Bozeman Montana Real Estate Information Archive


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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.


Bidding Wars on Listings: Make Your Phone Blow Up

by Tim Hart

Bidding wars is a phenomenon in real estate right now. As buyer demand rises and inventories shrink, sellers are reacting by trying to underprice their home just enough to spark a bidding war. In some of the markets, this technique is ‘paying’ off.

Douglas Rill, a broker with Century 21 America’s Choice in West Palm Beach, Fla., told the Sun Sentinel that a lender informed him to underprice a foreclosed home for $37,600. While the home had a leaky roof, among other problems, comparable sales in the neighborhood would have shown the home valued more at $50,000, Rill says.

Not all situations are like this though, and real estate agents are cautioning sellers to lessen the risk by pricing their home at the lower end of market value, but not to undersell themselves. This will prompt more buyer attention without ending in a loss.

If you are curious as to what your listing’s CMA, feel free to give me a call! 406.570.5730 or EMAIL ME

Source: “Multiple Offers Possible in Tight Housing Market, Experts Say,” Sun Sentinel (Aug. 23, 2012)


Tim Hart


At Home In Bozeman--Tim Hart


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. 

Buyer’s Language versus a Seller’s Language

by Tim Hart

When selling or looking to buy a listing, the verbiage used to describe the space matters. For example, if a seller tells the agent they love their home because

  • Seller’s Translation: It has been in the family for years. There are so many memories in every room.
  • Agent’s Translation: Comfortable living, well loved home. Ideal for raising a family.
  • Buyer’s Translation: Lots of room, but clearly well worn. Things probably need updated.

Words are important. There is no way to remedy these alterations in interpretation, but it is an agent’s responsibility to clarify as much as possible.

Photos, photos, photos. If the pictures online accurately represent the space, then the pre-conceived notions a possible buyer may have are clarified or debunked. Furthermore, instead of office assistant’s screening calls for possible showings, take the calls yourself in order to answer detailed questions on the listing. The selling starts at that moment.

Any other suggestions to help the language gap between buyers/sellers?

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Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4