Real Estate in Maine

Selling your home can be a trying experience and also one full of legal issues. It's not a transition you want to enter into uninformed. Having some knowledge of the real estate law in Maine can be crucial to a successful outcome when you put your home on the market.

A Real Estate Agent's Dual Role

A Maine real estate agent can actually take on a dual role of representing both you and the buyer or he may represent you, the seller, separately or he may simply assist in the transaction without representing either party. But if an agent agrees to represent you, you can rest assured that he has a legal obligation or what is called a fiduciary duty to protect your rights.

Your Responsibility as a Seller

Real estate law in Maine requires that you provide the buyer with a detailed property disclosure. It is important to be upfront about any problems that currently exist with the house such as plumbing and heating, any water supply or septic problems, termites, and the presence of lead paint. When you find a serious buyer for your home, they will give you a written offer sometimes called a purchase agreement in which the buyer presents the terms and conditions for the sale that they would feel is reasonable. You will only have a short period of time to accept the offer return a counter offer. A counter offer can include a higher deposit, or covering a portion of the closing costs.

Having a Clear Title

Your real estate attorney will check the title to your home to make sure it is clear from any problems or liens. A lien means there is a charge against the property and this must be resolved before you can actually sell. Liens can include mortgages, unpaid taxes or judgments.

Paying the Closing Costs

You may be required to pay for part or all of the closing costs at the time you sign your home over to the buyer. These costs depend on the agreement you worked out with the buyer in the purchase agreement. If you've agreed to pay some of the closing costs, they can include the broker's commission, survey, transfer fees, attorney fees and cost of home inspection. It's important that you have a clear knowledge of the real estate law in Maine to familiarize yourself with every step of the home sale process.

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