Maine For Sale by Owner Properties
If you’re thinking of purchasing or selling a home in Maine, you may have heard the term “FSBO” and wondered exactly what it meant. The term is simply an acronym for “For Sale by Owner.”
Whether you want to buy or sell a seaside cottage on the Maine coast or an inland residence with scenic mountain views, the FSBO method offers a number of advantages and disadvantages.
Hands down, the greatest advantage of a FSBO sale is saving money that would otherwise be spent on Realtor or broker commissions; usually, this can run between two and six percent of the selling price. For instance, if your house sells for $100,000, a realtor could take up to $6,000 in commission.
One of three homeowners sell their houses without the services of a traditional realtor; in 2011 alone more than 1.5 sellers opted not to use a fully commissioned agent.
If you choose to sell your house yourself, you’ll be in control of the entire process, such as:
- Setting a sale price that meshes with current real estate market conditions in Maine
- Creating and disseminating marketing materials like signs and ads
- Being prepared to show the house at the drop of a hat
- Negotiating the nitty-gritty details of the deal
- Successfully completing all of the transaction paperwork
While some potential sellers or buyers may balk at the prospect of taking on such responsibilities, others relish the opportunity to control these aspects of a sale. In addition, FSBO transactions eliminate the middle man; you’ll be in direct contact with the buyer or seller.
Traditionally, only realtors and brokers could list and access houses listed on the Multiple Listing Service or MLS. However, some discount brokers offer MLS listing servicesfor a flat fee, providing FSBOs with more exposure.
Other sites allow sellers to list their houses on their websites so potential buyers can browse through local offering; it’s almost like an MLS for FSBO listings. Options include:
- For Sale By Owner.com
- By Owner MLS.com
Selling or buying through a traditional realtor or broker offers advantages, as well – namely, decreased work on your part and increased visibility.
Agents can use the MLS to access and list houses across Maine and the country; that way, other agents can see all of a home’s details and selling points. Most realtors provide marketing materials as part of their services, such as online listings, newspaper ads, property magazines, signage and flyers.
Traditional agents also do most of the dirty work. They’ll guide you in determining whether a price is realistic, screen any potential buyers, take time to show the house, negotiate the details of the sale and complete all of the paperwork.
And, while agents do take a commission, FSBO sellers may end up with a lower selling price. The National Association of Realtors states that, while FSBOs account for about 10 percent of all sales; the average FSBO selling price is $65,000 less than the average selling price in a realtor-assisted sale. This may be good news for FSBO buyers, but not for sellers.
Maine FSBO Trends
While the Maine real estate market varies widely by region and over time, there are hundreds of FSBO houses available across the state. If you want to sell or buy a vacation home, sites like Very Maine offer a number of listings, from oceanfront homes with deep water frontage to custom-built homes near Sugarloaf Mountain – perfect for ski enthusiasts – to lakefront camps and lodges with stunning views of Maine’s many lakes and streams.
Though FSBO properties are sprinkled across all eight of Maine’s regions, the majority are concentrated along Maine’s 3,500 miles of coastline. Other popular areas include the northeastern edge of Aroostook County and the southwestern border with New Hampshire.
Whether you decide to buy or sell a Maine home on your own or with the help of an agent, you’re sure to find your dream house located somewhere in this scenic state. Happy house hunting!