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Old 09-08-2011, 03:40 PM
 
9 posts, read 33,959 times
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hi all,
We live out of state currently and wondered if there were any particulars, pitfalls or things to watch out for when it comes to real estate purchase in Maine. Purchasing property in 2 other states were very different experiences when it came to the roles of realtor and lawyers, etc. For example, is it common to have dual representation realtor? At what point should we involve a lawyer? We'll be meeting a realtor soon, so he will probably answer some of these questions, but advice from this forum is always invaluable.

Also, any recommendations for home inspectors, lawyers, etc. in Camden, Belfast, Lincolnville area?

Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Northern Maine
9,494 posts, read 14,291,662 times
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Each state has its own rules. Maine has many small towns. It is not unusual for a small town to have only one Realtor. In Maine it is legal for one Realtor to represent both parties in a transaction. The Realtor must respect the confidentiality of each party and treat both honestly. After all, the seller wants to sell and the buyer wants to buy. The Realtor knows how to get that done.

Pitfalls? ALWAYS have a title search done. ALWAYS buy title insurance. It is inexpensive and protects the buyer for life. The lawyer will do the title search and provide title insurance. In Maine the Realtor prepares the offer. In some states the parties negotiate and a lawyer prepares the purchase and sale documents which they call "going to escrow". That term is not used in Maine.

That's the short, but accurate answer. Somebody else could write a book on it.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Gorham, Maine
1,815 posts, read 4,268,283 times
Reputation: 1240
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonneval View Post
hi all,
We live out of state currently and wondered if there were any particulars, pitfalls or things to watch out for when it comes to real estate purchase in Maine. Purchasing property in 2 other states were very different experiences when it came to the roles of realtor and lawyers, etc. For example, is it common to have dual representation realtor? At what point should we involve a lawyer? We'll be meeting a realtor soon, so he will probably answer some of these questions, but advice from this forum is always invaluable.

Also, any recommendations for home inspectors, lawyers, etc. in Camden, Belfast, Lincolnville area?

Thanks!
Have the real estate agent e mail you a copy of the Maine Real Estate Commission's Real Estate Brokerage Relationship Form now so you can review it, if he hasn't already. The form is supposed to be presented to you "at the first substantial discussion of real estate." It discusses the customer and client relationships that are practiced in Maine and you are a customer until you enter into a written agreement with a brokerage. You will also want to find out the company policy at that real estate agency, do they practice single agency (where all licensees represent you), appointed agency (where one or more specific agents represents yo) or disclosed dual agency (where the agent that represents the seller also would represent you). Many folks on this forum and elsewhere assume that the agent that shows you the property is a "buyer agent," that is not true until you hire him or her at which point they represent you and have fiduciary responsibilites to you. Consider interviewing two or three agents in a community and choose the one that you feel would best represent you in a transaction. While interviewing agents, you will also want to interview lenders, without a current pre-approval you will not be able to accurately assess how much you can afford to borrow, nor which property type may or may not be eligible for the specific loan program that is best for you.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
3,095 posts, read 5,424,551 times
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Buy low, sell high
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:22 PM
 
17,159 posts, read 22,175,230 times
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You mentioned you are going to meet with the realtor soon, if he/she is representing the seller, then the seller is their client, he/she is acting on behalf of the seller-working for the seller's best interest.
If the realtor you are going to meet is a "buyer's Broker" showing you property, then you have a broker working for you and your best interest (buyer's brokers usually don't cost anything, they get paid by the sellers commission, that is already there .

Now, if you are meeting with the sellers broker, you can ask for him/her to represent you also, the broker may or may not (depending on the company's policy on agency- but it is legal in maine to be a "dual disclosed agent" if all parties agree

Your best bet if you are going to meet with a sellers broker- is to have a buyers broker with you-someone from the area, that knows the inspectors, knows the market, what has sold, what hasnt, and can give you great advice and protection (again, usually no out of pocket expense)
A buyers broker can also research the exact property to see days on market, how long it's been listed, also, if it has sold recently, tell you what it was sold previously for

this is one of the biggest no-brainers in the whole real estate industry-always have a buyers broker- doesnt cost you a penny, and you have a professional to answer any questions, guide the process, and they protect YOUR best interest- again, get a buyers broker from the local area, they know the market

also, it's not a bad idea to get a buyers broker, thats from a different company than the listing (sellers) broker
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Mid atlantic too far from the caribbean
157 posts, read 272,440 times
Reputation: 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainebrokerman View Post
You mentioned you are going to meet with the realtor soon, if he/she is representing the seller, then the seller is their client, he/she is acting on behalf of the seller-working for the seller's best interest.
If the realtor you are going to meet is a "buyer's Broker" showing you property, then you have a broker working for you and your best interest (buyer's brokers usually don't cost anything, they get paid by the sellers commission, that is already there .

Now, if you are meeting with the sellers broker, you can ask for him/her to represent you also, the broker may or may not (depending on the company's policy on agency- but it is legal in maine to be a "dual disclosed agent" if all parties agree

Your best bet if you are going to meet with a sellers broker- is to have a buyers broker with you-someone from the area, that knows the inspectors, knows the market, what has sold, what hasnt, and can give you great advice and protection (again, usually no out of pocket expense)
A buyers broker can also research the exact property to see days on market, how long it's been listed, also, if it has sold recently, tell you what it was sold previously for

this is one of the biggest no-brainers in the whole real estate industry-always have a buyers broker- doesnt cost you a penny, and you have a professional to answer any questions, guide the process, and they protect YOUR best interest- again, get a buyers broker from the local area, they know the market

also, it's not a bad idea to get a buyers broker, thats from a different company than the listing (sellers) broker
bonneval,
Agree 100% with everything mainebrokerman says having just been through the real estate shopping experience within the past 2 months. In terms of what to look out for - read my last post a few threads down titled, "Odd couple retiring to Maine". We used only Buyers Agents during our visit. Do your research and home work way in advance of your visit and if time permits - you do the picking of properties you want to see that best meet your needs.

Be mindful that seeing online images of a property often, no very often does not paint the same picture of what you experience when you visit the property in person. The images show the user only what the agent wants to show the user. My favorites online turned out to be ruled out immediatley once I saw the home in person, especially in terms of proximity to adjacent properties. Be acutely aware of the most recent tax assessment and heating costs (if buying a 4 seaon property) and if looking at coastal property pay attention and be able to distinguish between ROW v. owned deeded shoreline frontage and (legal) setbacks. Question everything and get answers, I was seriously interested in one property only to find out the Seller had not fully disclosed rights of use of a gargae and driveway across the road which the listing stated belonged to seller - come to find out - it certainly did not! Some of these tips are not unique necessarily to Maine.
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:08 PM
 
Location: Washington County, ME
1,549 posts, read 2,240,834 times
Reputation: 1863
I'm also looking into buying a home in Maine.

The realtors that i've been involved with have more or less told me that i "must" have a Buyer's Agent.

Being from out of state (NJ), i would agree with this as they would know all the ins and outs of the real estate of the state.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:00 PM
 
Location: Currently on my computer..
346 posts, read 658,329 times
Reputation: 262
I bought property about 3 years ago. Only dealt with the Realtor, no lawyers. My deal went real smooth.

Listen to what was posted above:

ALWAYS have a title search done.
ALWAYS buy title insurance


Maine is the place to be, come on home.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:55 AM
 
393 posts, read 789,795 times
Reputation: 297
I would like to add that, besides the need for Title Search/Title Insurance, when buying property in rural areas, make sure you understand the complicated wording in the Deed (another reason to have a lawyer look over everything), especially in those properties involving Right of Way. There was a very nice 50 acre property for sale for super-cheap in my area a few years ago. The problem was that the PREVIOUS owners had forgotten to put the right-of-way into the new Deed. So you have this great property but no way to get to it (unless by parachute) because the current surrounding owners don't want to give access thru their properties since there is no current legal right of way.

And here's another example: down the road from me is a family that has been in these parts for many generations. They decided to sell a piece of their land with a right-of-way, meaning you have to access and pass thru the original owners' property to get to the sold parcel in back of them. Someone "from away" bought the land and built a small camp. The new owners do not want to contribute to plowing the driveway, since they don't use the camp in the winter. Now, I'm not saying this is the right attitude, but look where this leads: The original owners are really angry about that, and figure if the people "from away" don't want to contribute to plowing then they abrogate their right to access it during winter, so the original owners literally block the driveway to the right of way each winter, so that the people cannot get vehicle access to their land until the spring melt. In practical terms, it's not a big deal since the people don't come in the winter anyhow. But it does reflect a certain attitude which affects neighborly relations the rest of the year (that, and the bumper sticker on the original landowner's mailbox which tells anyone from Boston to go away and stay away). I heard one of the townspeople refer to the original owner's personality as being "salt of the earth" but I heard someone else call him "meanspirited." I guess it's all in how you look at it, but personally I'm very relieved I have a good relationship with all my neighbors!

One last thing: we are city folk "from away" out of state that bought in rural Maine. We have had nothing but good experiences here, and people have always been kind and helpful. Our purchase was uneventful and there were no pitfalls. We met with several realtors but the property we ended up buying was "for sale by owner" and we did not use a realtor in the end. We did use a lawyer, however.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:26 AM
 
17,159 posts, read 22,175,230 times
Reputation: 31232
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnapolisSailor View Post
bonneval,
Agree 100% with everything mainebrokerman says having just been through the real estate shopping experience within the past 2 months. In terms of what to look out for - read my last post a few threads down titled, "Odd couple retiring to Maine". We used only Buyers Agents during our visit. Do your research and home work way in advance of your visit and if time permits - you do the picking of properties you want to see that best meet your needs.

Be mindful that seeing online images of a property often, no very often does not paint the same picture of what you experience when you visit the property in person. The images show the user only what the agent wants to show the user. My favorites online turned out to be ruled out immediatley once I saw the home in person, especially in terms of proximity to adjacent properties. Be acutely aware of the most recent tax assessment and heating costs (if buying a 4 seaon property) and if looking at coastal property pay attention and be able to distinguish between ROW v. owned deeded shoreline frontage and (legal) setbacks. Question everything and get answers, I was seriously interested in one property only to find out the Seller had not fully disclosed rights of use of a gargae and driveway across the road which the listing stated belonged to seller - come to find out - it certainly did not! Some of these tips are not unique necessarily to Maine.
Another good point I forgot to list was a buyers brokers not only knows the real estate market-but they also know the area, anyone from away has a hundred questions, about the area,,, buyers brokers have, or can get the answers very quickly-they live nearby themselves!!
they also know the different towns in the area, that have different tax rates
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