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Old 09-09-2011, 07:13 AM
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,507,271 times
Reputation: 17577


I dealt with a number of realtors when I was shopping for property.

I have found some realtors to be honest and ethical. I found other realtors who were not so much.

While listing agents in theory should know a lot about the properties that they list. I dealt with one who admitted that she had never stepped foot onto the property that she was listing. She knew nothing about it aside from what the seller had told her.

You need to walk the perimeter property line yourself to verify what is on the property, and feel free to ask questions. If you feel that you may be interested in a property, then you need to inspect every corner of it, and ask questions.

We were in one place where I noticed a drop-ceiling tile slightly askew. I lifted it and looked above it with a flashlight and I discovered that there had been a fire. The ceiling and walls above were badly scorched. A great deal of work had gone into covering the burnt studs and floor-joists, making it look pretty again on the exterior. But there was no disclosure about the fire. Either the seller did not want to disclose it to the realtors, or it was one of those things where the realtor was holding it secret from any prospective buyers.

If you do not feel that you can competently and thoroughly inspect a property, then you may wish to hire an independent 'home inspector'. We have used them previously when purchasing properties that we have owned, and we found them well worth the money. A few hundred dollars in a good inspection can save you thousands later.

In Maine the escrow process [yes I know that Maine does not use that phrase] can be very quick and painless. A lawyer may charge as little as $200 to perform the title search, provide title insurance and write a new deed and record it. We have bought properties in other states previously where it was impossible to buy property with escrow costing any less than $5,000 to $8,000.

The home buying process can be a lot of fun.

I wish you luck, I hope that you can find the home of your dreams.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:45 PM
9 posts, read 33,962 times
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Thank you all for your thorough and helpful advice and taking the time to respond so promptly. It is much appreciated. I suspect that we will have more questions along the way, so it's comforting to know this forum is here. Good to hear that "city people from away" have had wonderful experiences in rural Maine and we hope to call this great place "home" too soon!
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Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

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