First Quarter Home Sales on the Rise

Strong March home sales represent a continuation of a strengthening of Maine’s real estate market. The statewide figure for the month was up over 13%.

Strong March home sales represent a continuation of a strengthening of Maine’s real estate market. The statewide figure for the month was up over 13%.

The median sale price increased slightly compared to March of last year following the national trend of slow improvement in the sale price of existing single family homes.

Maine ‘s single family home sales reached just over nineteen hundred for the first quarter of this year up 14% from the same time last year.

The trend continued in Penobscot County with the quarter showing a 5.65% increase in homes sold and a nearly 3% increase in median home prices.

Considering the Bangor area, (which includes Bangor, Brewer, Glenburn, Hampden, Hermon, Holden, Orono, Old Town, Orrington and Veazie) home sales increased 8.1%. The average selling price of a home during the first quarter was up 3.9 percent to $134,000.

Most Realtors agree the firming of selling prices represents the beginning of the housing recovery. The next phase will be a reduction in homes for sale.

Sellers Considering Owner Financing

In today’s tenuous banking environment, many home buyers are being turned away by lenders for reasons other than their credit. Lenders are looking much more strictly at the properties for sale, and whether or not those homes meet new appraisal standards

In today’s tenuous banking environment, many home buyers are being turned away by lenders for reasons other than their credit. Lenders are looking much more strictly at the properties for sale, and whether or not those homes meet new appraisal standards.

Because of strict bank financing issues your pool of buyers is much smaller. As a Seller, you can attract more buyers is by telling your REALTOR that you are willing to offer owner financing.

Owner or seller financing simply means that you allow your buyer to purchase your property over a fixed period of time. You receive the principal and interest payments directly from the buyer. In other words, you become the buyer’s lender.

The solution isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t need the equity in your home as a lump sum at closing, owner financing allows you to earn a monthly income, by collecting interest as well as principal payments from the sale of your home.

All it takes is a willing seller and buyer and a good real estate attorney to structure the terms and write the contract.

The advantages to both buyers and sellers are flexible terms and lower closing costs. Sellers can also defer capital gains, if it applies, as well as a lump sum that could put them in a higher tax bracket the year of closing.

Seller financing isn’t risk free, but with the help of professionals such as your REALTOR®, you and your buyer should be able to put together a mutually satisfying transaction.