Maine real estate market reports can be as dry as a kid's popcorn balls found tucked away from Halloween trick or treating a few years back.
But that's if the market reports are rows of numbers and missing pie or bar graphs that tell you quickly what is going on in the many sections of a local real estate market. The ones you would find most interesting in feeling the pulse and reading the collected vital signs.
Market reports for real estate that deal with the specific areas of Maine a buyer or selling is thinking about are the most important to them.
Because decisions made affect their pocket books, families and careers. When to move, when to stay put and hold 'em like a real life Poker game. The stakes are high when your family is involved in the move.
And if the reader of a blog post or listening to the media real estate market report is just not interested at this time in buying or selling, the current property listing stats get skipped over completely. Or forgotten beyond the catchy media headline or sound bite. Because at this moment in time they are not a seller or buyer with a listing or sale in the wind and are busy concerned about other pressing matters in life.
But real estate market reports for Maine that do examine the current conditions are a highly valuable economic tool to a seller on the fence and thinking about the best time to slide off and list their property.
Or for a property buyer that kicks it into high gear to purchase now because some factor like rising interest rates or a shrinking supply of the real estate listings he can afford is influx. Waiting could mean less value for the buck in the real estate exchange.
Like travel when the weather can be fickle, there is a best time to hop in or out of the real estate market. Or stay parked and continue to study the current real estate market like a doctor and nurse do the vitals on the patient in the bed hooked up to all the glowing numbers, beeping monitors.
So when someone asks, how's the real estate market in Maine?
It should not be a gut feeling response or referring to an earlier market that no longer is playing on today's property listing marquis.
Here is a market peek for Maine real estate, starting with a glimpse at the January 2017 inventory summary report.
Because we are members of the Maine REALTORS group and participate with over 4400 plus other real estate agents and brokers from in the real estate trenches around Vacationland.
So down and dirty, a quick size up of the state of Maine as a whole seems to be what the local new outlets zero in on when the topic does get the ink or air time.
The news reporter does not have all day to talk turkey on just real estate sales. And it would put some to sleep that want sports scores, something a little more titillating in the extra, extra hear all about it.
There are 18,641 active listings, and 2982 under contract transactions waiting to hopefully get to the long real estate closing table. Open houses schedule today number only 24.
The open house for showing property in Maine is not as common because most of the state is rural. There are a handful of cities or urban areas. And what happens in Portland Maine is so so different than up in Aroostook County.
MOOERS REALTY produces videos for real estate open houses on demand. Those work best round the clock and help the far away and local buyer alike do the real estate tours on their schedule not the agents, brokers, seller or renters weighing in on what's convenient. It's not a M-F, 9-5 real estate world anymore Toto.
In our Northern Maine location the real estate market warms up or cools down in marketing time more than listing price spikes north or south. Sales for listings are faster when the pace of selling in a hot market somewhere else generates the money to make the purchase of real estate up here in Maine.
Dipping you toe in the pool to test the temperature?
Are you testing the real estate waters and itching to make a move or relocate to Maine?
Or maybe you are a first time home buyer, an investor thinking of buy, fix, paint, flip (repeat). New real estate listings in Maine statewide for the year numbers year to date of this blog post squeal in at 1506 units.
The number 858 for Maine real estate sales shows up as the figure for the SOLD properties in the state of Maine tally for year to date in 2017.
Here is a real estate trend indicator for the Maine commercial property listings side of things for January 1st to January 24th generated this morning for your study.
This link shows county by county activity for real estate too in the same period sampled from the hard drive this morning to go along with the Maine real estate market report. The market in rural areas of Maine do not see prices quickly spike up or down. The price tags are pretty affordable all the time and don't have all the zero places you see the closer you get to major population areas.
In Cumberland County where Portland Maine is the market for the 1/1/2017 to 1/24/2017 shows 1802 current listings, 737 under contracts real estate sales.
.In Penobscot County where Bangor Maine is the numbers show 1670 current listings, 249 sale pending real estate sales. Bangor Maine has shown big growth as the hot spot for real estate sales. Population growth, cost of living, number of jobs of all type and quality of life make an area's real estate market hot or cold. The best of areas can head south if yes, it is a great place to live. If you can make a living. More on over spending in a small Maine town.
The knee jerk problem in Maine or any market is when you read or hear a real estate report that says one area is hot, it can make everyone in that market segment decide jump into the fray.
And real estate agents or brokers taking over priced listings don't help matters. They set the expectation that an increase will keep heading upward in sale prices and shorter days on the market (DOM) for the sit down real estate closing.
So a seller who would not have listed, was not thinking of a silent salesman real estate sign speared in his lawn makes the decision to suddenly jump on the MLS conveyor belt of properties. Thinking of all the extra dollar signs waiting for him at the other end if he acts quickly and taps into the real estate feeding frenzy. If the section of the market is limited that his listing fills in an agency inventory category that is short suited and suddenly in big demand.
And then his neighbor says "If Bob and Mary Jane's home is worth that much, our place must be three times that real estate value so let's list too Thelma Lou."
Flawed from the get to the domino chain reaction happens around the neighborhood sparked by a listing price too good to be true but mouth watering enticing to another and then another property seller. Listing fever wildfire. Remember agents, brokers, REALTORS, as Smokey says "only you can prevent the out of control wildfires with careless listing prices. Once the bloated prices remain after the fairly priced property get eaten up, then the cries of a poor market blamed on something other than the agent and seller in cohoots that created the situation.
Not a slow market but what we have here is an over priced property listing situation that is taking place people.
That will slow down the market sale production and clog the real estate market arteries just like the settling back to normal, down to Earth after a Gold Rush fever that made the wagons and little doggies head West in a major hurry.
Listed prices are not sales prices.
Banks lending money for loans secured by the collateral can not finance over priced homes or any property type that does not pass muster with a real estate appraisal examination. The turn your head and cough of the physical and title examination of what's for sale has to clear the underwriting hurdles. Even if the property buyer is putting down 50% or more of the sale price down on the closing counter, the appraisal has to meet the limbo pole price point filled in the space on the purchase and sale agreement.
Or the property listing buyer has to pay out of his pocket or reduce his down payment initial plans to make the numbers work to keep everything head to a real estate closing. A real estate appraisal is only valid for six to twelve months and then it is outdated, goes stale due to market sale and listing comps that go bad.
No longer reflects the current real estate market. And if you just happen to have a property appraisal laying around that is less than a year old, it can not just be copied and dropped in the slot of an open bank file cabinet. The bank lender is going to order their own appraisal thank you very much.
And if the number come in too low for value or extra repairs are needed as a condition of the property sale, a new appraisal to replace the first one is not a given. The bank has to agree and study of the comps is where the decision making is made. I have seen a buyer start all over at a new bank when the first one liked the low appraisal and would not deem it was flawed.
How do you figure the value of my home in Maine again Mr Broker Man?
It is crucial in seeing market trends to have an on the ball real estate professional that understands the forces guiding the numbers displayed in a market report. If the information is outdated it would be like an Army or Air Force General launching a mission when the coast is clear or with the wrong weather forecast information to have needless loss of life and poor results in the sky or on the battle field. It is just as critical in real estate to know the market and the numbers don't lie.
If you take the time to study them and cut into the part of the real estate market that pertains to your own personal set of needs buying or selling properties in Maine.
There are markets within the markets and when someone asks how is the real estate market it requires another question going the other way. Which part of the local real estate market are we talking about?
The other pitfall is one size fits all in the national real estate news when Guy Smiley reports it is gangbusters in Seattle or Los Angelos real estate condo sales.
And someone in an entirely different location believes this news counts for his area of the country too. Again, like the weather forecast, the best ones are accurate and current and tied to the locality that the reader, listener, viewer resides. Here's the last report from the Maine Association Of REALTOR (MAR) group for the tail end of 2016's real estate listing and property sales year.