, know the procedures for making maintenance requests.

Note: Be clear about which utilities you are responsible for and budget for them. Plan in advance for utilities like electricity, cable TV, and internet.



Moving to a new, unfamiliar community can be stressful and demanding.
To make your transfer go smoother, consider these suggestions:

Working with a good agent is one of the most important aspects of a successful home purchase. Key qualities to look for: experience with relocating clients, strong local market knowledge and solid communication skills. If your agent has earned the ABR® designation you’ll know they also have special training in representing buyers.

Get a Pre-Approved (Not just Pre-qualified) for your mortgage. Pre-approval means your application has already been processed and final approval is only contingent upon an appraisal and other issues. Mortgage pre-approval puts you in a more favorable negotiating position with sellers and allows you to make faster decisions.

The difference may seem subtle, but this makes it easier to quickly narrow your options and find the best home for your needs.

You’ll probably see many homes in a short period of time. Detailed notes, photos, and listing sheets can help you recall each property after a busy “home shopping” trip.

Transferees often face future relocations, so it’s important to consider a home’s resale value. If your agent is pointing out a home’s flaws, they’re probably looking out for your future best interests.

Buyers can gather an amazing amount of information online about the markets they’re considering for their new home (although an experienced agent will always have a stronger pulse on local market prices than any website). Do your homework and rely on your agent to add key perspectives.

Many markets now favor sellers or simply lack adequate home inventories, causing buyers to quickly regret momentary hesitation on a desirable home. Consider making an offer right away, even if you plan to view additional properties.

Agents can produce a comparable market analysis on any home in a matter of minutes. This is also where an agent with local market expertise can be a real plus.

Negotiating an offer can be a draining experience. Try to remain calm and maintain perspective as offers and counter offers are exchanged.

The level of detail in home inspections has improved dramatically. If at all possible, attend the inspection in person. You’ll also gain many valuable tips about maintaining your home in the written report. As far as renegotiating on repair items, remember that in strong markets, sellers will be unwilling to make any concessions based on the inspector’s report.



Bill also receives significant attention within the real estate community and beyond; as a star of the hit Netflix show Selling Sunset featuring his brokerage and agents as they sell luxury homes to their affluent and celebrity clients. With more than $1 billion in closed sales, he currently has more than $300 million in active listings.

Bill also receives significant attention within the real estate community and beyond; as a star of the hit Netflix show Selling Sunset featuring his brokerage and agents as they sell luxury homes to their affluent and celebrity clients. With more than $1 billion in closed sales, he currently has more than $300 million in active listings.