Now that we are approaching mid-August, it might be helpful to know how real estate in Missoula, Montana is moving, and how the Missoula real estate market is doing as a whole, from our perspective, anyway
Generally speaking, summer months are the busiest time of the year for Realtors, however, Missoula property sales have definitely been down this year. Land for sale in Missoula has been down even more than homes, but the higher priced homes have really taken a hit as well.
So, is our market pretty stagnant?
No, I wouldn’t say that the Missoula market is dead by any means, just challenging. On a brighter note, we recently listed a home on a Monday, and had an offer on it by Wednesday. Then after a few days of counter offers (which seems to be inevitable in this market) we had it under contract in less than a week. This is certainly not the normal occurrence in our market, but it does, we think, point out a few things:
1. It is important to price a house competitively at the time of listing. It does not have the same effect if you price it in the mid- to high- range of your competition, and then reduce. It is also important to keep a close eye on your neighborhood competition – you want to stay in a place with a competitive edge.
2. Condition and appeal is SO very important.
3. Each item on an offer (price, inspection, closing date, etc.) can be extremely important. We have seen it once this year where the price was agreed to, but a closing date could not be agreed to, and the Buyer moved on. There are too many Missoula real estate listings that are competing for the same Buyers.
4. Sellers really need to be very conscientious of odors in their home. Pet odors, smoke or musty odors can quickly turn a Buyer off, no matter how much they enjoy other parts of the home.
5. Sellers should make sure that all appliances (range, dishwasher, microwave, etc.), operating systems (furnaces, hot water heaters, etc.) and accessories (such as hot tubs) are in good working order prior to the home ever going on the market. In addition, consider purchasing a home warranty for these items. This will work as a bonus for the Buyer, but will also protect a Seller during the listing period for certain items. We recently had some Sellers who did this, and their hot water heater went out during the listing period. The home warranty company replaced the hot water heater, less the deductible of $60.
While there is certainly no magic formula to get a home sold, we do believe that the above-listed items are important to consider, as they are comments and situations that we have recently encountered in this market. While the terms of a sale have to make sense for both the Seller and the Buyer, it is definitely worth exploring all the options when an offer comes in, because nobody knows when the next interested Buyer might be coming along.