Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Seller Disclosures: Protecting Yourself As You Sell

by Tim Hart

When a listing file gets turned into me here at the office I oftentimes do not have the seller’s disclosures tucked away neatly inside. In fact, the seller disclosures are the primary documentation I have to ask for from the sellers as soon as an offer comes in. Why do we give the seller so much extra time with these disclosures? Well, it is because the information disclosed within a seller’s disclosure is the primary way for a seller to communicate with a buyer about all the material information, home owner’s knowledge and details about the home that can only assist in the buyer’s decision to purchase.

The seller must sign many forms to officially initiate the process of a listing. On disclosures, the seller is attesting that all the information held within is accurate to the best of their knowledge. Disclose disclose disclose.

Lawsuits stemming from nondisclosure of a property's problems are becoming a bigger issue, according to respondents in the National Association of Realtors 2011 Legal Scan survey. Of the agents who responded, about 75% ranked this issue among their "top three current and future issues."

With every detail, a seller is protecting him/herself more and preventing future lawsuits that may be brought against them if a buyer retroactively finds defects in the home. That is why we give sellers weeks to hold onto their seller’s disclosures so have time to think of major and minor repairs alike, environmental hazards, defects etc. Being upfront about anything and everything is best. It provides a seller’s representing agent to have negotiation power and not be blindsided by something that comes up.

This is just one way to make the selling process more seamless for sellers. If you are interested in potentially selling in the Gallatin Valley, give me a call today (406) 570-5730 with any questions or inquires you may have.


Stalling Sellers May Miss The Boat

by Tim Hart

People, especially those who are thinking of selling, are eying the market with calculated hesitancy.  They are waiting to see by how much home prices will appreciate before they commit to the decision and plunging into the market for themselves.

Oddly enough, the time to decide may be based on when they purchased their home rather than watching the current market like a hawk. If your home was purchased during the sluggish market in the last few years, moving up in 2013 is their prime opportunity.

"Because they bought near the bottom, these home owners should have built up some good equity that can go toward the purchase of a new home, and waiting longer to build more equity likely won’t provide much advantage given that other homes that they might want to move up to will also be appreciating at roughly the same pace," Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, told HousingWire.

Home owners who wait much longer may miss their chance by being overly cautious. If you are looking to sell and then buy, waiting for prices to rise because there is no ultimate benefit. They will get more out of their home, but turn around and spend more too. In addition, the costs of financing your next home may increase in the months to come since mortgage rates are anticipated to rise from their current 3.5% to 4.4%... The time to sell may be now or else you may miss the boat...

Read more:

 “The Time to Sell Is a Waiting Game for Some,” HousingWire (March 21, 2013)

Home Owners Reluctant to Sell; Inventories Fall


Better Marketing: Better Listings: Better Business

by Tim Hart
  • Responsive Website(s): Having the contact information for not only the real estate office as a whole, but for each agent (with a bio on what they are a specialist in) is necessary for buyers, but it is just as important for selling agents. Finding the information to schedule a showing, provide feedback, and contact for interest. This may seem like a no brainer, but finding the contact information for agents is surprisingly difficult at times. In addition, having continuity throughout the office as to what to do when a call comes in for a listing maintains the professional, high priority and maximum attention to each potential lead that comes in. 
  • Traceable Traffic:  Knowing about the marketing tendencies of each listing individually is a key indicator of how to gage a ‘good listing.’ Knowing when the listing receives market rejection, a spike in views, and even plateaus are all valuable measurements to appropriately adjust the marketing strategies for a listing. Not all sites provide agents with this information let alone allow clients to see these trends.
  • Local Market Trends: Finally, taking the trends of the individual listings and being able to expand that understand to what it means within the market at a whole is a deeply detailed-focus analytic process that takes years within the Gallatin Valley Real Estate market to be able to understand and iterate to clients. The juxtaposition of giving credence to individual listings and understanding them in the market at large is what will really set an agent apart.



Nine Deadly Selling Sins

by Tim Hart


Fix your listings repairs that have been on the to-do list for ages. Money will be lost if major repairs are not remedied prior to going on the market.


“Clutter eats equity and kills deals?



There is a balance to clutter and vast emptiness. You do not want either. An empty house echoes, showing every flaw, and lacks the ‘homey’ vibe that can pull a buyer into an offer.


Overpricing is as detrimental as under pricing. The listing price an agent chooses is not arbitrary. The listing will get appraised and the price is required to align with its appraisal. A client’s gut feeling does matter, but comparables and the current market plays a larger role. Make sure your realtor explains this.


A listing is a showplace. Buyers purchase with their heads but get sold with their hearts. Amplify your listing by enhancing it with minor-to-major staging.


Remaining level headed through the entire selling process is a challenge. Maintain your status of upper hand by not allowing your ego to get in the way while negotiating. If your ego carries you away, what could have been a win-win could result in a win-lose with you on the wrong end.


Tell your agent everything upfront. Big money can be lost by not disclosing details. Your agent has your interest in mind and won’t share anything they feel is not necessary, but that is their call—not the clients.


Educate yourself on taxes regarding the selling of your listing. Taxes, deadlines, and the local real estate market are all things you should take the time to familiarize yourself with.


The value of an agent is priceless. They are your double check every step of the way through a transaction. Trying to sell your home on your own is sheer madness. If the stress doesn’t drive you crazy, the fact that for sale by owner deals result in a lower price point than if an individual had hired and paid an agent. 

Online Marketing: Raising The Bar

by Tim Hart

Online marketing is not only a budding industry, it is full out sprinting. Blogging, facebook pages, we have all heard it all, but what about keeping it traditional. Build a website specifically for a listing! This is a simple but brilliant way to link a site to all the other marketing you do on the listing and instead of taking you to a Trulia, Zillow, ect page set up for all your listings, this strategy is focused on one listing alone allowing it to shine in the spotlight. On this site I have included things from specific letters from the prior owner sharing why they had bought/built the home as well and specific neighborhood information.  What are your thoughts? 




How Low Will Mortgage Rates GO?

by Tim Hart

How Low Will Mortgage Rates GO?

This New Year may just be the one that you purchase your new home! If your resolutions are to buy, refinance, or explore your real estate options, the time is ideal. The Federal Reserve has committed to keep long-term interest rates low through next year. For nine weeks straight, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has been hovering or at 4%. These are record setting lows.

“Rates are very much at the bottom,” Mr. Nothaft said. But, he added, they may start inching up in the second half of the year. “If you’re planning to refinance, do it sooner rather than later.”

So just how long will these low mortgage rates last? Freddie Mac economists forecast that 30-year fixed-rate mortgages will slowly inch up 


to about 4.5% in 2012 and 5.4% by 2013. These rates are still low by historical standards. To demonstrate this, the same 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 16% in the early 80’s.

Many home buyers are not taking advantage of the low rates due to lenders tightening their underwriting standards for loans in reaction to the housing crisis. Buyers who have poor credit, low down payments, or unreliable employment are prevented from securing a loan at today’s low rates.

Let me and my team help you benefit from these low rates while they stay low. Call me at 406.570.5730 or email me for more Bozeman specific information.  

Source: “Low Mortgage Rates Likely to Continue Through 2012, Experts Say,” Los Angeles Times (Jan. 3, 2012)

New-Home Sales on the Rise!

by Tim Hart

Sales of newly built single-family homes have been showing signs of rebounding this September with a rise of 5.7%. (Commerce Department). The credit of this rise is given to builders who are lowering their prices as they are competing with the flood of ultra-low distressed home listings on the market. The median sales price of new-homes dropped 3.1% to $204,000—the lowest median since one year ago.

The greatest gains in new-home sales were in the South with sales increasing by 11.2% and 9.7% in the West. In contrast, the Mid-West dropped 12.2% and the Northeast dropped 4.2%.  

"Today's report highlights the gradual improvement in housing market conditions that is becoming evident in certain pockets of the country, as consumers who can surmount very restrictive lending standards to qualify for a favorable mortgage rate seize on this opportunity to buy," Bob Nielsen, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders, said in a statement. "The latest numbers also reveal that first-time buyers are driving the new-homes market right now, as evidenced by the volume of lower-priced, entry-level homes under contract.”

 If you are interested in what the statistics are in theBozeman, MT area, or you would like to be one of these sold/under contract listings, please email me or visit my site!


Source: “New Home Sales Jumped in September,” The Associated Press (Oct. 26, 2011) andNational Association of Home Builders 


Tim Hart


Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7