Posts Tagged ‘oakland county mi real estate’

Home staging your Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home for sale.

At one time it was just part of a Realtor’s job to “stage” a home they were listing- at least in the North Oakland and Lapeer areas that I work in. In those days staging had a bit of a different meaning. I typically will tell a seller if they need to de-clutter, clean, paint, repair…. I have no taste, so I don’t normally suggest colors. I may suggest taking down some of your “art work” or removing bushes that are too big and too close to the house. This was called “staging.”

Now there is a whole new industry for home staging. Home Stagers have their own associations, training, certifications, etc. This is a “good thing.” Staging your Oakland County or Lapeer home MAY help you sell it faster and for more money. But since Home Staging has become its own industry, home stagers really don’t like Realtors calling what we do home staging.

It’s kind of like Kleenex which is a brand of tissue, but is used for all brands of tissue. Jacuzzi is a brand name that is used for all jetted tubs, and so on.

When it comes to the term home staging or home stager, certified home stagers think they own this term. Who had it first? Realtors used it long before home stagers were in existence. If you contact a Realtor who offers free home staging services, find out exactly what they are offering. Some may have a professional stager on their payroll. Some may just be coming in and suggesting ways to make  your home show better.

There’s nothing wrong with the second scenario; most houses in Oakland and Lapeer County will NOT benefit from professional home staging services. Some will. The first call should be to your Realtor who can help you determine if you need professional staging services or not.



Jackie Hawley, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Professionals

cell: 248-736-6407



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What Does BATVI Mean?

Simply- Buyer Agent To Verify Information.

This is also known as an ass covering, or in my opinion, a waste of precious space in the limited space allotted in the MLS.

If you are selling a Southeast MI home, check your MLS sheet to make sure it is complete and accurate with several quality photos included. The MLS is in place to sell your listing to the buyers’ agents. If I am going to show 5 houses to someone and 10 show up in the MLS search, poorly filled out listings probably won’t make the cut.

Often times BATVI gets replaced by CHP or EXP (price change or expired listing).

Jackie Hawley
Coldwell Banker Professionals

Cell: 248-736-6407

Marketing Your Southeast MI Home

Choosing An Agent To Market Your Southeast MI Home

Choosing A Buyer’s Agent

Search The MLS


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What Real Estate Costs are the Oakland County Seller Responsible For?

This is a common question I get when a person is considering selling their Oakland County MI home. First let me explain that most everything is negotiable; the purpose of this post is to address what is customary for the Oakland County and Lapeer County areas.

Costs to the seller:

  • commission (I normally charge 6%)
  • transfer tax (.75%)
  • revenue stamps ($1.10 per $1000)
  • title insurance (depends on the sale price)
  • $295 file retention fee to ReMax Encore
  • misc. costs such as wiring fees, recording fees and I usually estimate on the high side at $500 but is probably closer to $100 on most transaction

If you currently have a mortgage on the house that will have to be paid out of your proceeds. Taxes are usually prorated to the date of closing and if you are current on your taxes you will probably get some back. Homeowner association dues is usually prorated to the date of closing. Water and sewer bill (if applicable) are paid at closing.

If there is possession $200 or $300 is usually escrowed at closing to cover any water/sewer charges for the time you live in the house as a tenant after closing. You will normally pay the new owner’s house payment for the time you stay after closing. So you agree on 45 days possession after closing, we will typically escrow 45 days of the new owner’s mortgage and you pay for the days you stay.

These costs are for a normal sale- not short sale or land contract sale.

For more information about selling your Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Jackie Hawley
cell: (248)736-6407
email: Jackie@JackieHawley.com

For Sellers

Seller Concessions for Dummies

Why are Both Buyer and Seller Paying for Title Work?

For the Non Distressed Seller (normal sale)


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

When a potential seller makes an appointment to meet with me about selling their Oakland or Lapeer County home I am typically asked “how long will this take?” and “are you going to take pictures?”

There are two ways a listing can happen. The 1 step approach or 2 step.

On the 1 step listing, I have comparable sales pulled in advance. When I get to your house I go through the house measuring rooms and taking notes. Then we sit down and discuss how I market a home, my experience, we go over comparable sales and discuss price, discuss your motivations and time lines, and then I answer any questions you may have. At that point if you decide to list your house with me I fill out the listing agreement while you fill out the disclosures. Then I take photos. I take photos of every room and multiple photos of the exterior.

A 2 step approach involves all the above except for the paperwork and photos. It may not include a discussion of pricing either if a) I didn’t have enough lead time to work on pricing in advance and b) your house is so unique that I need to go back and pull different comparable sales.

Both approaches work for me. Often times a seller wants to interview multiple agents then make a decision. Sometimes sellers want to discuss if they are still going to sell- especially after hearing an honest value for their house.

You should schedule anywhere from 1-3 hours for the appointment. If you plan on listing at that appointment the house needs to be clean and de-cluttered for photos. If you have your old title policy that may get you a discount on the new policy. Your old mortgage report (survey) can come in handy along with dates of any improvements such as new roof, well, furnace, etc. Copies of your utility bills, copies of any warranties that would transfer with the house and your current mortgage information (name of lender, contact number and loan number(s)).

If you are thinking about selling your North Oakland County or Lapeer County MI home please contact me, Jackie Hawley at:


Email: Jackie@JackieHawley.com

For Sellers

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