Listed Simply Blog

LIsted-Simply-with-Background-Circle-Logo

800-995-5879

support@listedsimply.com

8am to 8pm PST M-F

10am to 3pm PST Sat | Closed Sunday

Table of Contents

How to Sell Your Home For Sale By Owner In Montana – The Complete Guide (2024)

Taking Control of Your Home Sale

Selling your home in Montana can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be when you take control and decide to sell it yourself. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) is a popular choice for homeowners in Montana who want to avoid hefty real estate agent commissions and have a hands-on approach to selling their property. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the process of selling your home in Montana without the assistance of a traditional real estate agent.

Montana Home Selling Data

  • Home Prices Are Rising in Montana: Home prices in Montana were up 3.2% compared to last year, selling for a median price of $431,100.
  • Number of Homes Sold Are Decreasing- On average, the number of homes sold in Montana was down 10.9%. The number of homes for sale fell 0.77%.

The direction and pace at which home prices are changing are indicators of the strength of the housing market and whether homes are becoming more or less affordable.

Based on Redfin calculations of home data from MLS and/or public records.

The Benefits of Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner (FSBO) in Montana 

Selling your home on your own in Montana offers numerous benefits. One of the most significant advantages is saving thousands of dollars in real estate agent commissions, which can typically amount to 5-6% of your home’s final sale price. For example, if you are selling a home for $300,000, you could save $15,000 to $18,000 by opting for the FSBO route. This extra money can be reinvested in your next property or used for other financial goals.

The Step-By-Step Guide to Selling Your Home FSBO In Montana 

Selling your home for sale by owner (FSBO) in Montana is a well-defined process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate through it:

Setting the Correct Price

When you are thinking of selling your home in Montana , chances are you’re caught up in a mass of emotions. You may be looking forward to moving up to a new home or facing the uncertainty of a major move across the country. You may be reluctant to leave your memories behind or eager to start new and exciting adventures.

In setting the list price for your home in Montana , you should be aware of a buyer’s frame of mind. Based on a list of houses for sale in your neighborhood (online search results that you’ve found yourself), buyers will determine which houses they want to view. Consider any negotiations you are willing to entertain.

Consider the following pricing factors: 

  • If you set the price too high, your house won’t be picked for viewing, even though it may be much nicer than others in the area. 
  • If you price too low, you’ll short-change yourself. Your house will sell promptly, yes, but before it has time to find the buyer who would have paid more. 

NOTE: Never say “asking” price, which implies you don’t expect to get it. 

Start by researching the current market in Montana and comparing your home to similar properties in your area.

>> A Strategic Guide to Setting the Correct Price For Your Home

Prepare Your Home

Before listing your home in Montana , make necessary repairs and enhancements to increase its appeal to potential buyers. This may include decluttering, cleaning, and staging. A house that “sparkles” on the surface will sell faster than its shabby neighbor, even though both are structurally well-maintained. A “well-polished” house appeals to more buyers and will sell faster and for a higher price. 

Additionally, buyers feel more comfortable purchasing a well-cared for home because if what they can see is maintained, what they can’t see has probably also been maintained. 

>> A Comprehensive Guide To Preparing Your Home

Professional Photography

Professional photography can significantly impact the sale of a home in Montana by enhancing its visual appeal and making a positive first impression on potential buyers. Online listings in Montana with professional photography generate an average of 61% more page views than photos taken on your phone.

>>Why Professional Photography Is the Secret Sauce for a Faster Home Sale

Tips To Take Better Real Estate Photos

Stage Your Home: You want to show off the space, not what’s in it. Make sure your home is clean, and clear out distracting items like toys or mail.

Take Low Shots: One really important compositional consideration is how high the camera is off the ground. It’s best to shoot about 40 inches off the floor. When your camera sits lower than eye level, your photos will look more like those you see in magazines.

Natural Lighting: Use as much natural lighting as possible. Open the curtains and turn on all the lights to make a room look bright and open. Rely on the camera’s built-in flash as little as possible; it creates unattractive shadows and reflects off mirrors and windows.

Angles & Compositions: The best way to show off a room is to shoot from a corner or doorway to include as much of the room as possible. This provides context and makes the room look more spacious than a tight shot does.

Take Lots of Photos: Digital cameras give you the freedom to take as many photos as you 

want, so experiment with lots of angles and camera settings. Review the photos later and choose the ones that best represent your house.

>>See More Tips on Capturing Stunning Real Estate Photos

Create a Compelling Listing 

There is more to listing a home in Montana than just taking a few photos and setting a price. Reach more Montana buyers and obtain a higher price by having a complete listing. 

Crafting an engaging description and taking high-quality photos of your property will be crucial in attracting potential buyers. 

Make sure to include: 

  • Basic information about your home- Square feet, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage, kitchen details, etc.
  • Photos- Homes sell quicker and for more money when you use professional photography. Best practice is to upload 25 pictures. 
  • Compelling Description-Tell a story about your Montana home instead of stating facts. Try not to repeat yourself since you are limited to 264 words. Point out the top 5 things about your home that you think are most important to buyers and show the value in your home. 
  • Set the Right Price: Based on your research, set a competitive and attractive price for your home in Montana . Consider any negotiations you are willing to entertain. If you price too high, you risk more days on the market. If you price low, you increase your chances at multiple offers and a bidding war. 

>> Crafting a Compelling Real Estate Listing: A Comprehensive Guide

Market Your Montana Property

Utilize online listing platforms, social media, and traditional marketing methods to reach a wide audience.Your best chance of selling your Montana home is in the first two weeks of marketing. Your home is fresh and exciting to buyers and to their agents. 

Social Media – Post your home on your social media outlets. If you are savvy, you should create a paid advertisement on Facebook and Instagram targeted to reach buyers who are qualified to buy your home in Montana . 

Pass Out Flyers – Drop off flyers to every home in your neighborhood letting them know your home is for sale with a clear description, price, and photos. Neighbors know people who want to live in the neighborhood. 

For Sale Sign – This is the easiest way for neighbors and others passing by to know your home is for sale. 

Hold an open house – An open house will attract buyers that are in the market to buy in Montana . Holding an open house allows you to show your home to multiple parties at one time instead of having private showing throughout the week. Make sure you follow up with potential buyers after the open house.

If you don’t get many showings or offers, you’ve probably overpriced your home, and it’s not comparing well to the competition. Since you can’t change the location, you’ll have to improve the home’s condition or lower the price. 

Perhaps you can do a little more to spruce up your Montana home’s curb appeal, or perhaps stage the interior to better advantage. The market can always change its mind and give your home another chance, but by then you’ve lost precious time and perhaps allowed a stigma to cloud your home’s value. 

Intelligent pricing isn’t about getting the most for your Montana home – it’s about getting your home sold quickly at fair market value.Listed Simply can be a valuable partner in this aspect, offering a cost-effective platform to list your property.

>> A Comprehensive Guide to Marketing Your Home

Handle Showings and Negotiations

When the offer comes in, Buyers sometimes test sellers with low offers, but don’t get upset or discouraged. If the offer is too low, simply have your agent return the offer with a copy of recent comparable sales to show that your Montana home is priced fairly at current market value. They will get the message, and either come back with a reasonable offer, or move on to another home. If the offer is low, but close to what you want, study the terms carefully, adding up possible expenses such as paying the buyer’s closing costs. 

Ask for the buyer’s reasoning behind the offer to give you insight into the buyer’s mindset. Could the buyer be trying to buy more than he or she can afford? Could a change of financing help get closer to your price? Can you afford to help with the buyer’s closing costs if he or she will raise the offer price? Before you agree, make sure the buyer is pre-approved with a lender and working with a real estate professional. 

>>Top 3 Reasons Why Homes Don’t Sell

Serious buyers have access to the same comparables as you do, so a buyer working with a real estate professional is more likely to be pre-approved by a lender and informed of current Montana market conditions. A full price offer doesn’t mean negotiations are over. It could signal that the buyer intends to negotiate a lot of repairs or refurbishing costs during the inspection period. Stay calm and reasonable. If you’ve done your homework – priced and prepared your home for the highest, best offer, your home will sell at a fair price in Montana . 

>> Learn More About Mastering Showings and Negotiations

Inspections

Inspections are designed to help the buyer understand the overall condition of a property, potentially saving them considerable time with the purchase process and hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs. 

Below are the most common inspections recommended by real estate professionals: 

Standard Home Inspection – The areas which may be covered include lot and grounds, roofs, exterior surfaces, garage/carport, structure, attic, basement, crawl space, electrical, heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, fireplace/wood burning devices, and appliance condition. Remember that your inspection rights are clearly stated in the Contract For Sale and vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In some cases homes can be sold “as-is” even though an inspection may take place. 

Termite Inspection – A termite inspector will inspect the property for the presence of wood-destroying insects (WDI) or wood destroying organisms (WDO, i.e. fungus) and conducive conditions that exist. Inspection requirements vary by state. 

>>A Comprehensive Guide to Home Inspections

Common Repairs Needed After a Home Inspection: What Must Sellers Fix? 

If you’re selling your Montana home, you might wonder if there are common repairs needed after a home inspection. Most buyers, after all, won’t commit to purchasing a place until it’s been thoroughly vetted by a home inspector—and rest assured, if there are problems, this professional will find them! 

So if your Montana home inspection turns up flaws that your home buyer wants fixed, what then? To be sure, repair requests after an inspection are a hassle, and liable to cut into your profits. So for starters, make sure to read your contract carefully to make sure you don’t get locked into repairing something you don’t want to fix. 

You should never sign a contract until you fully understand its obligations, particularly where it concerns your responsibility for repairs. And rest assured, there’s no need for you to fix everything a home inspector thinks could stand for improvement; a home inspection report is not a to-do list. 

Basically repairs fall into three categories: ones that are pretty much required, ones that typically aren’t required, and ones that are up for debate. 

Here’s how to know which is which:

Common repairs required after a home inspection

There are some repairs that will be required by lenders before they will release funds to finance a buyer’s home purchase. Typically these address structural defects, building code violations, or safety issues. 

If a home inspection reveals such problems, odds are you’re responsible for fixing them. Start by getting some bids from contractors to see how much the repairs will cost. From there, you can fix these problems or—the more expedient route—offer the buyers a repair credit so they can pay for the repairs themselves. This might be preferable since you won’t have to oversee the process; you can move out and move on with your life. 

Home inspection repairs that aren’t required

Cosmetic issues and normal wear and tear usually don’t have to be fixed. Some contracts will expressly state that the buyers cannot request any cosmetic repairs to be made and can only ask for fixes to structural defects, building code violations, or safety issues. State laws may also impact your liability as a seller for any issues uncovered during an inspection. 

Be sure to check your local ordinances to know which fix-its legally fall in your realm of responsibility. 

>>What Must Sellers Fix?

Home inspection repairs that are negotiable 

Between repairs that are typically required and those that aren’t is a whole gray area of repairs that are up for grabs. How you handle those depends in part on the market you’re in. If you’re in a hot seller’s market, you have more power to call the shots. 

While buyers are always advised to have a home inspection so they know what they are buying, when there are a limited number of homes for sale and buyers need to compete for homes, they are more likely to waive their right to ask a seller to make repairs. 

>> A Practical Guide to Home Inspections

However, in a normal market, you won’t be able to draw such a hard and fast line. Work with your real estate agent to understand what items you should tackle and where you might want to push back for your Montana home sale. 

You’ll want to be reasonable—after all, you’ve already put a lot of time into the selling process, and it’s likely in your best interest to accommodate some repairs rather than allowing the buyer to walk away. Also, depending on the magnitude of the requested repair, it’s not likely to go away. Now that it’s been uncovered, you’ll need to disclose the issue to the next buyer. See below for a checklist to follow 5 days before closing escrow.

Buyer’s Checklist For Your Final Walkthrough Before Close of Escrow:

A final walk-through isn’t a home inspection. You’ve already done that by now (or should have).

  1. Take your contract with you. You might need to refer to it while on site. 
  2. In many markets, the buyers and sellers never actually meet in person. But if everyone is agreeable to the idea, perform the final walk-through in the seller’s presence. He or she knows the home better than anyone else and should be able to answer your questions and provide some color on the history of the home. 
  3. If the home is vacant, it’s even more important to do a final walk-through. Since your last visit, for instance, someone might have left a faucet dripping, inadvertently causing water damage. 
  4. Check the exterior of the home, especially if there have been strong wind or rain storms since your last visit. 
  5. Make sure the seller hasn’t removed any fixtures, such as chandeliers, that he or she agreed to leave behind.
  6. Check all major appliances.
  7. Turn heat and/or air conditioning on and off.
  8. Turn on water faucets; check for leaks under sinks.
  9. Test the garage door openers.
  10. Flush all toilets.
  11. Open and close all windows and doors.
  12. Do a visual spot-check of ceilings, walls and floors.
  13. Turn on the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
  14. Check the status of any agreed-upon repairs.
  15. Check screens and storm windows. If they’ve been stored, make sure you know where they are and that they’re in good shape.
  16. Look in storage areas to make sure no trash or unwanted items remain. Old paint cans or hazardous materials are often left behind by the seller.
  17. Do a quick check of the grounds. Some sellers have dug up and taken plants (even small trees or bushes) with them.
  18. Turn all light fixtures on and off.

Taking an hour for one last inspection is a good investment in your time. After all, you don’t want to spend the first weeks in your new home cleaning up or making unexpected repairs. 

Key Stages in the Escrow Process:

  1. Opening Escrow:
  • The process commences when the buyer and seller enter into a purchase agreement, specifying conditions and timelines.
  • The escrow account is opened, and the earnest money deposit from the buyer is placed into this secure account.

2. Title Search and Inspection Period:

  • The buyer typically has a specified period to conduct inspections and investigate the property’s title.
  • Issues discovered during this phase may lead to negotiations or, in some cases, contract cancellations.

3. Loan Approval:

  • If the buyer is financing the purchase, this stage involves the lender’s approval process.
  • The lender may request additional documents and information from both parties.

4. Property Appraisal:

  • An appraisal is conducted to determine the property’s fair market value, ensuring it aligns with the agreed-upon purchase price.

5. Contingency Removal:

  • Once inspections, appraisals, and other contingencies are satisfied, the buyer removes these contingencies.
  • At this point, the transaction becomes more binding, and the earnest money deposit may become non-refundable.

6. Closing Documents:

  • The escrow officer prepares the necessary documents, including the deed, mortgage, and other legal paperwork.
  • Both parties review and sign the documents, and the buyer provides the funds required to complete the purchase.

7. Funding and Recording:

  • The buyer’s funds are deposited into the escrow account.
  • The escrow officer coordinates with the title company to ensure the deed is recorded with the appropriate county office.

8. Distribution of Funds:

  • Once all conditions are met, the escrow officer disburses funds to the seller, real estate agents, and any other relevant parties.
  • The transaction is officially closed, and the property ownership is transferred to the buyer.

>> A Comprehensive Guide to the Escrow Process

How Listed Simply Streamlines The Process

Listed Simply is here to make your FSBO experience even smoother. For a flat fee of just $79, Listed Simply provides you with a comprehensive set of tools and resources to sell your home independently. There are zero listing commissions, so you can keep more of the sale price in your pocket.

Listed Simply offers:

In addition to listing on the MLS, Listed Simply will feature your home on over 100 consumer sites to increase exposure. Listing your home with Listed Simply can save you both time and money, while ensuring your home is seen by a wide audience.

Conclusion

Selling your home For Sale By Owner in Montana is a smart financial move, offering you greater control over the process and substantial savings on real estate agent commissions. With the help of Listed Simply, you can save thousands and make your FSBO journey even more streamlined, thanks to a flat fee of $79 and 0% in listing commissions. Get started today and sell your home faster with Listed Simply.

  • About Listed Simply

    Listed Simply has been helping homeowners sell their homes for a flat fee since 2013. From do it your self options to full agent support, we're here to help you save during the sale of your home.

  • Want To Sell, But Don’t Know Where To Start? Download Our Free Book

    No talking to anyone, just get the book...

  • Sell Your Home For a Flat Fee, No Commissions, No Hidden Fees.

  • List On The MLS For Only $149.

  • Recent Posts