Buying a Home in Maine
We have a lot of fun helping our clients understand the the home buying process. We will identify your needs and goals, help you understand the current real estate market and keep you informed every step of the way. We also will treat you with honesty, integrity and fairness. At Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage we are held to a higher professional standard.
You will be able to find all of our listings posted on dozens of websites through our Internet Marketing Strategy including NewEnglandMoves.com; Coldwell Banker.com; Realtor.com; Trulia.com; Zillow.com; Google.com; WSJ.com; NYTimes.com;HomeFinder.com; Seacoastline.com, FrontDoor.com and many many more!
Needs and Goals
Once you’ve decided to move, we’ll help you identify your needs and desires before beginning to search actively for a new home. What characteristics must a house include in order to meet your basics needs? What qualities will truly make it your home?
Characteristics to Consider in Determining Your Needs
- Price Range
- Minimum number of bedrooms and bathrooms
- Minimum amount of living area
- Special requirements, such as wheelchair accessibility
Characteristics to Consider in Determining Your Desired Home
- Styles you like (and those you do not)
- Lifestyle (lot size, townhouse/condominium, active, urban)
- Condition (new construction, move-in condition, a “fixer-upper”)
- Location (main street, close to town center, cul-de-sac, waterfront)
- Public services (water, sewer)
- tures most important to you (fireplaces, wood floors)
Related Home Buying Services
- Mortgage Assistance: It is recommended that you get pre-approved early in the process
- Insurance Coverage: Home protection is recommended even if you are not financing your home
- Register for New England Moves MyPage to get email alerts on all MLS Listings through our Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage website, www.newenglandmoves.com. Save property listings and track your favorite streets
- Read about and understand the Home Buying process
- Read our Open Houses section for helpful hints on online open house searches
- Please go to our Previews International webpage if you are searching for luxury properties
New listings may become available on a daily basis from participating Multiple Listing Services (MLS). In a competitive market, these properties may sell rapidly. Inform yourself about local home values and obtain mortgage pre-approval early in your home search process, so that you can move quickly.
Key Factors in Home Values
- Recent sales of comparable homes (in terms of size, features, location and style)
- The condition of the interior, exterior, major systems and grounds
- Local market conditions, including the inventory of comparable homes
- The existence of other competing buyers
These factors only provide part of the answer. Your own motivation also weigh heavily on any determination of value: how well does the house meet your goals? We will provide you with a market analysis to help you make an educated decision of what you should pay for a home. We will use our knowledge and training to help you make a competitive offer.
Making an Offer
The Formal Offer
Offers must be in writing, signed and dated by all buyers, and include the following:
- Offer Price: how much you are agreeing to pay
- Expiration Date: when the offer expires, if not accepted
- Closing Date: when you can take ownership, including elimination of all contingencies
- Deposit: the amount you will place into an escrow account to secure your offer (typically 2.5% to 5% of the offer price)
- Contingencies: (if any) such as mortgage financing and inspections
We will carefully review with you all purchase and sale documents before you sign them.
Negotiating the Offer
The seller has the following options when considering offers:
- Accept the offer as proposed
- Reject the offer
If the seller rejects the offer, they may modify one or more terms and submit a counter offer, However, they are under no obligation to do so. Once all terms are agreed to by both parties the home inspeciton process and financing process begins. We will assist you throughout the entire process right through the closing.
It is common for buyers to make an offer contingent upon one or more inspecitons. These inspections are performed for, and paid by, the buyer. The seller must consent to the inspection, but is not required to correct, or provide compensation for, any problems identified. If the seller agrees to an inspection as part of accepting the offer, the seller must allow the inspection within the time specified in the offer. If the inspection findings are acceptable to the buyer, the closing process can begin.
Property inspections should be conducted by professional inspectors – someone trained in the field that has no outside interests in the property. The buyer should be present when inspections are performed, so that the inspector can describe the process and findings personally.
The Inspector Should:
- Look for any serious structural, mechanical, and/or other major defect in the property
- Examine all systems, including heat, air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing
- Examine the general construction quality and condition of the house
- Spend time checking the exterior of the house, including the roof, foundation and chimney
- Check the basement, including wiring, plumbing, heating, and air condtioning
- Check the attic for proper insulation and ventilaiton
- Check all interior rooms for proper venting, windows and electrical outlets
- Run all appliances and plumbing fixtures to verify working condition
- Check all bathrooms to see if moisture has affected the areas around the tub and shower
- Inspect for other items you may have requested, such as, insects, termites and/or other pests
Lead Paint and other Hazardous Inspections
Beginning in 1978, federal law mandated the removal of lead as an additive in residential paints, and prohibited the use of lead paint in the construction of homes built after that date. As a result, properties built after 1978 should be free from lead-based paint, although a risk assessment and/or inspection is still recommended.
Properties built before 1978 may present exposure to lead from lead-based paint that may place young children at risk of poisoning. The federal law is particularly concerned with protecting children under six years of age and pregnant women. A risk assessment or inspection for possible lead-based hazards is recommended prior to the purchase of any home.
What to Expect in The Days Before Closing
Closings usually occur thirty to ninety days after a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement. In the period leading up to closing, the buyers and their homeownership service providers are normally focused on removing contingencies, which would include conducting inspections, appraisals and processing the mortgage application, as well as obtaining a homeowner’s insurance binder.
The home buyers should also begin planning to move their personal goods.
What to Expect at the Closing
All parties will be present or represented at the closing for final review and signing of closing documents. Closings are administered by a Closing Attorney or Settlement Agent. If the seller cannot attend, there are alternative arrangements, which typically involve signing papers in advance, and/or granting Power of Attorney to their representative. You will be asked to sign the mortgage and any other papers that the lender, and/or other interested parties, may require.
If you are financing the purchase through a lender, the lender’s attorney will often be present, in order to review documentation and protect the lender’s interests. At conclusion, the lender’s attorney will record the new deed and mortgage, and discharge all previous obligations of the seller.