I Don’t Need A Lawyer, Attorney On A Maine Real Estate Sale Right?
The question comes up a lot, we don’t need a lawyer, attorney on this little Maine real estate property listing sale right?
Often because the small property listing in Maine has a teenie weenie dinky price.
And because of that, the idea of spending a few hundred dollars more on a deed, other paperwork to accompany it to the registry seems absurd.
Pointless. (Thin ice cracking sound starts.)
Or because the Maine real estate buyer is paying cash, and trying to avoid any extra reasons to open up the wallet or purse, the line in the sand has been drawn.
No more spending money, that’s it, all she wrote. Now what? You know how you need a bill of sale when you buy that old car, motorcycle, snow sled, whatever that needs registering?
Land in Maine needs to be “registered” too. Other wise no one knows you are the owner. The town where the Maine real estate is keeps sending the property tax bill to the old owner. That is not you. Because it is a secret. Not on record and duly recorded. Banks won’t let a real estate closing in Maine happen without at least one, maybe more lawyers, attorneys called into action, present.
Sometimes the reluctance to involve a lawyer on a Maine real estate deal is past experience.
Maybe a divorce where the buyer or seller saw too many bills from one. In the back and forth of poison pen letters. The many trips to the courthouse to wrestle out the details of a divorce settlement where child custody, bickering over who gets what happened. The buyer or seller would like to avoid lawyers at all costs. The word attorney just makes them think out of control expensive is about to happen if they don’t dig in. And just say no.
So here we sit as the Maine real estate broker, the ring leader that set up this listing, wants to get everyone to a closing. Around the long simulated wood table with all the high back cushy black high top leather swivel chairs.
And pens. Tons of pens to sign your life away on the stacks and towers of paperwork. That usually accompanies a Maine real estate deal when a bank is involved.
But the cash sale on a small property listing in Maine can stall, get bogged down in good shape.
The property buyer does not want to spend money to check the title. The seller is not so peachy keen, cranked up to spring for the cost of a deed. The declaration of value form, tranfer tax, lien waver and owner’s affidavit about no pesticides at the property stored. No work done on a building in the last 180 days that could result in a burdock on the title. A mechanic’s lien, lurking at the registry of deeds about to be recorded by some other jill poke who has not been paid.
Can the owner of a property type of a deed to it that the registry of deeds would accept? Sure, Maine is a big state in you can do your own work. Just not for hire, for pay if not licensed for others in Vacationland. But a deed. Seems simple enough. And probably just the legal secretary that whips them up all day long in the software of a word processor right?
The same Maine property owner, seller, buyer who does not want to pay an attorney for anything, feels the same way across the board in life.
About paying plumbers, electricians, carpenters, floor layers, masons…you get the idea. Don’t spend money. Period. And try to make someone else do it in the Maine real estate sale if it becomes absolutely necessary.
I remember a husband and wife team who bought lots of smaller woodlots. He was a woodsman. She was an elementary school teacher. They were a good team.
And after a couple lawyer’s bills, being around the legal rodeo a few times, she started to draft her own deeds. The same legal description as the previous which could be vague, skimpy and confusing. Or over simplified.
Just change the heading of the grantor, which is the seller to their name as the owner in a sale when the woods was cut. It was time to sell the woodless Maine property to another.
The new buyer became the grantee and positions changed in the ownership. But the same deed copied and hopefully accepted with the transfer tax form and money for the state coffers to get the property sale on record at the registry of deeds where the once wooded land was located. Worked for a time, back when things were simpler, pretty plain jane vanila basic when a barnyard deed could do the trick. Not wrapped in pretty blue backer, not law school picture perfect, but like a will, a hand written, not so carefully typed deed to the Maine land could be accepted.
Until title insurance companies decided they did not like the language, what was in there or missing that should be included.
And calls for a survey, we need a legal boundary survey because the old description handed down for generations that worked suddenly does not from here on out. Have had situations where the buyer insisted on no title search, no title insurance, no lawyer.
And the seller who finally says here is the deed drawn up but give me the treasurers, bank check. I’ll hand over the deed and you go do whatever you want with it. Trot yourself up the registry steps at the court house and spring for both sides of the transfer tax, figure out how to fill out the carbon- ed transfer tax form the registrar says you have to have or no dice. No deed being put on record for the Maine real estate property you are the new owner of, but need some proof. For others to now it too.
Here is a list of Houlton Maine area attorneys, lawyers, legal firms if you find yourself needing the services of one.
207.532.6573 | MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton ME 04730 | [email protected]