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Displaying blog entries 161-170 of 186

Great Neighbor Holiday Gifts

by Fontaine Family

Great Neighbor Holiday Gifts

The holidays are a great time to reconnect with your neighbors,
or meet new neighbors. 
What better way to drop by with
a small, thoughtful gift? 

The size of the gift isn't's about building relationships! 

Here are a few gift ideas you may like to try...

  HOT DRINK MIXES - will keep your neighbors toasty on a cold winter day.  Pick up a few mugs, add a homemade cider or hot cocoa mix and a bow!  

MIXES IN JARS - are sure to be a hit!  Just fill a jar with a mix for cookies, brownies, soups, or breads...there are so many options!

BAKED GOODS - are the timeless classic.  If you enjoy baking, make a few extras for the neighbors!

POINESTTAS - This symbol of the holiday season is a great options...or try Amaryllis or Paperwhites!

BOTTLE OF WINE - or sparkling cider is a great way to celebrate the holiday season.  Try slipping it into a cute wine bag.


Check out more ideas on our "Neighbor Holiday Gifts" board on Pinterest!

Selling During The Holidays

by Fontaine Family
I posted this video last year, but it is a great reminder. 
Selling during the holidays can work to your advantage...
watch this short video to find out how!


If you are interested in selling or buying this holiday season, we can help! 
Call or e-mail us today and we can get started!

Selling in Winter

by Fontaine Family

Selling in the Winter

In Maine, selling in winter has its challenges.
  Short daylight hours, cold, snow & ice to name a few. 
But it can be a great time to sell. 
You usually have less competition and
the buyers who are looking are most often very serious
about getting into something as soon as possible! 

To help you have the best chance to sell this winter,
we put together a checklist of 5 things to do
when you are selling in the winter...

[  ]  Clear Your Driveway and Walkways Clear - Buyers are excited to get inside and see your home...don't dampen their enthusiasm by making it difficult to get into the property.  You want them to be anticipating what they are going to see, not thinking about all the shoveling they will need to do.

[  ]  Don't Forget Curb Appeal - We tend to think more of curb appeal in the warmer months, but buyers do drive-bys even in the winter.  You want your house to be attractive and inviting when they drive by.

[  ]  Boots, Boots, Boots - Boots are a fact of life during a Maine winter, so don't forget to provide a place for buyers to easily remove or clean their boots or shoes when they come to view your home. 

[  ]  Light it up - Daylight hours are short in the wintertime, so make sure you leave on lights both inside and outside of your home.  Outside so the buyers can enter easily, and inside to make the home tour easier and more inviting.

[  ]  Warm and Cozy - Don't forget to keep the heat at a comfortable temperature for your showings.  Being cold during a showing is distracting to the buyers and may make them wonder about heating costs.  A warm and cozy home is much more appealing.


Check out our "Selling In Winter" board on Pinterest for more ideas!

Happy Thanksgiving

by Fontaine Family

Who Decides The Listing Price?

by Fontaine Family
When you are ready to sell...who decides the listing price? 

So how do you decide the right price to get your property sold
for top dollar and in a timely manner in today's market?
This is where a skilled, experienced real estate agent is a must...
an expert real estate agent will help you gather the information you need
to make an informed decision about how to price your property. 

Are you in a hurry to sell or do you have a year to move?
Are you behind on your mortgage payments?
Is your mortgage paid off?
Do you need to find another home to purchase?

Each situation is unique and so pricing your property
 is a personal decision that is specific to your situation. 
Before you price your home, there are a few things you must do...

1.  Know your options  - in today's market you may think selling is not an option because of the amout you owe.  Are you a candidate for a short-sale?  Do you even know what your home is worth?  You may be in better shape than you expected.

2.  Know how to prepare your home for showings.  Believe it or not, the way your home shows makes a difference in the price buyers are willing to pay.

3.  Know how to beat out your competition.  In order to beat the competition, you have to know who you are competing against, what is the condition of their property, what is their price, how long have they been on the market...

4.  Discover market trends.  The real estate market is different from area to area.  What is happening in Lewiston/Auburn is different from what is happening in Portland or in Scarborough.  

5.  Know what an absorbtion rate is and why it is important to you.  An absorbtion rate will tell you how saturated the market is in your area at the current time.  If the market is more saturated, you have more competition.

6.  Know how many properties in your area that are similar to yours have sold recently.   What price did they sell for?  How long were they on the market? 

Once you and your chosen real estate agent
have explored all these areas,
you are ready to make an informed decision
about what is the best price for your property
to sell it for top dollar
in the timeframe that is right for you.

5 Tips For Staying Healthy This Winter

by Fontaine Family
Cold and Flu season is here...

Did you know that adults catches an average
 2-4 colds each year?
If you think that is surprising, consider this...
Children catch and average of 6-12 colds each year!  Yikes!
With that in mind here are our
Top 5 Tips for staying healthy this winter
1.  Wash Your Hands
Seems obvious, but most people don't wash often enough
or well enough.  Make sure you use soap and
scrub your entire hands including around your fingernails. 

2.  Change Your Toothbrush
If you have been sick, toss your toothbrush and get a new one
to avoid any lingering germs on the bristles or handle.
3.  Drink Water
Make sure you drink plenty of water daily. 
Staying hydrated can reduce symptoms like a sore throat or stuffy nose.
4.  Keep Your Nose Clean
Consider using a saline nasal spray, Neti pot or taking a hot shower. 
The warm moisture can help clear your nasal passages.
5.  Get Moving
Getting a little exercise and sunlight for even 10-15 minutes a day
can boost your immune system and your mood.

By the way....if you are interested in buying or selling real estate in Maine,
call (207)784-3800 or e-mail  

5 Tips To Prepare For Winter

by Fontaine Family

November in Maine means it's time for snowy weather...
and time to prepare your home for the long winter. 

Are you ready?

Here are 5 tips to prepare your home for the Maine winter:

  1. Check for Drafts 
    Check around windows, doors and electrical switches and outlets for drafts.  Adding some weather stripping, caulk, or foam gaskets can reduce drafts in your home. 

  2. Add Insulation 
    Adding some insulation in the attic or walls is a great way to reduce your winter heating costs. 

  3. Service your Heating Systems 
    having a professional service your heating system can help not only insure it is working properly, but can help protect you from dangers such as fire or carbon monoxide.  Don't forget to check the chimney to see if it needs to be cleaned!

  4. Prevent Frozen Pipes 
    Draining you outdoor faucets and putting away thes hoses can help prevent suprise breaks in the spring. 

  5. Prepare for Snow 
    Now is the time to service snow removal equipment, find the shovels that got burried over the summer, and stock up on sand & ice melt.

Check out our "Winter Ready" board on Pinterest for more ideas on how get ready and save money this winter. 

Find Maine Foreclosures and Short Sales

by Fontaine Family

Are you looking for a Real Estate Bargain?

In the last few years, I am sure you have heard a lot about Foreclosures and Short Sales.  If you are looking for a real estate bargain, one of these distressed properties might be a good fit for you.

Most of these properties need some work and usually the owner can't or won't take care of it before closing, so you should do your homework and be prepared to do a little work. 

So, how do you find these properties?
  There are some websites where you can sign up and search for distressed properties (for a fee) or you can go to each banks website and search for their REO properties (Real Estate Owned).  We have an easier way.  Fontaine Team lists a lot of Bank Owned and Short Sale properties so we have them easily accessible on our website

Search Foreclosures Here

Search Short Sales Here


If you are interested in purchasing a Foreclosure or Short Sale, we have agents experienced in the process to help guide you through the process.  Give us a call at (207)784-3800 to get started today!

The Danger of Overpricing Your Home

by Fontaine Family

The biggest mistake homeowners make when selling
is overpricing their property. 

We know it is disappointing when you meet with a Realtor and the price they suggest you list your home for is not what you hoped.  It can be tempting to just "test the market" with a higher listing price...after all what can it hurt?  We hear this all the time, but you really can hurt your chances of selling for the highest possible price the market will bear by overpricing.  What are the dangers?

1. Buyers comparison shop

Keep in mind that buyers are comparing your home to other homes on the market.  With pictures and videos of almost every home listed for sale on real estate websites, buyers "shop" online before they ever schedule a showing.  If your house isn't one of the best houses in that price range, the buyer might never even schedule a showing and if they do and the home doesn't live up to the competition...they will just write an offer on something else.  You want to be the best home in your price range.  If you are, you may even get multiple offers which will drive your price up! 

2.  Buyers may not find your home

Most buyers are searching online for their next home so they are usually at the mercy of preset price increments set by the websites.  If your home is priced at $205,000 and a buyer is searching up to $200,000, your home will not show up on their search.  They will never know you exist.  Your best bet is to keep the search increments in mind when pricing.  Instead of pricing at $205,000 consider $199,000.  You will increase the amount of buyers seeing your home and therefore increasing your chances to sell.

3.  Your home might get stale

You may want to "try" a higher price than the comps show and "just reduced the price later".   Buyers are watching what is on the market.  If they keep seeing the same listing over and over, they tend to think something is wrong with the home and just pass it over without a second thought.  You have to have people walk through the door to get offers.  Your best chance of selling for top dollar is when your listing is "fresh" on the market.  Don't blow your first only get one!

Are you interested in knowing what your home is worth in today's market?  Let us give you a FREE opinion of value.  Call (207)784-3800 and one of our experts will meet with you at your convenience.

Multiple Offers - What You Should Know

by Fontaine Family

What You Need To Know About Competing Offers?

Summer may be over, but it still feels like a Summer Market in Maine!  Just last week, we received multiple offers on 4 different properties!  While it may be great for the seller, it becomes very stressful if you are trying to buy a property with competing offers.  If a seller gets more than one offer, they have several options.  They can accept one offer and reject the rest, counter one offer, reject all offers, or ask everyone for thier highest and best offer. 

Here are some things you should know to be prepared for a multiple offer situation.

1.  Your first offer may be your only opportunity - If the seller decides to accept another offer, they do not have to give you the chance to top that offer.

2.  The seller does NOT have to tell you that there is another offer - this means you can be in a situation where you are competing with another buyer and never know it.

3.  The seller can only negotiate with one buyer at a time.

4.  The seller or sellers agent can't tell you the terms of any other offer.

5.  The seller does NOT have to accept the highest offer - other things such as closing date, type of financing, etc...may be factors in their decision.

6.  The seller can ask all buyers to present their highest and best offer before deciding to accept an offer.

In a multiple offer situation the advice of a Buyer's Agent can be very valuable.  They can guide you through every step of the way to give you your best opprotunity to purchase your dream house!

Displaying blog entries 161-170 of 186

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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

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