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Making your home appeal to the female buyer!

iStock_000015581511LargeWomen play a big part in the home buying process whether they are single or married and while men tend to pay more attention to the space and dimensions women can be swayed by a home’s aesthetics or functionality.  Here are the top things that many women are looking for in a home, see how your home stacks up:

  1. Supersized closets – no woman out there really wants to cram all of her beautiful clothes into a shoebox sized closed, you could spend your whole life ironing out the wrinkles!
  2. Jetted bath tubs – Although this may be a bit stereotypical there’s very little in the world more relaxing that a jetted tub after a long week of 8-5’s.
  3. Big, open kitchens that include space for dining, entertaining, doing homework, and socializing – the kitchen has always been the center of any home so make sure it’s got everything your family wants and needs for space.
  4. Comfortable spaces for socializing, such as a kitchen island or comfortable den – when the dishes are done and it’s time to relax or even entertain a group of your friends be sure that they have a comfortable place to sit that fits your needs from conversation areas to a media area for watching those great movies together.
  5. Low maintenance, such as easy to maintain landscaping and a home that is new or recently renovated – there are some people out there who would rather spend all their time landscaping or renovating some part of the home but don’t count on them being your buyer, make sure things are easy to take care of for all your buyers.


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Tax Season ends April 15th, right? No Way!

sentence-tax-day-written-cover-dossier-29938593Remember your property tax due date is coming right up!  Some savvy real estate investors find opportunity in missed tax payments, so be watchful:

Real Estate Taxes – November 30th and May 31st

Mobile Home Taxes – May 31st and November 30th

Flathead County Treasurer is responsible for  Billing  Collection and Reconciliation.

Montana Dept. of Revenue is responsible for:   Valuation and Taxation

Interest of 5/6 of 1% per month plus 2% penalty must accompany delinquent taxes paid after due dates.  This amount must be obtained by contacting the Treasurer’s office PRIOR to payment.
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What’s Happening Now in the Flathead Valley Real Estate Market

As we track the activity in the local real estate market to stay current on what’s happening with prices and sales in general, we try to present them in a readable format for our customers and clients.  These facts and figures should be helpful to you in making informed decisions about finding the real estate solutions you need.  Clearly the number of sales are on the rise, which is generally considered to be a leading indicator and is almost always followed by a rise in prices of individual homes.  Good news!  As the available inventory continues to shrink, Buyers will have fewer and fewer homes to chose from and find that they are competing with other Buyers for remaining quality homes that are priced consistent with current market conditions.  For additional information about specific properties, contact me.

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You painted it WHAT COLOR!?!

1063592_58027857It’s been known for years that colors invoke emotions, and according to Realtor Magazine, they’ve decided what the worst colors are to use in a home…For example Emerald is the color of 2013…but there are so many shades….it could be a trap you could pay for!

For example did you know it’s been proven that babies cry more in yellow rooms!  I know, you wish I’d told you that years ago when your firstborn was in tears constantly.  How about yellow kitchens…yup you guessed it, there are more marital arguments in yellow kitchens!

Chocolate brown and Tiffany blue was a hit for years but now they’re a bit dated, but by adding a new color to the mix or even some metallics you can recover from what could be a color disaster!

And while you may like an all white kitchen because you feel it’s fresh and clean it’s getting overdone and growing very dull.  Add some spice with the color of your dishes or pull in a color from an adjacent space to help tie the room together.


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Is your home being stalked? Congratulations!

If your property is being stalked by potential buyers...that's great!

If your property is being stalked by potential buyers…that’s great!

Buyers are constantly out driving around looking at homes they know are for sale, day and night! There’s nothing to worry about, they’re just trying to evaluate the neighborhood, see how quiet it is or if there’s a lot of traffic.  But picture yourself in the buyers place for just a minute…you’ve been driving around looking at houses for weeks or even months, you’ve got it narrowed down to 3 all in the same area and all about the same asking price.  But on your way home from getting groceries after work you see that second house on your list lit up, the walkway has a soft glow, the decorative light is on out towards the curb and the lanterns on both sides of the front door are just screaming that this is the house for them, how could it not be!

This could be just the even that triggers a buyer to call for a showing and all because of how your home looked in the dark!  If you can get just that one little advantage over your selling competition you can really set yourself apart.

Want to know more about what you can do to help your home sell in the quickest time for the best price?  JUST ASK US!


Get Top Notch Curb Appeal!

What does this home say to buyers?

What does this home say to buyers?

The first thing any buyer sees can make or break any deal even if it’s priced right so check out these tips on ways to amp up your curb appeal!

The front door: make sure it’s solid, the paint isn’t chipped or falling off, if not try replacing it with a steel door to recoup up to 73% of the cost!

Windows: clean, clean, clean…nothing can make a home feel dingier than not being able to see outside through all the dog nose prints.  Then try dressing them up a bit with curtains or even shutters!

Front Porch: as the buyers are standing at your front porch they’ve already started evaluating your home and if it fits them.  Make your front porch a welcoming area and if you have room put out some nice chairs and a side table.

Driveway: is your driveway disgusting, covered with oil stains and pot holes?  Take a little time and a couple dollars and make sure it’s as clean as it can get and try patching those holes for a smooth entry.

To get more detailed information take a look at:


I wanted Buyers…not pests!

Who don't you want to find in your summer home?

Who don’t you want to find in your summer home?

Many home owners in the Flathead Valley aren’t here year round and choose to winter somewhere warmer.  But while you’re away you may be surprised to see you’ve been entertaining without knowing it.  There are many local pests that you should help ensure your property will be safe from and not just animals but the weather can take it’s toll on your property as well.  While your home may be left on the market during the winter be sure that if it’s showable that buyers wont be run off by the new racoon residents.  Here are some things you can do to help protect your property:

To fight rodents: Install weather stripping on all doors and windows; trim overgrown branches, plants, and bushes; advise clients not to leave dirty dishes in the sink or pet food out at night.

To fight local wildlife: Prevention Tips: Inspect crawl spaces; cover attic vents and fan openings with wire cloth; advise clients to use hard plastic or metal waste bins with tightly fitted, clamped lids.

To fight Insects: Seal all cracks and crevices with caulk; place screens over doors and windows; install door sweeps under all doors.


For more tips and tricks take a look at:


2013’s What trends are buyers looking for?

441471_92024536Buyers follow trends just like the fashion industry and you don’t want to get laughed at for wearing last years fashions so lets take a look at the hot trends for Buyers in 2013…

  1. Smarter, Less Costly Automated Controls, virtually everything in your home can be automated and many can even controlled with your smart phone!  Make a splash with buyers by having a home with all the “Bells and Whistles” they’re looking for.
  2. Bringing the outdoors in, while this is by no means a new trend it’s still holding strong. Outdoor living rooms and screened in porches are a great way to make any home feel bigger and more open, and with high-efficiency glass it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to heat during those cold winter nights either.
  3. Throw another shrimp on the…wait…that’s an entire outdoor kitchen!  What better way to get help from guys who love to BBQ by having a kitchen outside, more than just a BBQ you can include a cook-station, pizza oven, refrigerator and even a beer tap for entertaining!  What a great way to say “Lets Entertain” thank with these great setups!
  4. Media Frenzy, more and more families stay home rather than going on vacations any more so make that ‘staycation’ memorable with a media room or play room that has everything you need to have a great family staycation they’re not just for great multimedia equipment any more.
  5. Shades of….WHITE! Neutral walls can help buyers see themselves in the home better than strong colors but you can still make a room POP with other designer elements like pillows or artwork!
  6. Pull some Double-Duty, or at least let your furnishings pull some for you.  Use Ottomans for more than just kicking your feet up, they’re a great place to store games, blankets or anything you want to hide quickly.  Get a comfortable couch that folds out into a bed for guests or when someone’s in the doghouse.
  7. Lights…Camera…..More Lights!  Lighting can be important both inside and outside your home, having dark corners can make buyers feel uncomfortable about buying your home even when they don’t realize it themselves.  We’re not talking about getting high powered work lights from your garage, but keep in mind that they’re in your home to see everything, not feel their way around.
  8. Go Green, virtually anything for the home can be found “green” or eco-friendly so take a look and tout what you’ve got proudly!
  9. Add style to your kitchens and bathrooms!  There are many looks you can go for with your rooms but the “transitional look” ,between traditional and contemporary, has been very popular.  Try Cove molding rather than Crown molding, use dark stains or painted finishes rather than natural maple or cherry or even just a larger tile size can help you achieve great things in these rooms.


For more details check out Realtor Magazines article:


Make your first impression count!

Stand out in a crowd and make your first impression a good one.

Stand out in a crowd and make your first impression a good one.

Every year sellers hit the market wondering  how they can get the most out of their property while buyers are trying to find new ways to save money on their next big purchase…but the first step is to get your home all shined up.  You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, you’ve got to have curb appeal!  Now that means something very different to each buyer you will come to look at your home, I’ve had buyers who wanted a cute little place on Flathead Lake…to them curb appeal was a large and ornate iron gate on a private drive, however I’ve also had buyers want to be “out in the country” and to them curb appeal was anything above 5 acres that was fully treed.

Obviously that cute home in town isn’t going to catch the eye of the “country” buyer so be sure you’re hitting the right curb appeal for your area!

Realtor Magazine reports that “According to the 2013 Cost vs. Value Report, exterior replacement projects are among the most valuable home improvements that sellers can currently invest in, starting with the front door.”  A few years back you may remember that everyone was painting their front doors red because that was considered to be very welcoming and a simple and affordable improvement to make.


Check out these Midrange home improvement projects and how they rank!

Top 10 Midrange Projects

1. Entry Door Replacement (steel)
Job Cost: $1,137
Resale Value: $974
Cost Recouped: 85.6 percent

2. Deck Addition (wood)
Job Cost: $9,327
Resale Value: $7,213
Cost Recouped: 77.3 percent

3. Garage Door Replacement
Job Cost: $1,496
Resale Value: $1,132
Cost Recouped: 75.7 percent

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $18,527
Resale Value: $13,977
Cost Recouped: 75.4 percent

5. Window Replacement (wood)
Job Cost: $10,708
Resale Value: $7,852
Cost Recouped: 73.3 percent

(tie) 6. Attic Bedroom Addition
Job Cost: $47,919
Resale Value: $34,916
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

(tie) 6. Siding Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $11,192
Resale Value: $8,154
Cost Recouped: 72.9 percent

7. Window Replacement (vinyl)
Job Cost: $9,770
Resale Value: $6,961
Cost Recouped: 71.2 percent

8. Basement Remodel
Job Cost: $61,303
Resale Value: $43,095
Cost Recouped: 70.3 percent

9. Major Kitchen Remodel
Job Cost: $53,931
Resale Value: $37,139
Cost Recouped: 68.9 percent

10. Deck Addition (composite)
Job Cost: $15,084
Resale Value: $10,184
Cost Recouped: 67.5 percent



For more about home improvements for 2013 check out the full Realtor Magazine article at:


Foreclosures or Short Sales, what’s a better buy?

What's the best buy, Foreclosures or Short sales?

What’s the best buy, Foreclosures or Short sales?

Although every market is different, and even the specifics about what you’re looking for will vary for example a 3 bedroom 2 bath home in Bigfork will have different averages than a 6 bedroom 5 bath home on Flathead Lake…but according to the Realtor Magazine March 8 article, you may find better savings by choosing an REO because of it’s increasing inventory, shorter times to closing and deeper discounts!  For example check out the cities as reported by RealtyTrac:


  • Average REO sales price: $57,782
  • Percent below average non-distressed sales price: 56 %


Dayton, Ohio:

  • Average REO sales price: $50,579
  • Percent below average non-distressed sales price: 57%


Charlotte, N.C.:

  • Average REO sales price: $111,260
  • Percent below average non-distressed sales price: 43%


But what’s right for the Flathead Valley?  Or maybe you’re looking specifically for Bigfork?  Let us know what you’re looking for so we can pull up-to-the-minute stats so you know what’s going on here and now, not a thousand miles away 2 years ago!  Feel free to post it here or for more privacy feel free to email us here!


Click Here for more national stats or to read the full article from Realtor Magazine: