Tips for Buying & Selling

Rules for Buyers

  1. Stay put. Commit yourself to your new home for a few years before planning your next move.
  2. Money matters. If you are considering a mortgage, shore up your credit and get a copy of all your reports. 
  3. Get pre-approved. Know what you can afford before you start searching the market. Be sure to explore different loan options in order to determine what is best for you. 
  4. Decide what (and where) you want to be. Prioritize your list of must-haves (i.e., location, schools, and local amenities). 
  5. Do the homework. Make offers based on sales trends to similar homes in similarly situated neighborhoods. 
  6. Consider your re-sale value. Even if you do not have school-aged kids, a strong school district is a good thing.
  7. Calculate hidden costs. Property taxes, insurance, maintenance and association fees will impact your budget over time.
  8. Be advised. Consider hiring a local Montana realtor in order to get the most out of your money – it pays to have someone looking after your best interests.
  9. Don't be house poor. Double and triple check to be sure you have not maxed yourself out on the cost of your home and left nothing for maintenance, etc. 
  10. Get help. Consider hiring a Montana realtor to get the most of your money. It pays to have someone looking out for your interests. 
Rules for Sellers
  1. Hire a good agent. A professional realtor who knows your neighborhood and has a good track record in your community will go a long way in helping to find a buyer. 
  2. Clean out the clutter. Open space looks best. Clean, and clean some more to make a good first impression. 
  3. Spiff up the property. Make any improvements that will improve the showing of your home. When possible, stick to simpler (and less expensive) options to be sure the buying price covers your investment. 
  4. Determine the worth. Know the fair market value of your home. Your realtor can help you assess the cost, although you may also want to have the home appraised. 
  5. Price it right. A realtor can help you objectively set the price so that it reflects the value of your home and the trends of the surrounding community. 
  6. Come up with a plan. Are you set on your price or eager to move? How low are you willing to go to settlement? 
  7. Get pre-approved for your next move. If you are looking to buy another house, make sure you know your financial situation.
  8. Figure out your selling costs.  Commission, ad costs, attorney feed, taxes, and prorated costs may all come into play. Realtors deal with transactions ever day and can give you a very close estimate of seller closing costs. 
  9. Set the stage. Clean the windoes, open the curtains, turn on the lights, display fresh flowers. A bright house is a welcoming house. 
  10. It's show time. Be ready and willing to have your home shown any day, even with short notice. Making it difficult to see will also make it difficult to sell.