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Home arrow Real Estate News arrow General News arrow More selection is offered to housing markets but fewer sales challenge it
More selection is offered to housing markets but fewer sales challenge it Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 September 2006
A number of existing single-family homes sold decreased in about 10.38% in 2005.  This was evident from 1,089 units to 976 units this year.  The quarterly figures from Maine Real Estate Information System show.  The median sales price for an existing single-family home in Cumberland County showed only a slight rise in the past quarter, compared to the same period in 2005, from $253,000 to $255,000. And real estate brokers say the inventory of homes on the market is way up.

Chris Karageorge, of Beacon Appraisal Co. in Scarborough said that, the market in general is not really going down and that is really more of a normal market that what it has been in the last few years.  In today’s market, Karageorge said sellers must price their homes appropriately; they can’t look at what their neighbors’ homes sold for a year ago.

With so many homes for sale these days, Karageorge said buyers must wade through greater inventory, which increases the time homes spend on the market. And with the knowledge that they have such a large selection from which to choose, buyers with an accepted offer are much more likely to walk away if the seller is unwilling to fix any problems revealed by a home inspection.

 “I think what’s happening is most homeowners have unrealistic expectations,” he said. “They’re demanding of the Realtors, ‘I want to list my property at this.’ But it has to be relevant to the marketplace.”

Kathie Hooper is a Realtor with Re/Max by the Bay in Portland, and has been in the business for more than 10 years. She said it’s important for buyers to price their homes realistically. And that means agents must look at more recent comparisons – similar houses in the area that have sold.

While Hooper has seen the selling time increase from two weeks to five months, she emphasized that if a house is priced well and located in a good community with a good school system, it will sell.

Brokers are working harder for their paychecks these days. It used to be that Hooper had only three or four homes in a certain price range to show a buyer. But with today’s high inventory, she recently was able to show a buyer 30 homes in his target price range and community.

Karageorge sees the Maine real estate market as a great value in relation to that of surrounding states.

“I don’t know that we’ll have any big hit like the late ’80s,” he said. “If you look at other states in New England, Maine is still really a good deal.”

Edwina Baniqued

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