Hi Rob, I would like to advise you but this question is best handled by a lawyer. I have seen this happen numerous times over the past few years. Contact a lawyer and ask them if they can establish an escrow account for you to deposit the rent checks to. This way the money is available should any questions come up about you paying or not paying your rent on time. Remember, there is a 6 month redemption period for the landlord to get his property out of foreclosure.
If I can help you with any Real Estate questions do not hesitate to contact me. First and foremost though should be seeking legal advice from a licensed law professional.
Let me just add to the previous answer. Michigan Law is a little ambiguous about when you hire an agent unless there is an agency agreement signed. The law basically says that an agency is established when both parties agree to it either verbally or in writing, or when one could reasonably assume it has been established. Answering a phone call clearly doesn't qualify as establishing an agency relationship.
The second part of your answer confuses me a little bit, so I'll take my best stab at it. In this area the seller generally pays the full commission - that is the seller pays both the listing agent and the buyer's agent. If you are asking whether you can pay yourself for being your own agent, the answer is no, although a seller would probably take that into consideration in negotiating the sales price.... more