Apr 242008

Sometimes we over-emphasize the complexities of transactions! I’m increasingly discovering that a number of buyers and sellers do not understand the fundamental process by which real estate ownership is transferred. So here’s a litte six step summary.

1. A purchaser locates and decides to purchase (with or without the assistance of a real estate broker) a property that is for sale and executes an offer to purchase that property. Upon acceptance by the seller, this document becomes a purchase and sale agreement between the parties. This agreement must properly identify the parties, the property, the price to be paid, when the transfer will take place, and any special conditions of the transaction.

2. The purchaser or a financial institution or both obtain legal counsel to search the title and ensure that the purchaser is getting marketable title to the property. In this search, the attorney(s) must find out any liens against the property, easements that affect the owner’s rights in the property and special classifications like tree growth or farm and open space classification. Municipal tax records should also be searched to find out about delinquent taxes or possible flaws in title information. The attorney then certifies title to his or her client.

3. The attorney, bank or a title company then prepares the deed, mortgage documents, declaration of value and any other documents necessary to completing the transaction. The responsibility for preparation of the deed, releases of mortgages and the declaration of value is usually the responsibility of the seller(s). All other documents are the responsibility of the purchaser(s).

4. At the closing, the deed is signed by the seller(s) and given to the purchaser(s) in return for the agreed-to consideration (delivery of seizin). This act consummates the sale and all conditions of sale are merged .into the deed. In addition, in Maine, a declaration of value must be executed by both parties and requires the actual consideration, taxable consideration and any special circumstances of the sale to be stated in that document. The information on the declaration provides the basis for collection of the transfer tax at the registry. 

5. The declaration is forwarded from the Registry of Deeds to the Bureau of Revenue Services, Property Tax Division, where it is audited under the terms of the statute and used to develop sales ratio analyses for each municipality in the state. These analyses are used by property tax appraisers in developing equalized values for all municipalities in the state. (State Valuation)

6. One copy of the declaration is sent to the Municipality for its use and the remaining copy is archived on microfilm as historical information concerning sales for the use of the state and others who are searching for transfer information.

Apr 182008

Occasionally I like to “surf” around and look at how real estate folks are promoting themselves. Once in a while I see some relative genius. More often I have a little chuckle and discover some things I really don’t want to do…

Here’s two chuckles I’ve had recently. One no doubt very sincere (and relatively new, I’m sure) agent listed some eight phone numbers in her ad encouraging folks to contact her… I’ll give her an “A” for enthusiasm. But I’m not sure which one I’d dial if I needed to talk with her… and I wonder when she finds time to check all those numbers for messages! Some days I have trouble keeping up with two phone numbers! (In the interest of self promotion, the office number is 207 368-4333, but you’ll get the fastest response if you call my cell phone 207 343-1842.)

Another variation of this is the ad that lists a phone number offering “24/7 coverage.” Ummm… wow! Wait! I have that too! Just don’t expect me to answer 24/7.

I’m glad I only have two phone numbers to worry about! (And I think my clients are too!) I’m even more pleased that my value to clients is not that I can be reached 24/7. (But my voice mail is always available.)

My other chuckle was “call me for all your real estate needs.” Yikes! My original intent was to add a note here “please don’t call me for ALL your real estate needs – just the ones I can legitimately and skillfully address!” Fortunately, I thought better of that, because while I may not feel best suited to handle certain “needs,” there is a chance I know some one who is capable and I’m happy to provide referrals when I can do so confidently.

So I guess that’s actually pretty consistent with my overall philosophy: an important part of meeting your real estate needs is figuring out how you’ll do it and who is best suited to helping.

I guess I don’t think I need eight phone numbers to do that.


Chamber Expo Coming Soon!

 Posted by at 6:40 am
Apr 052008

The Piscataquis Chamber of Commerce has moved the year’s most important business event to the new SeDoMoCha middle school in Dover-Foxcroft. Two huge gymnasiums and a large cafeteria will be transformed into the all new Chamber Showcase 2008. This year you can visit community service organizations and non-profits in the “Community Connections” area, take advantage of great sales presented by businesses in the “Marketplace,” & “Outdoor Marketplace” and enjoy the great tastes of Piscataquis County in the “Food Court!”

Friday evening WDME Radio and the Piscataquis Observer will host a very special Business After Hours event not open to the public. This business-to-business networking event will provide the perfect setting for you to meet, socialize and do business with other business & community leaders. There will be delectable hors d’oeuvres, finger foods and non-alcoholic beverages. On Saturday the doors open to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm for a full day of making contacts, building relationships and selling product. Addtional information is available at the all new Chamber of Commerce Website.

And… for those who haven’t seen the Maine Choice Realty exhibit I usually put together… I always have some “cheap Maine Land” for sale! Be sure to stop by and say “hello!”