All Things Real Estate in N Oakland and Lapeer Counties
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Choosing Your Buyer's Agent

In today's real estate market, choosing the right agent is more important than ever. With the rapid changes in available mortgage programs, low inventory, rising home prices, and a plethora of other factors, make choosing an experienced, knowledgeable, full time agent even more important than in the past.

Once you've made the decision to purchase a home (or investment property) the first two things you need to do are contact a loan officer and contact a full time, experienced real estate agent. It's a good idea to interview/research two or three professionals just like a seller would, then select one to work with exclusively.

When you work with multiple agents, none of them will work as hard for you as they would if they know they have your loyalty. Multiple agents will send you the same listings (or they should if they're using the same search criteria) so there's really no advantage to working with more than one agent. How much work (and time) can you expect a person to invest into your search when there's a good chance another agent will show the property to you?

There's more to finding a house for a client than plugging the search criteria in the MLS and emailing it to the buyer/client. The first time I show you houses I get a good idea of what you really like and dislike. If you want automatic MLS updates, I will be happy to do that for you, but I will also go through the updates myself and cull out the crap and only send you houses that suit your needs. I grew up in Lake Orion and have sold in the North Oakland and Lapeer areas for over 26 years; I know the area well. After I get a good idea of what you do and don't like in a house I use that knowledge of the area, and my experience, to help you find the home that best suites your needs as well as considering the investment aspect of the purchase.

I look out for your best interest, educate you about the process, and work harder for you than any other agent will.

  • Upon our first conversation I will question you thoroughly so I can start your first search. There's a good chance that search will change after I've shown you a few houses, but I need to get as much information from you as possible to make that search a thorough one. I would hate for you to buy a house and find out later that there was something you might like better that I never told you about.
  • I will discuss agency with you which has been required in this area since 1994
  • The first time I show you houses I will show you a variety of homes in a variety of areas (such as different subdivisions or different lakes if you're a lakefront buyer) but that still meet your basic criteria
  • After the first trip out to look at houses I will go back to the computer and alter your search criteria. I then look at EVERY listing that comes up, the additional photos the listing agent supplies, if the house is in Oakland County I look at aerial views, then pick out the houses I feel will best fit your needs
  • Once you've found the house you want to purchase, I will pull comps (comparable sales) and together we will put together an offer. Then the negotiations start.
  • Once we've come to terms with the seller we schedule the home inspection (I can recommend a very good home inspector if you don't already have one).
  • After the home inspection I will order the title work and get the pertinent information to your loan officer who will order an appraisal and convert your "pre-approval" into a mortgage commitment, then we proceed to closing (this typically takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks from the time our offer is accepted to close)

Below are just a few things that set Jackie Hawle apart from other agents as well as some myths or common misconceptions about purchasing real estate, and the facts. Please don't hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.


  • I am an experienced, full time Realtor who is knowledgeable about my market area
  • With out of the area buyers or transferees I will preview houses for you and take photos and/or video to send to you before you make that trip to Michigan. This will help you weed out some of the homes you wouldn't be interested in
  • I advise you on the investment portion of your purchase. I point out potential repairs (I am not a builder, but I've seen literally thousands of homes and will probably see problems the typical buyers might overlook), I discuss re-saleability, I WILL GIVE YOU MY OPINION - it's not my goal to just hustle you into the first house you express interest in
  • When we look at houses, I give you the full listing of each house along with the listing history, the public records sheet (which may show what the seller paid and how much the mortgage is) and if the house is in Oakland County I typically attach an aerial with the property lines outlined in red
  • Most importantly I listen to your wants and needs and look out for YOUR interests 100%  


Myth: The new taxes will be based on half the new sales price.

Fact: There are 2 assessments on your tax bill: your taxable value and the state equalized value (SEV). Upon transfer of ownership the SEV becomes the new taxable. That may be higher than half the sales price.

Myth: Sellers are coming down 20%, 30%, 40% and more.

Fact: In the Orion, Oxford, Clarkston area, sellers are coming down about 5 or 6% on average. It's your agent's job to help you determine what is a fair price to pay. Some sellers are coming down more than the average stated above, but some houses are selling for more than asking price.

How to Calculate Your New Property Taxes

It has been a myth ever since I can remember that the sale price of a home determines the amount of the new property taxes. Many home buyers (and real estate agents) are under the false assumption that their new taxable value 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. It is important to look at the SEV and compare to the taxable to determine what your taxes will do.

As an example- my home has a taxable value of $64,193 and an SEV of $140,900. If I were to sell my house today the new owner's taxes would more than double. I have a closing on Mon with a sale price of $325,000, a current taxable of $114,100 and an SEV of $118,350. So taxes will go up slightly, but the house will still be taxed for a value less than the sale price ($118,350 x 2 = $236,700).

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.

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.

Jackie Hawley
Cell/Text: (248) 736-6407