Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 178

Avoid Wire Fraud

by Fontaine Family

Do you know how to
Avoid Wire Fraud?

Wire Fraud seems to be happening more and more in real estate transactions and it is not always easy to spot.  Often someone involved in a real estate transaction gets an e-mail with a change to the wiring instructions.  Sometimes the buyer will get an e-mail that looks like it is coming from the Lender, Title Company, or even their Real Estate Agent saying where to wire the funds for closing.  A title company could get a request that looks like it is coming from the seller saying they want the proceeds from closing wired into a different account.  There are too many scenarios to list.  There are some common things to look for to avoid wire fraud. 

Spelling & Grammar
A lot of spelling and grammar mistakes.  They are often lacking punctuation and capitalization.

Logos & Company Names
Scammers e-mails are often missing logos or the Company Name.  Sometimes the logo and signature is copied from a legitimate e-mail but then the phone number might be changed. 

E-Mail Links
Often the e-mail looks just like the e-mail of someone involved in the transaction.  If you hover over the e-mail link before clicking on it, the e-mail may be different.  Even if it does look the same, avoid using the links in an e-mail.  They could lead to a phishing site that looks identical to the site you expect.

Password Changes
Lately there have been a lot of phishing e-mails arriving that look like they are from Outlook, saying you need to change your password.  When you click on it, it appears identical to the Outlook log-in but once you enter your password, the scammer has it and can access your e-mail. 

The bottom line is...
you can't be too careful when you are trying to avoid wire fraud. 
Always double check before giving out personal information or wiring any funds. 
Pick up the phone and call your agent or lender or both! 
Better safe than sorry! 

Buying Foreclosures - What You Should Know

by Fontaine Family

What You Should Know About Buying Bank Owned Properties

If you are looking at homes in today's market, you have probably run across properties that were foreclosed and are now bank-owned.  Some buyers are scared off right away when they hear "foreclosure" or "bank-owned".  It is possible to get a good deal if you know what you are getting into. 

Here is a list of the top 5 thing you should know about buying a Foreclosure...

Expect Unknowns
The bank may own the property, but they have never lived there.  They don't usually know when the heating system was last serviced or if the roof leaked.  Expect there to be lots of unknowns on the disclosures...and plan to get a good inspection!

As-Is Condition
Most banks sell properties "as-is".  In other words, if you find a problem on you inspection, they will probably not fix it.  Your options are usually buy "as-is" or walk away.

Pre-Approval Letters
Most banks won't even consider an offer unless you provide a mortgage pre-approval, or if you are paying cash a proof of funds letter, with the offer.  It's a good idea to have this ready to go in today's fast moving market anyway.

When a bank does accept an offer, expect a bank addendum.  This document spells out lots of conditions of the sale and usually over-rides the Purchase & Sale.  Make sure you read it word for word and get help if you don't understand the legal wording.

Fees for Delays
Many banks include in their addendum a fee for not closing on time.  Most often this is a per-diem charge.  If you don't close on time, you could get charged a fee for each day you are late on closing. 

The bottom line is, as long as you know what you are getting into, you could get a great deal buying a bank-owned property...especially if you are handy and can do some repairs.  Having an experience buyer's agent to help you through the process will make the process much easier.  Give us a call today at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830 if you would like more information about purchasing a bank-owned property. 

Click here to see a list of all our bank owned properties!

What's Happening in the Cumberland County Real Estate Market?

by Fontaine Family

Cumberland County Real Estate Market 2017 vs 2016 Statistics

We hear all kinds of statistics on the news about the real estate market, but real estate varies greatly from region to region.  Check out our infographic comparing the real estate market in Cumberland County in 2017 vs. 2016.  What to see what is happening in Androscoggin County?  Click here!

Are you ready to buy or sell a home in Cumberland County?
Give us a call today at (207)289-3830!

What's Happening in the Real Estate Market in Androscoggin County?

by Fontaine Family

Androscoggin County Real Estate Market   2017 vs 2016 Statistics

We hear all kinds of statistics on the news about the real estate market, but real estate varies greatly from region to region.  Check out our infographic comparing the real estate market in Androscoggin County in 2017 vs. 2016.  Check back next week to see the statistics for Cumberland County!

Are you ready to buy or sell a home in Androscoggin County? 
Give us a call today at (207)784-3800!

Home Selling Recap for 2017

by Fontaine Family

2017 was a busy year for the Real Estate Market.
Here are 5 things you should know about the 2017 Real Esate Market:

1.  89% of Home Sellers worked with a Real Estate Agent to sell their home.

2.  The final sales price for recently sold homes was a median 99% of the final listing price.

3.  Recently home sold were on the market for a median of 3 weeks.

4.  Only 8% of recent home sales were For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sales.

5.  FSBO's sold for a median of $190,000 vs. a median of $250,000 when listed with a Real Estate Agent.

Are you ready to get your Maine home sold? 
Call us today at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830
to get started today!

Buying or Selling in 2018? Hire a Professional!

by Fontaine Family


Are Buying or Selling in 2018?
Here are 5 Reasons You Should Hire A Professional!

As we start out 2018, most of us think of what our goals are for the New Year. 
If your goal includes buying or selling real estate, you need a Real Estate Professional on your team! 
Choose a professional who knows your local market,
and they will be able to help you achieve your real estate goals for 2018! 

Here are a few reasons hiring a Real Estate Professional is the right choice!

A Real Estate Professional will help with all disclosures & paperwork necessary in today's heavily regulated real estate market.

A good Real Estate Professional is well educated in and experienced in navigating the entire sales process.

A Real Estate Professional will work on your behalf and act as a "buffer" in negotiations with all parties throughout the process.

A Real Estate Professional will help you understand today's real estate values when setting the price of your home, or when writing an offer to purchase.

A Real Estate Professional will be able to explain today's local market conditions and explain what it means to you in your individual situation.

Are you ready to get started today?  E-mail us at or call us at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830!

Should I Sell My Maine Home This Winter?

by Fontaine Family

Should I Sell my Maine Home this Winter...
or should I wait until spring? 

This might be the most common question we hear this time of year.  Winter may not be the most convenient time to move, but there are advantages to selling in the winter.

1.  Less Competition 
In the spring, For Sale signs pop up like daffodils!  In the winter, there are less homes for sale, so there is less competition on the market increasing the chances that buyers will look at your home. If there are less homes for a potential buyer to choose from, the probability that your home will have showings...and offers...increases! 

2.  Serious Buyers Are Shopping 
Many sellers believe that there are not buyers looking in the winter.  The truth is, there are always buyers looking to buy.  Serious buyers usually don't stop their home search just because winter rolls around.  Serious buyers want to buy no matter what time of year it is! 

3.  Quicker Timeframes 
In the winter months, professionals typically involved in a real estate transaction such as appraisers, lenders, and inspectors, are often more available so your transaction may be able to happen more quickly. 

4.  Seasonal Staging 
Maine can be absolutely beautiful in the wintertime and decorating for the holidays can be easily turned into seasonal staging.  That festive, homey touch may be exactly what a buyer needs to see themselves living in your home...and that leads to offers! 

If you would like to discuss whether selling your home this winter is right for you...just fill out the form below, and one of our talented agents will contact you shortly!

Merry Christmas 2017!

by Fontaine Family


Thank you for making 2017
an amazing year!

   We are grateful for our clients,
family, friends,& professionals
who support us all year long.

We wish you a 2018 filled with
health, happiness, and joy!

Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year!

Fontaine Family Team

Should Boomers Buy or Rent After Selling?

by Fontaine Family

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling?


In a recent CNBC article, it was reported that many baby boomers are selling their current homes and moving into rentals, rather than purchasing another home.

“Between 2009 and 2015, the number of renters aged 55 or above rose 28 percent, while those aged 34 or younger only increased 3 percent…Meanwhile, more than 5 million baby boomers across the nation are expected to rent their next home by 2020, according to a 2016 analysis from Freddie Mac.”  This makes sense in the short term for many reasons. If you are moving to a different part of town or a new region of the country, you may decide to rent until you pick the perfect home in an area you love. However, is renting a good long-term strategy?

A mortgage payment remains fixed. Rents, however…

The Census Bureau recently released their 2017 third quarter median rent numbers. Here is a graph showing rent increases from 1988 until today:

Should Boomers Buy or Rent after Selling? | Simplifying The Market

As you can see, rents have steadily increased and are showing no signs of slowing down. If you are faced with making the decision of whether you should rent or buy your next home, you should take this into consideration.

Bottom Line

One way to protect yourself from rising rents is to lock in your housing expense by buying a home instead of renting. Let’s get together so we can help you decide what the best step is for you and your family!

Call us at (207)784-3800 or (207)289-3830!

Thank you Lewiston/Auburn!

by Fontaine Family

Thank You Lewiston/Auburn!

Fontaine Family - The Real Estate Leader has been voted
Lewiston/Auburn's Best Real Estate Company
for the 4th Year by Market Surveys of America!

We are very excited and appreciative of all our clients, friends, families,
and all the other professionals we work with every day. 
Without every one of you, this would not be possible! 

Thanks for at great 2017...and we are looking forward to a wonderful 2018!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 178

Share This Page

Contact Information

Photo of  Real Estate
Fontaine Family - The Real Estate Leader
336 Center St. Auburn, ME 04210
432 US Route 1 Scarborough ME 04074
(207)784-3800 Auburn
(207)289-3830 Scarborough
Fax: (207)786-2957

Existing Users

Current My Listing Manager Members Login Here:

We respect your privacy. We will never sell or give your data to anyone.

Listing data is derived in whole or in part from the Maine IDX and is for consumers' personal, non-commercial use only. Dimensions are approximate and not guaranteed. All data should be independently verified. © 2017 Maine Real Estate Information System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.



Privacy Policy click here