If you’ve decided to enter the Maine real estate market, you’re probably already aware of the large financial decision that you are about to make. There are many steps and a lot of planning that go into buying or selling a home, and if you overlook a crucial aspect, it could have an incredible impact on your overall budget, or the amount you’ll receive for your home. Before you start planning, you need to do your research. Take some time to review the real estate laws of Maine and dig deep so you have a good understanding of how each law can affect your current housing situation. Start by looking up the broader laws pertaining to homes for sale by owner in Maine and then narrow it down to your specific area. The more research you do, the less likely it is that you’ll run into an avoidable problem down the road.
Once you have your own understanding down, the next step is to research the current conditions of the real estate market in Maine. Aside from the current economic conditions, keep in mind the time of year, as inclement weather can certainly decrease the amount of people able or wanting to come view a property. This is also a fantastic time to get your finances, assets, and documents organized, so you can begin the journey of selling your home in Maine.
After you’ve looked at your local and state resources, it’s time to take a long look at your budget. Not only should you look at what your current financial standing is, but you should try to find out ways to avoid paying unnecessary commissions and fees. You can avoid things like commission fees by personally listing your home for sale on a site like beycome. Small, smart moves like this could save you up to 6% of your overall profits at the end of the day, so make sure you really look closely!
The final step in your pre-real estate journey is determining the timing of your real estate campaign. How long are you willing to have your house listed, or how long are you able to continue your search for a home? The more time you have, the more flexibility you can work with in terms of cost, but if you wait too long to pull the trigger, you could lose out on a great listing.
Now that you’ve established what you’re working with, it’s time to review the property you’re about to list. Does it need any renovations or repairs? The answer to that is probably yes, so it’s important that you really take a look at everything as if you were a potential buyer. Nobody wants to buy a structure that is falling apart, so if you don’t fix up your property, just be aware that you are making your buying pool a lot more shallow. If you are willing to buy a property that needs some fixing up, be sure to factor those repairs into your budget, or at the very least, address them with the seller before finalizing the purchase.
It’s no secret that if you are deciding to buy a house in Maine, you must be a fan of weather and the outdoors. You’ll experience all four seasons, beautiful nature, adventurous activities, gorgeous seaside views, and a great deal of seafood. The price of Main real estate has been consistently on the rise, so you’ve picked a good time to buy and invest in your new home. The first step in a buying a home in Maine is to look at your finances and consider what type of mortgage you would like to pursue.
203k Rehab Loan
Once you’ve settled on a mortgage type, you’ll have to go through the preliminary steps before you’re able to use it. A good place to start is to look at your credit score, especially if you’re considering paying a mortgage with credit. Avoid applying for a new card before you’ve closed your current home, and try to find a mortgage with pre-approval.
In order to get pre-approval from a mortgage lender, you’ll need to have money to put down, a good credit score, a savings account set up, and a steady income. Don’t settle for the first mortgage you see, because each type comes with its own set of fees. Using sites like better.com can help you save money and find the best mortgage for you.
Now that you’ve found the right mortgage for you, get all your proper documents in order. Having these in impeccable order will make buying real estate in Maine a much swifter process. In general, you’ll want to have the following:
Social Security Numbers
Addresses for Involved Properties
Proof of Homeowners Insurance
You can also take a shortcut to make this process quicker by using a site like beycome instead of going through a traditional realtor. You can find all the information on what you specifically need, and avoid wasting any valuable time or money.
When buying a home in Maine, you’ll want to buy the home that both appeals to your budget and your lifestyle. Take the time to look through all your options. It also helps if you approach the situation having prepared a list of questions when buying a home in Maine. For instance, do you prefer living in a busier area, or do you prefer somewhere remote? Keep in mind that winters can be harsh, so if you’re looking for somewhere that’s more isolated and rural, do you have the proper transportation to get into/out of town? Does your area become a tourist trap in the summer?
Doing a little research can go a long way in determining the quality of your location year-round, and not just when you’re viewing the home.
Once you’ve determined the basic necessities in terms of your location, the next step is to look at the structural integrity of the home. Is it designed for both cold and warm weather? How will it fare in a snowstorm, for instance? Maine has a clear distinction between city and rural life, both having their own style and history. Depending on your location, you can expect a difference in:
Closets and other Storage Spaces
Number of Rooms
Numbers of Floors
Garages or Parking
Numbers of Porches or Decks
After you’ve inspected the property, take a look around at the surrounding neighborhoods and amenities. Your proximity to neighbors, towns, grocery stores, etc., can be a very important factor to weigh when looking to buy real estate in Maine. In a state like Maine, there is far more to “location, location, location” than its proximity to the ocean, for example.
As with most things in life, when buying real estate in Maine, it is considered the best practice to take your time and look over all of your options under a microscope. Come up with your dream house, location, and asking price, and search for something as close to that as possible. Use the technology at your fingertips, compare listings, call owners, and take the time to actually visit properties you’re in love with. Having as much information and insight as possible is paramount with the large, potentially long-term, investment.
Once you’ve determined that you’ve found the place for you, it’s time to ask the big, and important questions. Hopefully, you have more than one home on your radar, and while comparing the properties, here are some basic questions you can start to ask yourself.
How do the price comparisons look?
How long have the homes in question been listed for sale by their owner?
Is there a deadline?
How much time do you have to make a decision?
Why are the owners selling the home?
Has it recently been refurbished, redecorated or renovated?
Are there any association fees?
What are the current utilities like?
Do not be afraid to ask questions.
Whether Maine is a close drive or across the country, something very important to consider is scheduling an in-person visit when looking for a home to buy in Maine. Do as much research and comparison as you can online, but before you pull the trigger, it is always important to either schedule a private tour or visit an open house, if the dates and times align.
While visiting the property, take advantage of the opportunity to ask questions and gather as much data as possible. Visit every room, take photos you can look at later, and take notes of the small details you may want to ask the owner about when negotiating the price. Look at the important, but easily overlooked things like the condition of locks, windows, doors, plumbing, outlets, pests, and appliances.
Once you’ve seen the property with your own eyes, gotten your finances in order, and determined that you’ve found your next home, it’s time to make your offer. Unfortunately, the process is not as simple as signing your name on a dotted line, but luckily, there are plenty of resources to help you make a fair and intelligent offer. You can look into comparative market analysis to determine the price of homes in the surrounding areas and the current condition of the balanced markets in Maine.
When considering your offer, it’s also important to consider contingencies within your contract. This way, you can avoid any wasted time by applied legal tools that allow you to back out of the sale if a condition in your contract is broken. The basic contingencies include:
Home inspection Contingency
Home Appraisal Contingency
If the real estate you’re looking at is more valuable, then it may be important to strengthen your offer with a lender preferred by your listing agent. By working with a professional, they can help you discover all of your options including clauses to add to your contingency period.
When seriously considering a property, it’s best to look at your relationship with the seller as that of a potential employer. Introduce yourself with a cover letter, and maybe even some photos and your opinion on the home so they understand who is considering buying the home and what makes the real estate attractive to you. Of course, you can also make an earnest money deposit to further show your commitment, and we all know that more money can speak volumes.
Bidding too low can get your offer rejected, and may result in a bidding war with other potential buyers. Also, including too many contingencies before making a deposit can scare away the seller.
It is important to remember that homeowners are looking for someone committed. They don’t want to waste their time as much as you don’t want to waste yours, so if you drag your feet or don’t have all of your finances in order, you can expect to have your contract canceled. To avoid these hiccups, have all of your preliminary steps prepared, negotiate your contract quickly, and be communicative with the seller.
Finally, you’ve signed the contract. If you think that finalizes everything, unfortunately, you have just a little more waiting to do. There are final closing costs to keep in mind (lender or third-party fees should not be above 2-5% of the sale), and these could take anywhere from 30-45 days to complete.
Make sure you close the deal in a quick manner. There’s no point in dragging out the closing process, and all it will result in is unnecessary stress. To speed up the process, make the earnest money deposit, order the title to the property, inspect the real estate with a professional, buy homeowners insurance, and then take one more meticulous walkthrough. After you’ve completed all of these steps, it’s finally time to submit your cashier’s check for the down payment and closing costs. Once the escrow is closed and the necessary paperwork is signed, you are officially a proud Maine homeowner!
Maine is a rugged, beautiful state with plenty of diversity in terms of things to do and see. Be prepared for stunning views, a plethora of outdoor sports and activities, and the best lobster you can find in the US. If you’re a history buff and enjoy maritime culture, you’ve found your new home. Here’s just a small glimpse into what The Pine Tree State has to offer.
Baxter State Park: One of the most unique state parks in the US, this area of quiet wilderness is definitely worth more than one visit. 64 Balsam Drive, Millinocket, Maine.
White Water Rafting: If you’re a fan of the outdoors, Maine is the place for you. Take a walk on the wild side and go white water rafting on the Kennebec River. 3 Lake Moxie Rd., West Forks, Maine.
Ski or Snowboard at Sugarloaf: When winter comes, enjoy the snow! While New England isn’t necessarily known for its ski slopes, this is definitely the place to be. 5092 Access Rd., Carrabassett Valley, Maine.
Acadia National Park: Another stretch of rugged and beautiful coastline that is worth a visit. Hancock/Knox County, Maine.
Portland Museum of Art: Boasting a variety of art’s most highly regarded names, this museum is a must-visit for any art fanatics in the family. 7 Congress Square, Portland, Maine.
Coastal Cruise: Maine has one of the most unique coastlines, and there’s no better way to appreciate it than on a cruise around the harbor. Portland, Maine.
Bowdoin College Museum of Art: Another excellent option for fans of ancient art. This museum features a permanent collection of more than 20,000 pieces. 245 Maine Street, Brunswick, Maine.
Old Fort Western: History buffs will love the historical architecture engrained into Maine’s buildings, especially that of Old Fort Western. This wooden fort was constructed in 1754 and is the oldest of its kind in New England. 16 Cony Street, Augusta, Maine.
Nubble Lighthouse: This lighthouse, located near Cape Neddick, is one of New England’s most photographed lighthouses and it’s definitely worth a visit for photographers. Sohier Park Rd., York, Maine.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay: A relatively new botanical garden, this is a great place to take a calming walk and soak in the natural beauty of your surroundings. 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay, Maine.
Bowdoin College: A private institution, Bowdoin was ranked as one of the best liberal arts colleges in the US and is one of the nation’s oldest colleges, founded in 1794. 255 Maine St., Brunswick, Maine 04011.
University of Maine – Farmington: This public school boasts small class sizes and personalized learning in a rural setting totaling 55-acres. 224 Main St., Farmington, Maine 04938.
Unity College: A private college focused on sustainability science, this rural school emphasizes the environment and natural resources. 90 Quaker Hill Road, Unity, Maine 04988.
Colby College: Another private institution, Colby College was founded in 1813 and has a total enrollment of around 1,900. Its campus is home to the 128-acre Perkins Arboretum wildlife refuge, and it also owns a nearby bog reserve. 4000 Mayflower Hill, Waterville, Maine 04901.
Bates College: The first coeducational college in New England, this private college was founded in 1855. It ranks number 22 as the best national liberal arts colleges. 2 Andrews Road, Lewiston, Maine 04240.
University of Maine – Fort Kent: This public university has a small enrollment of around 1,700 and is a liberal arts institution that sits on 52 acres in rural Maine. 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, Maine 04743.
University of New England: A private school in a suburban setting, University of New England offers 30 majors including health and medicine. Hills Beach Road, Biddeford, Maine 04005.
College of the Atlantic: A small, interdisciplinary college located next to Acadia National Park, this college gives students the ability to design their own major in human ecology and has a total enrollment of just 349. 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609.
University of Maine: A public college founded in 1865, the total enrollment of this rural college is around 9,000 students. It is located just 100 miles from the Canadian border and students can choose from nearly 90 undergraduate majors. 168 College Avenue, Orono, Maine 04469.
University of Southern Maine: A public university founded in 1878, this college is focused on becoming recognized as Maine’s metropolitan university. 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, Maine 04104.
Oasis: A club in the Old Port in Portland, Maine. This is a great spot for young crowds who like DJ’s, dancing, and live rock acts. 42 Wharf St., Portland, Maine.
Aura: Formerly a rock and punk venue, this intimate Portland venue is a great place to find local indie artists, country acts, and hip-hop artists. 121 Center St., Portland, Maine.
Bubba’s Sulky Lounge: If you’re a fan of the 80’s, then this is the place to be. Every night you can expect large crowds and rockin’ tunes. 92 Portland Street, Portland, Maine.
Pearl Ultra: Disco balls and loud jams can best describe this hot spot for the local college and post-college scene. It also offers free salsa dancing on Thursdays and live DJs on Friday and Saturdays. 442 Fore St., Portland, Maine.
ImprovAcadia: If you have the comedy bug, ImprovAcadia is rated as one of the 25 things to do in the entire state of Maine and the number one thing to do in Bar Harbor. 15 Cottage Street, Bar Harbor, Maine 04609.
Ongunquit Playhouse: This theater is rated by some as the number 1 place to go for Maine nightlife. You can expect excellent shows and a wonderful outdoor bistro garden. 10 Main Street, Ogunquit, Maine 03907.
Wicked Walking Tours: For those that enjoy the darker side of entertainment, you can take this theatrical and entertaining haunted history tour of Portland, Maine. 72 Commercial Street, Portland, Maine 04101.
Empire Dine and Dance: Full of Portland hipsters, this venue features live music from bluegrass to jazz, blues, folk, and soul. Get your dancing shoes on. 575 Congress Street, Portland, Maine.
Maine Craft Distillery: Free spirit tastings, specialty cocktails, and unique, quality drinks. 52 Depot St., Freeport, Maine 04032.
Old Orchard Beach Pier: A great place to visit to see the ocean, get great food, see entertainment and comedy, and enjoy a piece of history. It’s been around since 1898! 2 Old Orchard Street, Old Orchard Beach, Maine 04064.
If you’ve decided that now is the time to list your home for sale by owner in Maine, it’s important to take the time to understand what goes into a successful sales campaign. The first step is to look at your finances. Do you have enough money to pay for renovations and repairs? Can you hire inspectors to come look at your home and verify that everything looks right? Have you calculated in advertising costs? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, but they’re a great place to start.
Making your presence known online is crucial in the modern world of real estate. Maine for sale by owner, for example, is a highly searched term online, but it doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get a high bid for your home. Take a look through these useful resources and try listing your home on the market yourself. This will give you more of a profit margin by helping you avoid unnecessary fees and listing costs by using an agent.
Take the time to walk through your home as if you were a potential buyer. Now is the time to take note of the small things like faulty doors, carpet stains, the plumbing, etc. If you find any large problems, bite the bullet and hire a professional to fix them. If you’re not sure what to look for, do a quick search online so you have something to compare it to. Write down all the problems you find in a detailed list and list your repairs in order of length of time and importance. Tackle the big stuff first so you can get your home on the market faster.
Maine real estate can face some unique problems, especially due to harsh winters and its proximity to the ocean. The best way to make sure you address all the common repair issues that other homes in your area face is to come up with a list of questions, including:
What were other homes sold in your area like?
Is your home in a better or worse state than they were during the sale?
How many repairs can you handle yourself?
Is the damage severe enough to require professional help?
Now that you’ve gone through the steps to fix up your home in tip-top condition, it’s time to decide on an asking price. Determining this price will require some research, and if you just pick a price out of thin air, you may potentially lose money or scare off buyers. You can figure out a good asking price buy comparing your home to similar Maine houses that have recently sold in the area, particularly in the last quarter.
Not sure how to do this research? Sometimes, the easiest answer is to start simple. Use search terms like “Maine for sale by owner” or “home for sale by owner in Maine”. Once you find properties similar to yours, make a list of homes and then find the average between all of those numbers. The average median for home costs in Maine is over $100,000, but that could change based on your area, the condition of your home, and even the time of year you are trying to sell.
Aside from using your computer, be proactive and visit an open house for sale by owner in Maine. This in-person experience will give you a better understanding of what strategy to use, what you’ll want to include in your open house, and improvements you can make to your home overall. Once you have this comprehensive understanding of what it takes to sell a home, you should be able to come up with the very best price that will get you a fair amount and attract the most potential buyers.
Aside from asking price, this research can also give you in-depth insight as to the most current trends homes for sale by owner in Maine are using. Maybe you see a room that has been updated in a unique way, or you see a repair to a roof, bathroom, or kitchen that you hadn’t considered before. While all of this research takes time, it will pay off tenfold in the end when you’re determining a well-rounded minimum and maximum value of your home.
Now that you’ve done the research, fixed up your home, and determined your asking price, it is time to come up with a marketing strategy for your home for sale by owner in Maine. The good news? We have an insane amount of resources available at your fingertips that cost nothing and give you excellent exposure to potential buyers. Craigslist and other online classified listing sites, for example, offer simple and easy-to-use tools that can make your marketing efforts both effective and convenient.
beycome offers several services to help your real estate marketing campaign including:
Listing on your Local MLS
Listing on top real estate sites
Full listing on beycome
Virtual Tour & YouTube© Video
Printable promotional items
Full legal offers online
Home Visit Manager
Open House Scheduler
While online marketing is great, don’t forget about the awesome effect of the human touch. Advertising your Maine home for sale by owner to a local audience via newspaper classifieds, yard signs, and fliers are tried and true methods of spreading the word of your home for sale.
The key factor in determining whether an ad is good or bad is its ability to both catch the eye and hold attention. If you don’t have the creative bug, search your local talent to see if there are any web designers, graphic designers, writers or photographers in your area that can help you come up with a creative ad. If you don’t know anyone local, this is another way in which the internet can be extremely helpful.
In your listing be sure to focus on your area as much as you focus on your home. What is there to do or see nearby? You want people to imagine what it’s like to live in your home when they’re under their new roof and when they step outside into the neighborhood. By placing them in the area, they’ll feel like they’re already at home.
The Pine Tree State is a place for both the adventurous and those looking to get away from it all. There is plenty of property and a demand for real estate, so capitalize on this interest. By doing a lot of work and investing the appropriate amount of time into huge decision, you can eliminate large expenses that come along with real estate agents. You are more than capable of handling this process yourself by utilizing the resources on sites like beycome, and by doing so you’ll save yourself both commission fees and time. Follow these steps closely and soon you’ll have your home sold and you’ll be onto your next adventure!
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