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Archive for October, 2012

I advertise my listings on Zillow- it’s a great site for my Oakland County home listings to get exposure. Zillow is one of several sites I advertise on.

Many of my Oakland County home buyers look for houses on Zillow and those same home buyers inevitably check the value of prospective homes with Zillow’s famous “zestimate.”

A zestimate basically takes the sale prices of homes in a certain radius and average the prices and calculate by price per square foot. Some may be on the water, some may be on main roads, some may be on acreage, foreclosures are included. It’s an average of ALL houses in the area.

As your Oakland County agent, I will advise you as to the value of any houses you consider making an offer on. I will give my opinion as to what I think it will appraise for and what I think market value is. The ultimate value is up to you.

I wish it was as easy averaging the sales within a half mile or mile and coming up with a price!

So you want to look at Oakland County MI homes on Zillow? Look away! But PLEASE ignore the zestimates!

Search the MLS

Oakland County MI Homes For Sale

What To Expect From Your Oakland County Buyer’s Agent

Financing and The Importance of a Pre-Approval

Jackie Hawley Realtor
Cell: (248)736-6407
Jackie@JackieHawley.com
www.MiRelocation.com

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The Appraisal Contingency as a Negotiating Tool- Southeast MI Home Purchase

There is so much more to writing an offer to purchase a home in Southeast MI than in days of yore. At one time pretty much price ruled. Strength of buyer was important, but not as much as today. Today there are many more factors to consider in a Southeast MI real estate transaction– is it a short sale, bank owned or good old fashioned non-distressed homeowner/seller?

You see more Southeast Michigan houses go pending then back on the market (sometimes this will happen multiple times with one house) than I ever remember seeing. Appraisals are coming in low causing the financing to fall apart. Short sales get denied. The list of reasons for dying sales can go on and on.

The more contingencies an offer has, the more chances the sale has to die. Low appraisals is probably one of the biggest reasons sales don’t close. No matter if buyer, seller and all agents involved know the house is worth every dime the buyer is paying and may even be a bit under priced, there is never a guarantee the house will appraise.

Where as one time the prime motivator was price, now removal of obstacles to closing have also become prime motivators. And the appraisal contingency is probably the biggest obstacle that can be removed.

I have used it to negotiate for the buyer in multiple offer situations. I have used it on the seller side to improve our chances to close. Often times a seller will take a slightly lower offer if the odds of closing are greatly increased. Of course cash negates the need for an appraisal. When a mortgage is involved, an appraisal is probably necessary. But if the buyer has the cash to pay the difference between the sale price and the appraised price, he can remove the appraisal contingency to make his offer stronger. Or remove it with limitations. Recently one of my buyers beat out another offer by agreeing to pay up to $10K difference on a low appraisal. So if the seller takes our $140K offer we would agree to close even if the house appraised at $130K.

With a lack of inventory, when you find the house you want, the goal is more to win and obtain that house as your new home. Until the inventory at least triples, getting the seller to come down on price will be a distant second to winning and getting the house you want.

Writing the Offer

The Home Inspection

Oakland County MI Homes for Sale

Search the MLS

Jackie Hawley, Realtor
Cell: (248) 736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

www.MiRelocation.com

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What is the job of a buyer’s agent in Southeast Michigan?

Many agents seem to have the idea that the primary job of a buyer’s agent is to get the seller to come down on his asking price. The more you can get the seller down, the better you’ve done your job. NOT!!

Here in the North Oakland County and surrounding areas there is such a lack of inventory that when you (the buyer) find a house the objective at this point is to get the house. flexingThere’s a good chance you will be in a multiple offer situation. Or if you wait too long you will be in a multiple offer situation. Why would you want to settle for your second or third choice of home because you lost out on the house you really wanted- but your agent felt the need to flex and either encouraged you to write a low offer or didn’t try to talk you out of low balling?

My job as a buyer’s agent is to find you the best house for your wants and needs for a price you are comfortable with, then make sure you get the house and go through as little stress as possible. Sometimes that means paying asking price or over. A well priced home in North Oakland County– specifically the Clarkston, Lake Orion and Oxford MI areas will sell quickly and for close to asking price or over.

There are different negotiating strategies depending on the type of sale and the motivations of both the buyer and seller. For example the motivation of a short sale seller will be different than a non-distressed seller. The short sale seller may place more importance on free possession after the closing whereas a non-distressed seller may be more interested in sale pricepeacock

But the one thing all buyers and sellers have in common is getting to the closing table – not watching their agents flex and strut. It doesn’t matter how much of a peacock you agent is if you don’t get the house you want.

 If you are considering purchasing a home in Southeast Michigan please don’t hesitate to contact the Jackie Hawley team. We have buyer specialists who are professional and always put your interests first.

Search the MLS

What to Expect From a Buyer’s Agent

Financing and the Importance of a Pre-Approval

The Home Inspection

Clarkston MI Homes for Sale

Clarkston Lakefront Homes

Jackie Hawley, Realtor

Jackie@JackieHawley.com

Cell: (248)736-6407

www.MiRelocation.com

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Oakland County Michigan Home Buyer- How to Calculate Your New Property Taxes

Right now in Oakland and Lapeer County Michigan many houses are assessed higher than their true market value. Many home buyers are under the false assumption that they will only be stuck with that tax for the first year. That the new assessment will be half the sale price. This is not correct!

When I show you houses, one of the sheets attached to the listing is the public record report for the house that is available through our MLS. This public record sheet (or PRD) will give the taxable value and the state equalized value as well as the annual tax amount.

The taxable value is the number used to calculate your taxes. The taxable value times the millage rate equals your annual tax bill.  Upon transfer of deed (sale) the SEV will become the new taxable. In this market there’s a good chance the SEV will be higher than half the sale price.

I showed a house the other evening that is listed for $278K. The SEV and the taxable are both $163,610. Multiply that by 2 and you will be taxed like your house is worth $327,220. That is going to make a difference on your monthly payment.

This isn’t to say your assessment won’t drop next year– state law states that the assessed value is to be one half of the assessor’s estimate of market value of your property, and that the taxable value has to be less than or equal to the assessed value. And once ownership is transferred, and a new taxable in place, that taxable value is capped at 5% or the rate of inflation- whichever is less.

Many townships are dropping assessments across the board. The house in the above example was assessed at $198,670 in 2006 and has dropped each year since. You may also fight your assessment through your township and appeal to the state if you are not satisfied with the results.

For the purpose of determining what your costs will be when purchasing a home, you should figure the worse case scenario and figure your new payments based on a tax amount that uses the SEV plus 5%. When your taxes end up lower- treat yourself! Or put it against the principle of your house.

Search the MLS

More Information About Buying In Oakland County MI

Financing

The Home Inspection

Jackie Hawley
Cell: (248)736-6407

Jackie@JackieHawley.com  

www.MiRelocation.com 

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