FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
BY MONTANA HOME SELLERS
Who pays real estate agent commissions?
In most cases, the home seller pays the real estate commissions.
Can I find out the value of my home through the internet?
You can get some idea of your home’s value by searching the internet however it is important to remember that this is an estimate. Most websites base the estimates on historic public records & previous home sales. Popular sites like Zillow, provide home “Zestimates” which are essentially educated guesses. These estimates should be taken with a grain of salt. Or less. Zillow, and other home estimate sites, set the homes baseline price based on the price the last time it was sold and sold prices of neighboring homes. This presents two major problems; any updates made to a home, large or small, are not taken into account. In neighborhoods where homes vary widely in type, style, and size, the estimate of a fully renovated craftsman style home in a historic neighborhood would be drastically skewed by the run-down neglected 80 year old home across the street.
What are the best ways of finding out how much a home is worth?
Comparative market analysis and appraisals are the most reliable way to determine the value of a home. Your real estate agent will be happy to provide a comparative market analysis based on classified MLS market data that other third party sites or service providers do not have access to. An appraisal, which general costs $200-$300, is a certified appraiser’s opinion of the value of a home at any given time. Appraisers review numerous factors including recent comparable sales, location, square footage and construction quality.
How is the price set?
It is very important to price your home according to current market conditions. Because the Montana real estate market is continuously fluctuating, these changes have an effect on your property value. It is very important to select your listing price based on the most recent & comparable sales in your neighborhood. The best way to obtain the most accurate market information is via your real estate agent. Because Montana is a non-disclosure state, the public does not have access to the sold prices of homes. Your real estate agent will be able to run a comparative market analysis based on information not available to the public.
What is the difference between market value and appraised value?
The appraised value of a house is a certified appraiser’s opinion of the worth of a home at any given point in time. A professional appraiser will base their opinion on several factors including your homes square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, lot size, topography, view, landscaping as well as the quality of the neighborhood. Market value is based on a comparative market analysis generally provided by your real estate agent. A comparative market analysis will estimate a home’s value based on sales of comparable properties and other market data.
Do sellers have to disclose the terms of other offers?
No. Sellers are not legally obligated to disclose the terms of other offers to prospective buyers.
What repairs should I make before selling my home?
If you want to get the biggest “bang for your buck” we suggest that you make all minor repairs and as many major repairs as possible before listing your home on the market. There is a fine line between repairing to increase the homes value and overspending on pre-sale repairs. Before deciding which repairs to make, take into consideration the nature of the market; are there many homes for sale in your neighborhood or area? Or are there a select few homes for sale but numerous buyers? Keep in mind that almost all purchase contracts include an inspection clause. If an inspection on your home finds defects that were not disclosed by the seller, the buyer is able to back out of the sale.
How should I prepare my home to sell?
Staging your home is a huge part of the selling process, it is also one of the easiest things you can do to prepare your home to sell. You want buyers to be able to visualize their life in your home. Pictures, personal items, stacks of mail etc. make buyers feel as if they are out of place in a strangers world. The goal of home staging is to create a blank canvas for potential buyers to begin visualizing their furniture, pictures and belongings in the home.
Will a bad neighbor reduce the value of my property?
A cluttered yard or run down home next door may not directly reduce the value of your home it can detract from the positive aspects. Review local laws and ordinances related to your issue.
What are the standard contingencies in an offer?
Most purchase offers include two standard contingencies; financing and inspection. The financing contingency states that the sale is dependent on the buyers ability to obtain loan commitment from a lender. Inspection contingency allows the buyer to have professionals inspect the property to their satisfaction.