Ask The Expert
Maine Real Estate Strategy
''People compliment me all the time for just being laid back, but knowing the market well enough to help in whatever price range they are looking for.''
An Interview with Steven Shelton
Broker-Owner, Acadia Realty Group
We interviewed Steven Shelton, Broker-Owner at Acadia Realty Group on some of the critical elements that have enabled him to maintain a highly successful real estate career built upon foundation of exemplary customer service, as we Ask The Expert for the inside scoop on all that the beautiful region of Maine’s Hancock and Washington County, have to offer.
Executive Global: Is now the perfect time to get into the Maine real estate market?
Steven Shelton: Yes it certainly is the time, we have seen a very high demand for coastal properties for people wanting to have a getaway or new residence here in our beautiful little corner of the world. Maine has been a very safe State since the start of the pandemic and I don’t see anything changing there, so if you’re worried about being in urban areas, then this is the place to be. The inventory is shrinking so the law of supply and demand says that pricing will go up. It has increased, but I think we’ll be seeing another jump for 2021.
EG: As a Bar Harbor native, tell us how the area has developed over the last ten years, comparing the market then with now?
SS: Bar Harbor has been a destination since the mid 1800’s with the vacation housing boom starting in the early 1900’s. There are still some very influential families in the area, but I would say the biggest change would be the newer estate purchases are from younger families that had no connection to the area, previously wanting to enjoy the beautiful scenery and Acadia National Park. And also younger families wanting to call our area home, because of the great schools and activities. It’s a great place to raise a family. As far as the market changing over the years I think it’s basically the same draw for people but being able to work from home makes this one of the most desirable places to be.
EG: As a location favoured by American dynastic families such as Vanderbilts, Morgan’s, Carnegie’s and Kennedy’s, what would you say makes areas like Bar Harbor so irresistible to Ultra High Net Worth buyers?
SS: As stated above the High Net Worth families have been coming here for 150 years.There are still some of those families around and I think that is what attracted the newer High Net buyers with the same appeal as Newport, RI and Palm Beach. People like being around others with the same type of background.
EG: And which locations within Hancock and Washington County are the most desirable for investors to strategically target if they seek the highest rental yield?
SS: The highest rental yield is still on Mount Desert Island because of the Acadia draw. Downtown Bar Harbor has become very popular because of the ability to just walk into town and to restaurants and the more private people like being on the ocean but within walking or biking distance to the park.
EG: With a greater trend towards people leaving major metropolitan areas, what do you project for the local real estate market in Maine within the next five years?
SS: I see the next 5 years being tougher to find inventory so building will have to start up again. People will buy older homes and tear them down for their new Maine dream home but when inventory does pop up it will be purchased very quickly.
EG: As a luxury waterfront property specialist, you also are consistently ranking within the top 1% of sales in Maine. What are the secrets of your success?
SS: I would say most of my success is from always wanting to find the perfect match for a buyer for their dream property. I don’t work for the commission I work for my buyers and sellers so I don’t put any pressure for someone to purchase now. I don’t mind if it takes years to find the right property as long as everyone is satisfied as the end result. People compliment me all the time for just being laid back but knowing the market well enough to help in whatever price range they are looking for.
EG: Representing a wide variety of properties ranging from commercial real estate, to luxury residential real estate and land, you are better positioned than many other agents in Maine. How may this depth of experience aid real estate investment strategy?
SS: A lot of buyers may start out buying a home but then they want to invest in our area with either commercial properties or just for investment. Most clients that buy multiple properties are with me for years.
EG: You have also represented properties fine enough to be owned by bankers such as JP Morgan. Can you explain why some realtors succeed in the field of luxury real estate where others fail?
SS: I would say again that is just my approach to everyone whether it is a high net worth family or a first time home buyer, I give everyone the respect they deserve and people appreciate that. Some Realtors specialise in high end properties and that limits their sales because of inventory so I have always been very well rounded with my offerings. Sometimes people say they are looking for a $500,000 house and buyer a $2 million house instead and last year I had a very high end family saying they would spend over $10 million in the Bar Harbor area and we found their perfect house in a totally different area for $2 million so you never know what they’ll fall in love withs. EG