Archive for August, 2011

Live in the Clarkston School District? GREAT Time to Sell!

The average sales price for Clarkston MI homes is up 7.6% from last year and up 12.2% from 2009. Unit sales are up about 2 1/2% from last year and up over 22% from 2009.

Distressed sales in Clarkston MI have been on the decline, contributing to the higher prices. Through July of 2011 distressed sales (short sales and foreclosures) have made up 56.7% of the closed sales in Clarkston MI. In 2010 distressed sales 59.6% of the total Clarkston sales which was an improvement from 2009 when over 64% of the sold homes in Clarkston were either a short sale or bank owned home.

clarkston school sales chart through july

There are currently only 211 active listings for sale in Clarkston or just over a 5 month inventory. Like in any market, some (many) of those homes are overpriced. Good, properly priced inventory is even less than the 5 month inventory the stats show. The last 3 homes we listed in the Clarkston school district all sold the first week on the market and all 3 got prices that were at the top end for their respective neighborhoods.

Typical Costs for the Clarkston Home Seller

What Happens if the Appraisal is Low?

Getting Your Clarkston MI Home Ready For Sale

What are Seller Concessions?

Why are the Buyer and I Both Paying for Title Work/Insurance?

What to Expect on the Listing Appointment

Jackie Hawley
Keller Williams Realty, Clarkston



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I was talking to a couple of agents at the office yesterday and one of them was complaining about our purchase agreement asking for the seller to pay for the well and septic inspection (if the house is on well and/or septic). He was saying that perfectly good offers were getting countered because of this one item.

He has a couple of options– he can cross out seller and hand write in buyer and have it initialed, or he can cross out the whole paragraph and the buyer can make it part of his general home inspection.

Another agent wanted to know why he would want that removed; after all he is working for the buyer and the seller should have to prove their well and septic worked properly and the water clean. Like supplying clean title.

I ask- As a buyer’s agent why would you put the seller in charge of ANY of your inspections?

well and septic inspection“Back in the day” many of the purchase agreements asked for septic inspections to be performed by the county. Oakland County used to send out a sanitarian, who would walk out to where he thought the septic field was, sniff the air, and approve the septic. That’s not really much of an exaggeration. The point is, there is no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a well and septic inspection. And most purchase agreements that have pre-printed that the seller is to supply a satisfactory well and septic inspection don’t specify exactly what they want done and what constitutes satisfactory. Just a sniff test? A dye test? Open the tank and take core sample from the field?

And the water…. Who is collecting if the seller is having it done? What lab? Are the including arsenic and lead? Do you even care if the water is tested? Because no matter what the purchase agreement states, you REALLY are paying for that well and septic inspection. Sellers have a bottom line and any costs you ask them to cover will be factored into the sale price. So really you are still paying, but giving up the power to have any say in how those inspections are performed and who is performing them.

Sellers- If you get an offer asking you to pay for the well and septic inspection DO NOT COUNTER that condition. In the whole scheme of things, the couple hundred dollars a well and septic inspection costs is nothing. Let the buyer’s agent “save” them $200 or $300.  I’m not suggesting you would cheat and send distilled water to a lab, but if you hire a home inspector to collect the water and take it to the lab you have control. We don’t know the buyer’s inspector. We don’t know how long that water sample might roll around in his trunk. Also, if you’re paying, a dye test for the septic is sufficient. It’s what is required by FHA, but doesn’t tell you the condition of the field or tank. It just means it’s working.

I don’t know why brokers pre-print contingencies in their purchase agreements. Everything is negotiable. There are no standards, and old customs have been changing to reflect the high percentage of foreclosure and short sale listings. It’s presumptuous to assume in advance how ALL buyers want to negotiate their home purchase.

photo from Flickr and Soil Science

Seller concessions for dummies

Home sellers- check your listing (MLS sheet)

Seller- you accepted an offer- now what?

Is the appraisal for the buyers protection?

Oakland and Lapeer County Home Seller- The Closing is Set- What To Do Now?

Getting Your Oakland or Lapeer County Home Ready for Sale? I Have Coupons That May Help

Oakland and Lapeer County MI Home Seller- What to Expect on the Listing Appointment

Could Incomplete MLS Listings Be To Blame For Bad Appraisals?

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI

Cell: (248)736-6407


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Great News for Oxford MI Homeowners/Sellers!

I was just finishing up a market analysis for a home I will be listing this evening in Oxford MI. The house I’m listing is a very nice home, but sales in Oxford haven’t been bouncing back like they have in the Clarkston area. Unit sales are up slightly so far this year and median sales price is up a tad. No complaints- at least sales are up.

Through July sales volume in the Oxford school district are up 3 units- 152 units in 2010 and 155 units in 2011. And median prices in the Oxford school district went from $147,000 in 2010 to $149,500 through July of this year. But from the perspective of my soon to be new seller, the lack of inventory in his price range should be a great help in getting his home sold.

So far this year there have been 51 sales in the Oxford school district with sale prices between $120,000 and $175,000 the first 7 1/2 months of the year or 6.8 sales per month. There are only 13 active listings with the same criteria. Or less than a 2 month inventory.

Sounds like a seller’s market. I really won’t go that far since we are still selling at mid to late 1990’s prices. But I truly think the lack of inventory will help with the stabilizing and eventual increase in home prices in the Oxford MI area.

Oxford MI

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For Sellers

Jackie Hawley
ReMax Encore, Clarkston MI
cell: (248)736-6407



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