Bozeman Real Estate Blog

Selling your home on your own?

Selling your home on your own?

We understand the reasons for trying to sell your home on your own, especially when it comes to the Bozeman real estate market.  It's easy to think that in a fast-moving market like Bozeman, all you have to do is put a sign in the yard and you'll have multiple offers by the end of the day.  Homeowners believe nobody can represent their home the way they can and are often worried about the costs of hiring a professional.  But, there are many factors to keep in mind when selling your home on your own, especially in Bozeman' real estate market.   

In Montana, sold prices of homes are not disclosed, making it difficult to accurately price your home.  With limited resources, it can be difficult to reach potential buyers without an up to date marketing plan.  There are piles of paperwork, scams to look out for and liability concerns. Most importantly, it takes time to sell a home. Rather than spending your nights and weekends scheduling showings, filling out paperwork or negotiating with buyers, your time should be spent doing what you love, and what you do best. Hiring a real estate professional means that you will spend less time, fewer resources, have less liability and can make more money on the sale of your home.


Montana is a non-disclosure state, which means that no one has access to the sold prices of a home other than members of the MLS. How can you set an appropriate price for your home when you have nothing to compare it with? Even in a competitive market like Bozeman, pricing is everything. If you list your home too high, buyers and agents will overlook your home and head to the more affordable option down the street. If you price to low, well, you are giving up money that could have been headed straight for your pocket.  


These days, reaching potential homebuyers takes a lot more than putting a sign in the yard. With 90% of homebuyers searching online during their house hunt, a Craigslist ad isn’t going to cut it. If display network advertising, pay-per-click campaigns, landing pages or content marketing make your head spin, then you may want to consider working with a company that can offer a strong marketing campaign to get your home in front of potential buyers.  For the past year, the average days on the market for homes listed in Bozeman was less than three months, which is a good indication of how strong the Bozeman real estate market is and why listing with a professional is helpful. 


Moving through a real estate transaction without a professional can be risky. Unfortunately, scams targeting for-sale-by-owners are widespread and often well thought-out. Selling a home on your own means you may come across fraudulent legal documents, buyer deposit scams or set-ups with the intention of stealing your personal information. If you market your home on your own, you will be especially at risk for scams meant to take advantage of people in your position. 


According to the National Association of Realtors, understanding paperwork is one of the most difficult tasks for homeowners.  Required paperwork in a real estate transaction varies state by state which makes it difficult to track the property disclosures, sales contracts, lead paint records and other forms required for a transaction. Sure, you may find many companies offering ready-made contracts, but can you be sure that you’ve covered all requirements for your state? And do you fully understand what all the contracts mean and what to transmit to lenders and title companies?  An agent can help you through the paperwork process smoothly. 


Everyone makes mistakes. But selling your home on your own means you are responsible for those mistakes, miscommunications or misunderstandings that occur in the course of your transaction. If you mistakenly misrepresent a feature of your home and the buyer later discovers it, chances are you will be liable for any and all costs involved.  While you may think working with an attorney is the solution, the truth is that while an attorney can close a real estate transaction, they typically don’t handle transaction navigation and are often more concerned with covering themselves than your best interest.


One of the greatest benefits of working with a REALTOR® is access to the Multiple Listing Service. This is where more than 1,000 real estate agents in the area find properties for their clients.  In the crowded Bozeman real estate market, finding buyers can be tricky and not having your home on the MLS system is essentially ignoring the 1,000 + agents who represent this areas’ active buyers for your home.

We are not here to convince you to work with an agent, but we do want you to be aware of the challenges of selling on your own in the Bozeman real estate market.  If you have any questions, please give us a call at 406.587.1717 or check out our team page to see if there is an agent that's right for you.  





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