Friday, July 19, 2024

Real Estate: Cooking up a kitchen remodel

By Warren O’Shea

Kitchen remodeling is a popular home improvement project homeowners undertake to enhance the functionality and aesthetics of their kitchens while increasing the value of their homes. People choose kitchen remodeling for a variety of reasons.

According to a 2022 Houzz study, 43 percent of respondents remodeled because they could "no longer stand the old kitchen.” while 40 percent said they wanted to update their kitchen all along but just became financially ready. It makes sense that the price tag can stop some people from considering a renovation project. Whether you’re planning for just a few well-chosen updates or a complete overhaul of your current space, kitchen remodels don’t come cheap.

While some homeowners may attempt to tackle a kitchen remodel on their own, hiring a contractor can offer numerous advantages. If the homeowner begins a remodel on their own, they may quickly find themselves over their heads and finding a qualified contractor willing to take over in a timely manner could be quite difficult, potentially leaving them without a functioning kitchen for an extended period. Empty pizza boxes will be stacked high, and someone is going to be sleeping on the couch.

One of the primary reasons to hire a contractor for a kitchen remodel is expertise. Contractors are skilled professionals with experience in various aspects of construction and remodeling. They possess the knowledge and expertise needed to plan and execute a successful kitchen remodel, ensuring that the project meets building codes and safety standards. Contractors can also provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their experience, helping homeowners make informed decisions about design, materials, and layout and sometimes they show up with coffee and doughnuts.

Additionally, contractors have access to a network of subcontractors and suppliers, which can streamline the remodeling process. From attaining the proper permits and vetting and scheduling plumbers and electricians to cabinet makers and countertop installers, contractors can coordinate all aspects of the project, saving homeowners time and hassle.

Another benefit of hiring a contractor for a kitchen remodel is project management. Contractors are responsible for overseeing every aspect of the project, from initial planning to final completion. They create a timeline for the project, coordinate workers and materials, and ensure that the remodel stays on schedule and within budget. Contractors also handle any issues that may arise during the remodel, minimizing stress for homeowners and ensuring a smooth and successful project.


In terms of impact, hiring a contractor for a kitchen remodel can significantly increase the value of a home. A well-designed and professionally executed kitchen remodel can enhance the overall appeal of a home, making it more attractive to potential buyers. A modern, functional kitchen is a key selling point for many homebuyers and can result in a higher selling price and faster sale. Therefore, investing in a kitchen remodel with the help of a contractor can offer a substantial return on your investment.

According to a 2023 survey from Remodeling Magazine, a major kitchen renovation or upgrade has an average ROI (return on investment) of 31.7 percent. Kitchen cabinetry is generally the most expensive part of any kitchen remodel. Cabinets currently make up 29 percent of the overall budget. In most cases, you can count on your updated kitchen to boost the value of your home. It’s no shock that buyers are willing to pay more for high-end finishes and thoughtful upgrades.

Looking ahead, the future of hiring a contractor for kitchen remodeling is promising. As technology continues to advance, contractors will have access to new tools and techniques that can enhance the remodeling process. From virtual reality design tools to sustainable building materials, the possibilities for innovative and eco-friendly kitchen remodels are endless. Homeowners can expect more streamlined and efficient remodeling projects in the future, thanks to the expertise and dedication of contractors in the field.

In conclusion, hiring a contractor to remodel your kitchen offers numerous benefits, including expertise, project management, cost savings, and increased home value. The impact of this decision extends beyond the individual project, influencing the overall appeal and value of a home. Ultimately, hiring a contractor for a kitchen remodel is a wise investment that can transform a kitchen into a functional and beautiful space for years to come.

Warren O'Shea is the owner of O’Shea Builders LLC, Maine’s most award-winning remodeling contractor. He has 35-plus years of residential remodeling experience. He is a certified home inspector and has been featured on HGTV, Food Network, and Maine Cabin Masters. He is a recipient of the Portland Police Department’s “Citizen Award,” and is a staunch consumer advocate. Warren has, and continues to, co-author articles for nationally distributed trade magazines. <

Friday, July 12, 2024

Real Estate: Representation Matters

By Tia Morrell

In today’s competitive real estate market, having an agent who genuinely represents your best interests can make all the difference between a smooth, successful transaction and a stressful, regretful experience. It's not just about finding someone to handle the paperwork or show you properties; it's about having a dedicated advocate who goes to battle for you, ensuring that your needs and preferences are prioritized. Let’s delve into why it’s essential to have a real estate agent who truly represents you and upholds the highest ethical standards.

True Representation in Multiple Offer Situations


The real estate market can often be a battlefield, particularly in a multiple offer scenario. In such situations, it's easy to feel pressured into making offers far above the asking price, driven by the fear of missing out. However, a good agent will not simply push you to overextend yourself financially. Instead, they will strategically navigate the process, using their expertise to craft a competitive yet sensible offer.

An agent who represents you will analyze the market, understand the value of the property, and advise you on a reasonable offer. They should be skilled in negotiation, knowing when to stand firm and when to be flexible. This approach not only saves you money but also ensures that you don’t fall into the trap of buyer’s remorse.

Ethical Foundation and Client-Centric Approach

At the core of a stellar real estate agent’s practice is an unwavering commitment to ethics. This means always putting the client's interests first and being transparent throughout the transaction. Ethical agents will not manipulate situations for their gain or pressure you into decisions that aren’t in your best interest.

The foundation of their practice should be built on honesty, integrity, and respect for their clients. They should provide you with all the necessary information, explain the pros and cons of each decision, and respect your opinions and choices. An agent who prioritizes ethics will foster a trusting relationship, making you feel confident and supported throughout the process.

The Importance of Knowledge and Expertise

A proficient real estate agent must be knowledgeable about various aspects of the transaction, including appraisal means and financing. Understanding the appraisal process is crucial, as it ensures that the property is valued correctly and that you are not overpaying. Your agent should be able to interpret appraisal reports and advise you accordingly, ensuring the property is worth the investment.

Financing is another critical area where expertise is essential. A knowledgeable agent will help you navigate different financing options, understanding the implications of each and assisting you in securing the best terms. This includes knowing when to recommend mortgage brokers, understanding loan types, and being aware of any potential red flags in your financial agreement.

The Art of Bluffing and Honest Feedback

Bluffing, when used appropriately, can be a valuable tool in negotiations. An experienced agent will know how to read the room, understand the motivations of the other party, and strategically use bluffing to your advantage. However, this tactic should always be used ethically and transparently, without misleading or deceiving anyone.

Moreover, honest feedback, particularly regarding inspection issues, is paramount. An agent who truly represents you will be upfront about any problems discovered during the walk through or inspection. They should explain the potential impact of these issues and help you make an informed decision about whether to proceed, negotiate repairs, or walk away. Honest feedback protects you from future liabilities and ensures that you are fully aware of what you are buying.

All in All

In the dynamic and often challenging world of real estate, having an agent who genuinely represents you can significantly impact your buying or selling experience. Such an agent will go to battle for you, ensuring that your needs are met without unnecessary compromises. They will operate with the highest ethical standards, prioritizing your interests and providing transparent, honest advice.

Knowledgeable in appraisal and financing, adept at strategic bluffing, and committed to giving you honest feedback, the right agent will guide you through every step of the transaction with confidence and integrity. When choosing a real estate agent, look beyond the surface and seek someone who truly embodies these qualities, ensuring that your real estate journey is as smooth and successful as possible.

Tia Morrell is a REALTOR for Landing Real Estate in Windham. Call her at 207-317-1833 or send her an email at tmorrell@landinghomesmaine.com. <

Friday, July 5, 2024

Real Estate: Did you get a permit for that?

By Nicole Foster, Broker/REALTOR

Maine has some of the oldest housing stock in our nation, often predating building codes, land use ordinances or zoning requirements. More often than not, these older homes have changed ownership a number of times over the years and had modifications along the way. As real estate professionals, we witness daily how building trends from bygone eras have either endured the test of time or fallen short, presenting a spectrum of outcomes.

If given the choice, would you prefer to purchase a home that was constructed in the 1920s or one which was built in the 1970s? Consulting with a local REALTOR can help to shed light on the market inventory and its unique features and distinctions.

One of the first tasks that the listing or buying broker will undertake will be to check and see what information may be found in the file for the property at the Code Enforcement department of your municipality. This is a free, public record and anyone is welcome to view the contents and ask any questions that they have.

Homeowners must apply for and receive a permit for any changes or improvements beyond minor upgrades prior to beginning the work to the inside or outside of their home. Regardless of whether the work is completed by a contractor who has been hired by the homeowner or the homeowner does the work themselves, most alterations beyond a new faucet, change in flooring or new paint will necessitate a permit from the municipality. Larger projects or renovations will likely require more than one permit to be obtained.

Each town or city has its own requirements for inspections and fee structure when applying for permits. The permitting process is intended to help safeguard buildings to make them safer for the current and future occupants. Having the required permits for the improvements that you do ensures that the work complies with the current local standards for energy and safety.

A lender could deny a borrower the loan to purchase the home, or an insurance company can reject a claim due to unpermitted work. Properties with all the necessary permits for upgrades appeal more to buyers and achieve higher valuations compared to those with unpermitted improvements.

Reasons homeowners may forego obtaining permits vary, and many view the process of obtaining them as tedious. Some wish to avoid any increased property taxes by keeping improvements undisclosed to the Tax Assessor. Others fear that permit requirements may impose unwanted scrutiny or will reveal other potential violations during inspections. Additionally, homeowners may hesitate due to the expense of the permit fees, or they simply may be unaware of the requirements and standards.

When selling a home, the owner must disclose any improvements which have been done to the property, both during their ownership and all previous ownership (yes all the way back to the beginning of time). A failure to do so can lead to legal liability down the road after the closing. When unpermitted upgrades and alterations are disclosed to buyers the new owners have accepted the responsibility, shifting liability from the seller to the buyers.

Owners may choose to or could be asked to obtain retroactive permits for already completed work.

Identifying unpermitted work can be straightforward at times by comparing visual inspection to what is in the code file, but it can also be extremely challenging to know where work was done that permits were not obtained for, intentionally or unintentionally. Consulting with a seasoned building inspector or trusted contractors can help to identify any areas of concern, though visual inspection alone may not always reveal permitting noncompliance.

It's important to confirm that the contractors you hire will handle the required permits on your behalf. You will want to verify this directly with Code Enforcement by checking in the municipal code enforcement files for your property yourself, as ultimately, the homeowner holds the responsibility

This is an entirely common and relatively normal occurrence, and I have encountered a costly oversight where a high-end contracting company failed to secure the necessary permits from the municipality for a kitchen remodel, unbeknownst to the seller until the property was going to be listed. Similarly, an insurance claim following a fire was denied due to an electrical issue stemming from work performed without permits.

Upgrades and improvements are an excellent way to support a higher value for your property, don’t sell yourself at a discount by skipping the bureaucratic procedures involved.

Nicole Foster is a real estate broker with Locations Real Estate with 19 years of experience and a Windham parent who loves people and real estate. Follow Nicole on Instagram @207nicolefoster or on Facebook at facebook.com/sellingmaine. <

Friday, June 28, 2024

Real Estate: Summer home maintenance checklist

By Tricia Zwirner

Check out these interior and exterior home maintenance tips to consider while the weather is warm.

Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the warm weather and get some work done around the house. Help keep your home performing efficiently during the summer by adding these tasks to your home maintenance plan.

Indoor spaces

· Switch your ceiling fan blade direction to counterclockwise to help cool the air by providing a downdraft.

· Clean your refrigerator coils since they have a tendency to accumulate dust and pet hair. This can help your fridge run more economically.

· Wash windows and check screens. A good cleaning of the inside of your windows, patio door and tracks can help remove any buildup from dust, cooking, smoke, candles and fireplaces. While cleaning the windows, look at the screens to see if repairs are needed.

· Check your windows and doors for leaks to help keep cold air in and hot air out & consider sealing leaks with weather stripping or caulking.

Outdoor home maintenance

· Service your air conditioner because regular maintenance can help ensure your air conditioner is working as efficiently as possible during the summer.

· Hose down your exterior air conditioner condenser unit with a garden hose to remove buildup and help it run more efficiently.

· Wash the outside of your windows with soapy lukewarm water to help remove any water spots or dust buildup and dry with a microfiber cloth.

· Wash siding with a garden hose to avoid potentially damaging the outside of your home or having water get under the siding. Apply a coat of fresh paint if needed and repair any damaged vinyl or aluminum siding.

· Check garden plants, trees and shrubs for insect infestations. Termites can easily go undetected until considerable damage has been done. Look for telltale signs like flaking wood or mud buildup and tunneling systems in the exterior wood of your home. Professional pest control inspections are recommended if you have any suspicions of possible infestation.

· Spruce up the exterior of your home by pressure washing your sidewalks, porches and driveways. Fences and decks can also use a lower pressure cleaning.

· Tidy up your landscaping:

o Trim shrubs and bushes as needed.

o Get weeds under control.

o Remove dead or unhealthy plants so that others may thrive & consider replacing with new ones.

o Add a fresh layer of mulch to mulched areas & introduce some pops of color to increase curb appeal.

· Trim trees to avoid potential damage to your home. Keep their branches pruned and at least 25 ft from power lines and your home to help prevent storm-related damage.

· Check gutters to ensure they are free of debris & make sure downspouts are still routed properly so water drains away from the house.

· While on the ground, step back from your home and inspect the roof for maintenance from all sides to see if shingles are cracked, curled or missing.

· Clean the outside clothes dryer vent to remove any built-up lint and allow your dryer to work more efficiently.

· Inspect the pavement for cracks and holes to help prevent accidental slips, trips and falls. It may also help you avoid larger repairs or resurfacing in the future.

Garage maintenance


· There are many items that should not be stored in a garage as the temperature will be rising throughout the season. Don't store heat-sensitive or combustible materials in the garage and keep hazardous materials such as paint, solvents and chemicals away from children and disposed of properly

Energy Efficiency

· Install window coverings or use reflective film to reduce heat gain from the sun and keep your home cooler during hot summer days.

· Check your attic insulation and add more if needed to improve energy efficiency and keep your home comfortable.

· Consider installing a programmable thermostat to regulate your home's temperature efficiently and save on energy costs.

These are just a few summer home maintenance suggestions tailored to our state so that you can ensure that your home is prepared for the unique challenges of the season. Regular maintenance and attention to detail will help prevent costly repairs and maintain the value of your property.

Remember to prioritize safety, energy efficiency, and protection against Maine's ever changing weather conditions. Don't hesitate to seek professional assistance when needed.

Tricia Zwirner is a State Farm agent celebrating her 21st year in Windham. She and her team would love to hear from you and can be reached via phone and text at 207-892-2864 or via email at tricia@TRICIAZWIRNER.com.




Friday, June 21, 2024

Is Home Staging Worth the Money?

By Theresa Bouchard

Home staging, the process of preparing a home for sale to make it more appealing to potential buyers, can significantly impact the return on investment (ROI) for homeowners. Here’s a detailed look at how home staging can affect ROI:

Benefits of Home Staging


1. Faster Sales:

** Reduced Time on Market: Staged homes often sell faster than non-staged homes. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), staged homes typically sell 73% faster.

** Buyer Appeal: A well-staged home helps potential buyers visualize themselves living in the space, making the property more attractive.

2. Higher Sale Price:

** Increased Offers: Staging can lead to higher offers. Studies show that staged homes can sell for 1% to 5 percent more than similar unstaged homes.

** Perceived Value: Staging highlights the home's strengths and minimizes its weaknesses, often leading buyers to perceive it as more valuable.

Costs of Home Staging
 
Professional Fees: Hiring a professional stager can cost anywhere from $2000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the size of the home, the extent of staging required, and the market.

Calculating ROI

To calculate the ROI of home staging, use the following formula:

ROI = (Increased Sale Price – Staging Costs divided by Staging Costs x 100)

Example Calculation

1. Scenario: A homeowner spends $3,500 on staging.

2. Initial Listing Price of Home: $450,000

3. Sold for $20,000 over Asking: $470,000

ROI – ($470,000 - $450,000 divided by $3500 x 100 = 471

In this example, the staged home listing price was $450,000 but sold at $470,000; a $20,000 over asking sale. With an investment of $3500 to stage this home, the ROI would be 471 percent.

Factors Influencing ROI

1. Market Conditions: In a seller’s market, staging might have a more significant impact due to higher competition among buyers.

2. Quality of Staging: Professional and high-quality staging can result in a better ROI compared to amateur or poorly executed staging.

3. Home Condition: Homes that need minor cosmetic updates can benefit more from staging than homes in need of major repairs.

TS Staging and Design has been staging homes for 3 ½ years and have found that many homeowners and realtors are experiencing the benefits of home staging. Here are just a few testimonials from our clients:

“Our home was staged and listed within a two-day period. Once active, we had an offer in hand and many compliments on the staging that was carried out. I know this investment made a huge difference in the sale of our home as we received offers over our initial asking price.”

“The staging at the house was spectacular and the buyer wanted to not only buy the house, but all the staging furniture too!”

“TS Staging and Design staged a vacant listing, and they blew it out of the park! Everyone wanted to buy the house fully furnished! It ended up selling with multiple offers and $56,000 over asking price! The staging made all the difference, and I can’t thank them enough!”

In summary home staging generally offers a high return on investment by reducing the time a home stays on the market and potentially increasing the sale price. While the upfront costs can vary, the benefits often outweigh these costs, resulting in a substantial ROI for homeowners.

If you would like more information regarding staging services, please contact TS Staging and Design at 207-400-9393 or check us out on Facebook, Instagram or our website at www.tsstaginganddesign.com. We are a 7x award winning professional home staging company that provides superior customer service and beautiful designs that attract buyers to your home!

Don’t leave money on the table! Call TS Staging and Design to discuss your staging needs! <

Friday, June 14, 2024

Real Estate: Quarry Ridge Business Park needs signal light

By Larry Eliason

The time has come for the Town of Windham, the Maine Department of Transportation and our legislators to develop a team to bring a signalized light to the intersection of Route 302 and Enterprise Drive for public safety, traffic calming and to help attract new investment to the Quarry Ridge Business Park.

An aerial photo show Quarry Ridge Business Park 
in North Windham. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Quarry Ridge Business Park offers an incredible opportunity for Windham to expand an existing business park to attract companies with good paying jobs and to provide a stronger commercial tax base for the town.

Over the past several years, I have written articles about commercial real estate, lot sales and development activity at the Quarry Ridge Business Park with an emphasis on Enterprise Drive and Bedrock Terrace. Enterprise Drive is just off Roosevelt Trail/Route 302. This Business Park is a Grondin Family investment in Windham.

As many will agree, the intersection of Route 302 and Enterprise Drive has become a very busy intersection as Enterprise Drive, Bedrock Terrace and Storm Drive have several businesses from retail, office, service, manufacturing, engineering, public storage with many valued business owners, their employees and customers. Cars and trucks sit for very long periods of time waiting to get off Enterprise Drive onto Route 302 without a signalized light. My biggest fear is a carload of kids going for ice cream pull out onto Route 302 at the wrong time and there ends up being a tragedy that can be prevented.

There is an existing MDOT traffic movement plan in place that will eventually include a much-needed traffic signal at the intersection of Enterprise Drive and Route 302. It is certainly time to wipe the dust off this plan and make an action plan and implement it asap. The chicken and egg story for this intersection has been going on for way too long in my opinion.

The intent of the Enterprise Development District is to provide a unique area within the Town of Windham to allow manufacturing, processing, treatment, warehousing, storage, research, and distribution with safe, well-regulated vehicle access located off a major street which can conform to the performance standards set forth in this section and in all other applicable ordinances of the Town of Windham.


The following uses are currently allowed in the Enterprise Development District:

Auction House, Automobile Auction Facility, Automobile Repair Services, Building, Accessory, Business and Professional Office, Contractor Services, Contractor Storage Yard, Construction Services, Heavy, Major Construction Services, Heavy, Minor, Convention Center, Distribution Facility, Forestry, Hotel, Industry-Heavy, Industry- Light, Marijuana Cultivation Facility, Marijuana Manufacturing Facility, Marijuana Testing Facility, Mineral Extraction, Motel, Public Utility Facility, Retail Sales, Accessory, Small Engine Repair, Use, Accessory Warehousing, Private Warehousing, Public, and the Wireless Telecommunications Tower and Facility.

Quarry Ridge Business Park off Enterprise Drive is located on approximately 1,000 acres of land. Phase 1A was built in 2004 and was anchored by Genest Concrete products and LaValley Lumber Building Supply. The LaValley property was acquired by Tube Hollows International in 2012.


Phase 1B was approved by the town of Windham in 2006 and since then mining of the gravel pit and quarry has progressed enough to leave behind flat buildable lots available for industrial use. The entire development is served by public water, electric including (3-Phase) and natural gas.

As a Commercial Real Estate Broker, I see millions of dollars in new investment coming to this Business Park in the coming years. The commercial tax base being generated will provide the Town of Windham with a valuable commercial tax base to help provide additional infrastructure and services to the residents of Windham.

Please feel free to contact me on my cell at 207-415-2112 or email me at LarryEliasonBCB@gmail.com Butts Commercial Brokers is at 1265 Roosevelt Trail, Raymond, Maine 04071 www.ButtsCommercialBrokers.com <

Friday, June 7, 2024

Why You Should Use a Buyer's Agent When Purchasing a Home

By Lisa DiBiase

As we navigate the ever-changing real estate market, it's crucial to understand the importance of having buyer representation when purchasing a home, regardless of market conditions. Buying a home can be one of the most difficult and complicated purchases you make in your lifetime. Not only is the amount of money you’re dealing with substantial, the complex legal aspects of real estate transactions can be confusing for those who don't work directly in the field. This is why many home buyers choose to use a buyer’s agent when searching for a new home to purchase.

Step inside a real time testimony from my clients who are currently in the process of purchasing their first home:

“As first-time home buyers, we did a ton of research online. What we quickly realized is no amount of self research would have prepared us for the real market we faced, especially in today’s market! We needed the expertise that comes from an agent’s own experience. Lisa’s guidance and connections have been instrumental in our home buying journey.” Chad and Will

Let's explore how and why it is so essential to have a Buyer’s Agent:

To Start, what is a Buyer’s Agent?

A buyer’s agent is a real estate professional who represents the interests of the buyer in a real estate transaction. Unlike a listing agent, who represents the seller, a buyer’s agent is solely dedicated to helping the buyer find and purchase a home. They have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the buyer, ensuring that their needs and concerns are prioritized throughout the transaction. This arrangement offers several benefits and can add significant value to the home-buying process.

Here are some key advantages of having buyer representation:

1. Professional and Expert Guidance: A buyer’s agent has specialized training and knowledge of the real estate market, including current trends, pricing, and neighborhood insights. They can provide expert advice and help buyers make informed decisions.

2. Access to Listings: Buyer’s agents have access to multiple listing services (MLS) and can provide buyers with detailed information about properties that match their criteria, including those that may not be widely advertised or are new to the market. An advantage for the buyer is real-time access to listings as soon as they become available through automated email alerts. This feature sends new listings directly to the buyer the instant a listing agent adds them to the MLS.

3. Negotiation Skills: Experienced buyer’s agents are skilled negotiators who bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. They advocate on behalf of the buyer to secure the best price and terms possible while leveraging their understanding of market trends, property values, and seller motivations. By understanding the details of the negotiation process, they can identify opportunities for concessions and expectations, potentially saving the buyer money and setting the buyer's offer apart from others.

4. Market Analysis: Buyer’s agents can perform a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) to determine the fair market value of a property. This provides the ability for the buyer to make educated decisions and potentially avoid overpaying and ensures they are making a sound investment.

5. Transaction Management: The process of buying a home involves numerous steps, from making an offer to closing the deal. Each of these steps comes with its own set of paperwork, deadlines, and requirements. Managing all these elements can be overwhelming, especially for first-time buyers. A buyer’s agent handles the transaction management, ensuring all paperwork is correctly completed and submitted on time. They keep track of deadlines and coordinate with other professionals involved in the process, such as mortgage brokers, home inspectors, and title attorneys. This comprehensive management helps prevent costly mistakes and delays.

6. Local Knowledge: Buyer’s agents often have extensive knowledge about the local area beyond just property values. They can provide insights into the community, including information about market trends, schools, community amenities, future developments, and overall lifestyle. This local knowledge is particularly beneficial if you are moving to a new area and are not familiar with its characteristics. Having a better understanding of the neighborhood can assist you in selecting a home that fits your lifestyle and long-term needs.

7. Professional Network: Please do not underestimate the value of real estate professionals and the relationships that are established through working together on a daily basis. Real estate transactions often require the involvement of various professionals, including mortgage brokers, home inspectors, contractors, and attorneys. Buyer’s agents typically have a network of trusted professionals they can refer you to. This network ensures that you receive quality service from reliable experts, making the home-buying process smoother and more efficient.

8. Advocacy: A buyer’s agent is legally obligated to act in the best interests of the buyer. This fiduciary duty ensures that the buyer's needs and concerns are prioritized throughout the transaction. There are many different fiduciary duties that an agent must uphold, including the duty of loyalty, confidentiality, disclosure, obedience, reasonable care and diligence and accounting. They must disclose all relevant information regarding the transaction and act with the utmost care and loyalty to the client.

9. Peace of Mind: Having a professional on your side can reduce the stress and uncertainty of buying a home. Knowing that someone with expertise is handling the complexities of the transaction can provide peace of mind.

Overall, using a buyer’s agent when purchasing a home offers numerous benefits, including expert guidance, market knowledge, skilled negotiation, and comprehensive transaction management. Their local insight, professional network, fiduciary responsibility, and cost efficiency make them an invaluable ally in the home-buying process. By enlisting the services of a buyer’s agent, you can navigate the complexities of purchasing a home with confidence and ease, ensuring a successful and satisfying experience.

As I have said before, please call a local REALTOR for all your real estate needs no matter how big or small. We are trained professionals here to make your life easier. It's best to surround yourself with the right team of professionals that can continuously give you the right advice for all your circumstances.

Lisa DiBiase is the Broker/Owner for Landing Real Estate. She and her company represent buyers and sellers in the Greater Portland area and surrounding areas. For all your real estate needs contact Lisa at lisa@landinghomesmaine.com or call 207-775-SOLD. <