Updated on March 17, 2020
Now is a good time to be selling a house in Montana! According to Zillow Research, property values in the Big Sky Country rose 4.89% in 2019, and are projected to rise a further 3.96% over the next year.
Of course, even the best Montana properties will struggle to sell if you don't price the home properly, do a poor job of marketing it, or don't know how to handle the negotiations.
Read on to learn the eight steps to successfully selling your home in Montana!
1. Finding a Montana realtor
Selling a home isn't easy. It's a high-stakes, complex transaction and requires a considerable amount of time and expertise to get a good outcome. If you're looking to sell your Montana home for the best price — and minimize stress along the way — you need to find a top-rated real estate agent in your area.
The best Montana listing agents know exactly what local buyers want and how to reach them. They'll offer expert advice, guidance, and support every step of the way, from the initial listing all the way through closing.
In fact, sellers who work with real estate agents net 33% more, on average, than those who list on their own. For a $274,114 home — the median home value in Montana, according to Zillow — that's a premium of $90,458. In other words, hiring an agent is well worth the investment.
2. Deciding when to sell
Knowing when to put your home on the market makes a huge difference in how much you sell for. Spring is generally thought to be the start of the season but every region is different. For Montana sellers, the season starts much later than in other states.
It's important to know the economic outlook for the city you're in, how the job market is doing, and how much construction is going on. An experienced local agent will be able to navigate all of these factors on your behalf.
Best time to sell a house across the U.S.
Source: 2019 Redfin Data Center
Best time to sell a house in Montana
|Best Month to Sell for Speed in Montana||July||59 days on market||24.5 days faster than average|
|Best Month to Sell for Price in Montana||December||$276,600 median sale price||4% more than average|
If you're shooting for the fastest sale possible, listing in July is your best option. Homes listed in this month spend 59 days on market — significantly quicker than the Montana average of 83.5 days on market.
To get the highest sales price, put your house on the market in December. The median sale price of homes listed then is $276,600, which is almost $11,000 more than average.
Learn More: The Best Time to Sell a Home in Montana
3. Pricing your home
Pricing is more than just about getting a good return for you. You need to set your price competitively to get the most from where your market is at. Pricing too high makes people skip over your home while pricing too low is going to cause a negative perception about your property.
Clever Partner Agents offer a free comparative market analysis to every one of their clients. You'll find out the ideal price for your region, when the best time to sell is, and what you could get for the condition your home is currently in.
4. Preparing, marketing, and showing your home
Before you put your home on the market, you need to prepare it for potential buyers. It should be clean, ready for photos, and have any glaring issues repaired.
If there's a hole in the wall, patch it up and paint it before you put it on the market. If you have serious issues with your roof or foundation, you should invest in fixing those problems before you try to sell your home. Rather than haggling with potential buyers, you're better off having your home in tip-top shape.
Staging your home is also important in helping your buyer imagine what it's like to live in your home. With a little investment, you can receive higher offers.
When it comes time to list your home, you need to start by getting professional photos taken. Buyers want to see lots of high-quality images before they take the time to visit. Make sure you get listed on local MLS sites as well as creating some social media ads.
In Montana, insulated windows and HVAC systems are going to be big sellers. Make sure that your heating system is in great shape and you've got the documentation to prove it.
Hold lots of open houses and showings where your agent can step in for you. Avoid being present for these, as it's much harder for some people to scrutinize someone else's home when they're breathing down their necks. Leaving out a lockbox for visitors to check out your home with your listing agent on their own time can be a big help.
Learn More: The Best Paint Colors For Selling A House
5. Fielding offers and negotiations
When you list your home, you're sure to get plenty of offers that seem much lower than you'd like. You don't have to take them seriously, but it's customary to send a counteroffer to anyone who shows interest.
The process of offer and counteroffer often goes through two full iterations.
Once an offer is accepted, a purchase agreement is drawn up where both parties are listed as agreeing on a purchase price. A closing date is set and another date is set for when the offer will expire. If the closing isn't complete by this date, then the seller has the chance to back out.
An experienced agent will put together a purchase agreement to protect your interests.
Learn More: Real Estate Counter Offer Etiquette
6. Appraisal and inspections
After a price is agreed upon and you've seen the buyer's pre-approval for financing, most lenders will require them to have the home appraised and inspected. During this period, the appraiser is going to determine how much financing is available based on how much the home is worth. The inspector is going to look for safety issues throughout the home.
In Montana, snow or cold weather damage is going to be one of the issues that drive home prices down. As a seller, it's important to think about doing some repairs before putting your home on the market. This will keep your buyer from seeing major issues and asking for seller credit later on.
Once you get through this negotiation process, you can settle on a final price.
7. Paperwork and required Montana disclosures
In most states, it's required that sellers fill out statewide disclosure forms to let potential buyers know what potential problems buyers could face. However, Montana is a caveat emptor state wherein the buyer is responsible for seeking out all the issues.
Montana requires no disclosures but that doesn't mean that sellers shouldn't tell buyers about issues. Talk to your agent and see what they recommend.
When it comes to other necessary documents and forms, have a licensed professional walk you through everything. An agent or attorney should read over and explain each document before you sign anything.
Learn More: Disclosure Requirements in Montana
8. The closing process
Now that you've finalized your requirements, it's time to move on to the closing process. Here is where you'll settle up with your closing agent, the buyer, and their agent all at the same table. This is when the final payment is submitted and keys are exchanged.
During this phase, title fees, legal fees, and transfer taxes are paid. Thankfully, in Montana, no transfer taxes are due from sellers.
If you want to ensure that you cross every "T" in the process and navigate the legal challenges, a Clever Partner Agent will ensure that you position yourself for the best result. On top of that, they'll offer you all of that service at a discounted commission rate.
Learn More: How Much Are Closing Costs for the Seller?
Next steps: Sell your Montana home and save thousands
Whether you're looking to list your Montana home immediately or 6-12 months from now, it's never too early to start looking for an agent, getting advice, and making a plan.
Clever is here to help guide you through the home selling process — and save money along the way! In fact, homeowners who list with us save an average of $9,000 on home selling costs.
Top ways to sell your home in Montana
- Discount real estate agents in Montana
- We Buy Houses for Cash companies in Montana
- Flat-fee MLS companies in Montana