How's the real estate market in Maine? What's my home worth today?
The bottom line number. What could I expect to walk away with, to net for a final line figure after all the expenses in my home sale?
The purpose of this blog post article to answer the questions that I get asked a lot as a real estate broker about today's value of home in Maine.
These real estate market reports can be dry as dust. Like a recycled popcorn ball from five years ago Halloweeen trick or treating. Not so titilating to anyone that does not give a hoot about the current state of affairs when talking local Maine home sale statistics. Pretty dull and percentages, statistics only exciting bean counters right? Not as captivating as say a Boston Red Sox player's batting average or ERA number. Those numbers weaved in the conversation down at the corner store. While fueling up on hot coffee, a pastry and today's local grape vine news.
But people buying or selling a home in Maine. Those cats want to know how's the real estate market in Maine and what's my home worth?
I could be reaching for a can of corn at the local grocery. Or at the check out of the local hardware store getting a couple house keys duplicated. Maybe climbing up onto the bleachers at the start of a soccer, hockey or basketball game. At a wedding or even a funeral. Here it comes. What can I make off the house sale if I list my home with you today? Oh and how long exactly will it take to sell my home? (Days on market, DOM. How long it takes to get the home sold is another real blog post topic.)
First a smile, how you doing, something about the weather first. Then it's cut to the chase and everything becomes all business. The home owner gets serious. Asks can you give me a figure, won't hold you to it, just a ball park guesstimate number of how much do you think I could get. If you listed my property for sale today. What's do you think my home is worth today Mr. Broker Man?
The value of your home, my house, any property depends on the local real estate market where it is located.
Maine is one long, tall and wicked wide state last time I checked. Every corner of Maine percolates so differently. A home for sale in Northern Maine for $70,000 would be fetching $210,000 for the same duplicate apples to apples housing in the Portland real estate market. Crazy huh? Like the weather forecast, one size does not fit all in Maine. Everything depends on the area of Maine you are asking about for real estate or weather conditions. It just depends.
Economic factors change, the local market heats up and cools down. The mortgage rates, the supply and demand pushes the worth of your home higher, lower or keeps it the same. Not many like your particular home for sale on the market today? That is a good thing for the seller. Less to pick from for a home buyer makes the demand increase. Just like what happens when you played musical chairs as a kid. If there are plenty of places to sit to go around, the pressure drops down in the pushing and shoving to make sure you get a seat.
So how's the real estate market in Maine today?
Much is tied to how's the job market? What's the pay scale? How diverse is the local business landscape keeping the small Maine town humming? Those unique local dynamics factor in one by one to the what's a home is worth in the Maine community. For example, if one big mill is the bulk of the employment options and it reduces its work force or closes completely, ouch. The home for sale swims in a local market and those waters heat up or cool off quickly.
Many factors influence the broker price opinion or market analysis of a home's value that better match up with the Maine real estate market report.
The answer to how's the current real estate market question depends on the response.
The one to what's going on with the local economy today? A home appraisal in Maine is only valid for six to twelve months. It has a shelf life and the usefulness expires. Because the house valuation is a peek into what the local economy is doing to home prices in that window of time to reflect the current market comparison.
But wait there's more to the numbers, the graphs pumping up and down on the Maine real estate report.
The local economy, supply and demand, the condition of the home for sale in Maine all factor into how fast it moves or if the property will sell at all. Needing a new roof, furnace, well and septic are bigger ticket items than most first time home buyers in Maine can swing. Scraping up closing costs is hard enough if the seller or mom and dad don't help subsidize the sale for most scared but excited brand new wanna be home owners.
Mortgage lending banks don't let you take your time to slowly DIY fix up a home the appraiser says needs this, this and oh yeah one more thing. Like a new foundation right off the bat.
The majority of home loans in Maine are carefully packaged for sale on the secondary mortgage market and the paper sold off just as quickly as possible. And the house being mortgaged better be up to snuff before the real estate closing or there will not be one.
So the real estate market in Maine and what's my home worth today, what do the numbers that never lie say.
According to Maine Listings portal, the clearing house for the majority of what the state's 4500 plus real estate REALTOR professionals use to peddle properties, here is how things break down. Let's start with what's happening with Maine real estate listings themselves.
This morning, the check report in shows for the week, there are 526 new property listings.
And 570 real estate closings happened over the last seven days. The numbers show 354 properties went off the market. Those listings expired, while 59 more property owners canceled their contracts to sell for a slew of reasons. Maybe snow and winter the cause of pulling the marketing plug the reason. Or poor health, divorce, or the decision to stay put and add on is what is hidden in the real estate market report numbers
The current real estate market in Maine statistics for the past week show 451 listings went under contract to sell. Another 136 property owners re-listed what had previously run out to put their real estate back on the market. The proactive approach to selling a listing that hangs around the market shows 383 lowered their prices. And 122 real estate property owners extended their listings that were under contract and still in the sale pending status hoping to finally get to a closing.
Most property sellers will sign an extension on a real estate sale contract with a buyer who is sincerely trying and with a fighting chance of clearing the hurdles.
Unless there is one or more new prospective buyers in the wings, chomping at the bit to buy the property that's tied up and waiting for the clear to close memo.
Prices, what the property is listed at and actually sells for and how the length of time of a typical sale. Days on the market is a critical number that says it all to gage the statewide and local real estate activity. How brisk or slow a real estate market goes back to supply, demand, the local economy in the community, the state, the country.
Let's look at some graphs to study the real estate market in a glance. To spare all the paragraph of wordage that few out in the public spend the time to sufficiently drill down into to know how's the Maine real estate market today.
Here's the latest from Maine REALTORS announcing in a press realease the real estate market report shows home sales and values are up.
"The $224,900 median sales price of a single-family existing home in Maine in October 2019 shows 4.6 percent higher than October 2018."
Half the homes sold for more, the other half sold for less of what was up grabs in current Maine real estate property inventory.
From the release : "The National Association of Realtors reported a 5.4 percent increase in single-family existing home sales on a national scalecomparing October 2019 to October 2018. Prices jumped 6.2 percent to a national MSP of $273,600."
Let's face it. You get too technical and the eyes gloss over and folks start going antsy. Everyone is in a hurry. Most are used to turning to Google for the answer for everything from who did that song to how far from A to B on their digital device.
Like looking up the weather forecast for today and the next few days, a home owner would like to fill in the blank labeled "enter your address" to see what your home is worth chop chop ASAP.
When we get asked what's my home worth, some owners get upset because I need to look the place over. Then plug it in to the local market for past house sales and current home listings. That study and personal walk through to see what we are appraising is how you actually answer the question of house value.
A home seller who is slighty annoyed thinking this should be a simple snap your fingers easy response. To fork over the survey says the number is .... (Ding Ding) $82,500.
It's not that easy. Not trying to be difficult or create a delay. Heck I always try to be the little red hen in service proving for the how can I help you today. But would you give the value opinion wearing a blindfold on anything you have not personally kicked the tires on? If we did, other people the potential seller bumps into would be telling me did you really give that high or low a number to something you never set foot in? No, no we did not.
Also, we have listed and sold property for forty years. More often than not, the home owner asking what's my home worth is a place we have history with that helps. But even though I never forget tiny details on all our listing sales, is what I remember still pertinent with the home today?
Walking and gawking, taking very careful real estate notes and doing a market analysis is a science with a procedure attached.
Anyone worth their salt in real estate has learned much over the years. It's called experience and every listing sale is not quite the exact same. People are involved which adds to the spice and emotion. Not all homes in Maine are carbon copy.
Yup, that's me as a little shaver. Who knew at this age that I would become a real estate broker in Maine?
I would be happy to schedule the best time for your walk through appointment to take the tour and supply that broker price opinion number on a Maine home.
Like most things in life today. It is made to look simple. But the behind the scenes effort put into the process of real estate listing and selling is complex. Everyday folks in the real estate industry in Maine reinvent our everchanging job.
Unlike a car value that considers the miles, the zip code and let's the owner grade the condition for a quick range, homes are fixed position assets affected by what is going on around it in the housing market.
Most Maine towns are small and spread out over a sparse rural landscape.
Fewer homes, more space between the houses. The tax assessed property figure scribbled on the town card in the file cabinet gets eyeballed whenever I prepare a real estate listing for sale. But that number is based on a mass assessment of the entire town done maybe eight years ago or more. It is a figure coupled with a mill rate to generate money to run the town. That town assessment is not a real estate appraisal. And when the new roof goes on a home, the assessed value in a small Maine town does not change.
If the garage burns down, often the tax bill on the property keeps right on charging for the missing structure. Small towns which most of Maine is other than a handful of cities struggle to keep up with registering vehicles, making copies of death certificates, licensing your dog, snow sled or boat, issuing hunting and fishing licenses.
These busier than a one arm paper hanger lone wolf army of one with limited hours Maine town office managers are swamped with paperwork and office visitors, phone calls and emails where everyone demands a piece of them for their undivided attention.
The small town manager in a Maine town has way more on their plate for duties than updating property listing cards for real estate brokers.
Chasing delinquent property tax payers, handling long local voting day at the polls and late night town meetings debating finances all rob time. So it is no wonder property assessment figures and local tax maps are neglected. Pot holes to fill, a spider web of local roads to plow and pave, cemetery lawns to mow, public assistance funds to wrestle over and school budget contributions all eat up a small Maine town manager's time. The what's my home worth in Maine is not a slick fast and easy algorithm figure to pull out of the air on a moment's notice.
So the numbers are in and the Maine real estate report shows home values and sales are up.
But keep in mind what that boils down to for applying to the what's my home worth today just prompts another question. Where is the home for sale in Maine located, which of the sixteen counties and then take a number, have a seat. There is some deciphering and add this, take away that to apply after looking the potential Maine home for sale listing and then plugging it into the current market conditions. To see what comes out the other end to use to arrive at a realistic listing price for the Maine home.