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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Property Taxes& How are they paid in Southwest Montana?

Gallatin County real property taxes are based on a calendar year beginning January 1 and ending December 31. Property taxes are collected in arrears. The tax statements are made available by the County Treasurer by November and are payable in two installments. The first installment is due no later than November 30, and delinquent as of December 1; and the second installment is due no later than May 31 of the following year and delinquent as of June 1 of that year. At the time of sale/purchase the taxes will be prorated on an estimate based on the best available information as of the date of closing and will be debited/credited on your settlement statement by the title company. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to obtain the tax statement from the County Treasurer’s office for the year the property is purchased. Sometimes due to timing of the transaction and mailing of statements, this can be missed. Up to date information about tax policies, due dates, and calculation methodologies can be found on these sites:

What is the income tax in Montana?

Montana has a progressive income tax system with seven income brackets ranging from 1.00% to 6.90%.All taxpayers in Montana are subject to the same brackets regardless of their filing status. No cities in the state levy local income taxes. There is no sales tax in the state, although some resort districts have a resort tax on certain items. For more information:

What is a CMA and Why Do I Need One?

CMA is real estate shorthand for “Comparative Market Analysis”. A CMA is a report prepared by a realtor that provides data comparing your property or a property of interest to similar properties in the marketplace.
If you are selling your property, the first thing a real estate agent will need to do to provide you with a CMA is to inspect your property. Generally, this inspection won’t be overly detailed, however the agent will need to be able to make an accurate assessment of a property’s condition and worth. If you plan to make changes before selling, inform the agent during your initial conversations.
The next step is for the agent to obtain data on comparable properties. This data is usually available through the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), but knowledgeable agents will also include other property information and relevant market data. This will give the agent an idea how much your property is worth in the current market, is a good assessment of what your property could potentially sell for, and informs the recommended pricing strategy for your property. Please note that the CMA is not an appraisal. An appraisal must be performed by a licensed appraiser.
CMAs are not only for prospective sellers. Buyers can also benefit from a CMA for properties they are seriously looking at to determine whether the asking price is a true reflection of the current market. Owners who are upgrading or remodeling can benefit from a CMA when it’s used to see if the intended changes will “over-improve” their property compared to others in the neighborhood.

Is a Property Inspection Worth the Cost?

Absolutely! For most people, a home or commercial real estate property is the largest investment they will ever make and evaluating and protecting that investment by spending a few hundred dollars is well worth it. An inspector checks the safety of the property. Inspectors focus especially on the structure, construction, and mechanical systems of the building and will provide you with a report of any repairs that need to be made, identifies items that may need further evaluation by licensed specialists (plumbing, electricians, etc.), suggests how to maintain the components of the property, and most importantly, will provide you with peace of mind. An inspection provides an assessment from an objective third party and can inform a budget for long term maintenance requirements to maintain the value of the property.

What does realtor representation cost me?

When you enlist a realtor to market your property for sale, it is customary to negotiate a sales commission with that broker/agent based on a number of factors. Generally, the Seller’s listing agreement provides for broker commission to be shared with both Buyer and Seller agents and that amount to cover this cost is included in the listing price of the property for sale. If a Buyer has a separate agreement for broker/agent services, typically that agreement will provide allowance for commission to be paid by the listing broker/agent when applicable. Having professional realtor representation provides an advantage to all real estate transactions as there are many scenarios where a realtor’s experience and expertise will guide you through to a successful closing.

Do I need to work with more than one agent?
Your agent choice should be based on experience, competency, work ethic, and communication. Finding a home takes collaboration with a professional you are comfortable with, have a genuine working relationship with and is someone you trust. It is usually counter-productive to work with various agents simultaneously, as none of them will be able to get the full picture of what your requirements and preferences are and you want the best outcome with your real estate transaction which requires full focus. While it makes sense to talk with a few agents before you select one, once you do it is important to be fully engaged with that realtor so you have continuity and consistency throughout the buying process. I work hard for my clients and am committed to their goals. I appreciate a committed client, who works exclusively with me through the buying process so I can better dial in property selections that meet their needs. My recommendation is to choose one agent early in the process that is the best fit for you.