Take the time to figure out what type of property you want to buy. From single-family and multi-family homes to condos and co-ops, there are many different options on the market and it’s important to choose the type that best fits your needs. Figuring out the town in Montana or neighborhood you want to live in is equally important. While a property might have all of the amenities you’re looking for, factors like crime rate and proximity to highways can impact the overall home-owning experience. A good idea is to list out and prioritize your needs (e.g. large backyard, great school system) before you begin your search.
The rule of thumb is that you should never spend more than 30% of your monthly income on a mortgage payment. An alternate rule states that you can afford to buy a property that runs about two-and-a-half times your annual salary. For a more tailored look at what you can afford, use an online mortgage calculator to see what your monthly mortgage payments would be if you bought a home today.
A few months before you start searching for a home, review your credit history and make sure it is in good standing. Get copies of your credit report, ensure that it’s accurate, and fix any issues you discover. It’s likely that you’ll also want to get pre-approved for a home loan, which will put you in a better position to make a serious offer once you find the right property. Pre-approval from a lender is based on your credit history, debt, and income.
Do your research! Your opening bid should be based on the sales trends of similar homes in the area. So before making your opening bid, get online and review the selling prices of comparable properties. If these properties sold for less than the current asking price of the home you’re looking at, you can feel comfortable make a bid that’s slightly lower than what the seller is asking.
Several factors go into determining your home’s market value in Montana. These include the condition of the property, square footage, location, amenities, as well as recent comparable property sales. For a snapshot of your Montana home’s current value, you can enter your address into a free online value estimator tool. Alternatively, you can look at a recent Montana property tax bill to get your home’s tax assessed value, which is a percentage of your home’s fair market value. If you know your state’s assessment rate (which is usually between 80 and 90 percent), you can estimate fair market value by dividing your tax assessed value by that assessment rate.
There are several simple, low-cost things you can do to boost the value of your home here in Montana. These include eliminating clutter, washing windows and walls, and installing higher wattage bulbs to create a brighter environment. Larger projects, like adding bedrooms and renovating kitchens and bathrooms, typically yield more substantial increases in sales price. Staging your home in Montana to showcase the Montana lifestyle, which helps paint a picture for how buyers will use their new space, can also add value.
The time your home here in Montana spends on the market depends on several factors, including location, how competitively your home is priced, and how aggressively your home is marketed. Statistics show that if a home is properly priced, an offer should come in within the first 12 showings. If you want to speed up the sales process, don’t underestimate the value of staging. Research shows that well-staged homes can sell up to 32 percent faster than homes that aren’t staged.
A real estate agent can help with all aspects of the selling process, from pricing to marketing to handling the intricacies of closing. An agent will negotiate on your behalf to secure the best price – and quickest sale – possible. Looking for an agent who can help guide you through the selling process? Feel free to contact us! We are here to help!
Have any questions about a specific property? Looking for advice on pricing your home? Need assistance in navigating the market trends? Whatever it may be, we are here to listen, understand, and assist you every step of the way.
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