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Latest Maine real estate trends: What you need to know

The Maine Association of Realtors says this may be Maine's best real estate year ever.

MAINE, USA — The Maine Association of Realtors says this may be Maine's best real estate year ever. In fact, it reported Thursday that more than 2,300 houses were sold last month, an increase of more than 20 percent above last October.

Record low mortgage interest rates and lack of housing inventory have real estate broker and president-elect of the Maine Association of Realtors, Aaron Bolster, as busy as ever. He tells us because the housing market is so strong, buyers have to do their homework.

"You want to have a strategy. It's not just, 'Oh I see a new listing come up on my phone and I want to go see it.' You need to preferably be pre-qualified, and you probably want to try and stay as local as you can with your financing," Bolster said.

Doug Giles was able to close on a house after touring 12 different ones all throughout central Maine.

"When I got to this house, it hadn't been on the market for very long at all and there were already several offers on it," Giles said.

Bolster adds there is a noticeable shortage of homes for sale. That can send prices way over the asking price.

"It's not always about the highest sales price. It has a lot to do with the rest of the terms," he said.

Bolster says you need to have a strategy, be pre-qualified, and stay as local as you can with your financing, and to work with a realtor, "...so that when you find the right home, you can demonstrate to the seller that you've done your homework, you've done your due diligence, and you are ready to make a deal with them."

From last October to this October, the number of house sales has increased by almost 27 percent and the median sales price has also increased by almost 25 percent. 

"Those two numbers are absolutely stunning," Bolster said.

Affordability, location, interiors are three things people are looking into when searching for that new home.

"Most people are going to find that you are going to know when you walk into that house that this is the one and this is the one I want to move forward with," Giles said.

According to statistics released Thursday by the Maine Association of Realtors, about 25 percent of monthly home purchases in Maine are by out-of-state buyers. 

"The residential real estate recovery since the COVID pandemic impacted second quarter has been robust," Tom Cole, 2020 President of the Maine Association of Realtors and Broker with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group in Brunswick said. "January through October 2020 sales are 5.6 percent ahead of the comparable time period for 2019—Maine's best year ever.

Aaron Bolster is also the president of Allied Realty, you can contact him at abolster@alliedrealty.net.