MAINE, USA — Mortgage and interest rates are at historic lows, which is great for those people looking to buy a house right about now, but in Maine, those encouraging numbers are balanced by fewer and fewer properties for sale.
Most real estate agents have had a great year. Many houses are sold almost as quickly as they go up for sale.
"Sometimes you don't even get the sign in the ground and you have showings,” says Steven Aspega, an associate broker at Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate in Bangor.
"The inventory is down on the properties, so the competitiveness of the buyer is very very high,” says Aspega.
"Just because of the historical lows on financing, it attracts a lot of different buyers,” says Aspega.
Homes are flying off the market at a record pace. It's a combination of both high demand and a low inventory which all adds up to pressure on buyers.
"It can take four or five multiple offer situations and offering quite a bit before they may end up with that property,” Tom Cole, President of Maine Association of Realtors, said.
Cole said a 30-year mortgage can be had for the lowest interest rate in years for well-qualified buyers.
"Getting back to today's market... at 3% interest rates? It is phenomenal!" says Cole.
According to Aspega, in Maine, most homes are selling in the $180,000 to $250,000 range.
To make your offer stand out, you have to be ready to move quickly. Houses are selling at a very quick pace sometimes even in two days.
"That's a little bit above average because the seller can get what they want for the home because of the demand,” Aspega said.
That increased competition is also good news for sellers because they're getting their asking price or more.
"Inventory is low but now that people are seeing that buyers have a great interest rate and are interested in purchasing...we are getting more and more listings,” says Aspega.
But to the lack of inventory?
"We need more people building houses, we need more tradespeople, we need more carpenters, plumbers, electricians,” said Cole.
Another reality of the real estate business right now is virtual home showings.
Many realtors are offering that service if you are concerned about touring home after home after home.
But if you feel the need to walk through a property be ready to put on a mask, booties, and gloves.
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