Selling your home without a realtor means you won’t have to pay a listing commission, which in Montana averages 2.7% of the sale price. Considering a typical Montana house is worth about $431,000, that’s a savings of $11,551.
However, trying to sell a home For Sale by Owner (FSBO) can be tough. It will cost you a lot of time and energy.
In the end, selling a house without a real estate agent isn’t worth it for most homeowners in Montana. Especially considering there are low commission real estate companies that offer professional assistance for a lower cost.
If you’re considering FSBO in Montana, read on to find out everything you need to know to do it successfully.
✍️ Key Takeaways of FSBO Sales
- Selling without a real estate agent means avoiding a listing commission (2.7% on average in Montana). But in exchange for those savings, you’ll have to do everything from advertising your home to negotiating the final deal.
- In most cases, you’ll still need to offer a buyer’s agent commission. 2.7% is typical in Montana.
- Selling without an agent is best for experienced sellers or people selling to family or friends.
- For most sellers, there are better cost-saving options that will net you more money and provide professional support.
Should I sell my house without a realtor?
Selling a house for sale by owner in Montana comes with many pros and cons. While it’s not recommended for everyone, FSBO can help experienced home sellers save on commission—but only if they know what they’re doing.
✅Selling your home without a realtor might be right for you if…
- You want to save on commission
- You have plenty of time to take on the responsibilities of a real estate agent
- You already have a buyer lined up
- You’re in a hot seller’s market and you have a desirable home
🚫 Selling without a realtor might not be right for you if…
- You don’t have a lot of free time
- You’ve never sold a home in Montana
- You want to sell for market value – or higher
If you’re still not sure, check out our thorough guide to selling FSBO to help you decide. If you’re open to other options, some low-commission real estate companies, like Clever Real Estate, allow you to work with a top local real estate agent at half the typical cost.
Cost of selling a house without a realtor in Montana
Below, you’ll find a list of prices for common services you might want to consider if you decide to sell without a realtor. However, know that if your home is in need of repairs or is in a buyer’s market, you might need to spend a lot more to prep and market your property.
💸 Common costs for FSBO sellers
|Appraisal||$315 to $420||To price your home more accurately|
|Photography||$194||To compete with homes listed by agents|
|Staging||$1,529||To stand out to local buyers|
|Real estate attorney||$204 to $359 per hour||To assist with paperwork, contracts, and legal requirements|
|Flat fee MLS listing||$300 to $500||To get listed on the MLS|
|Buyer’s agent commission||2.7% of sale price||To compensate the agent that represents the buyer (it’s customary for the seller to pay)|
Overall, on average, it costs 7.5% of the home price to sell by owner and about 10% of the home price to sell with a real estate agent. However, the amount you’ll actually save will depend on repairs you need to make, concessions, and other expenses.
Use our calculator to get an idea of how much you can expect to spend if you sell without a realtor.
If you’re considering selling without a realtor in Montana, check out our friends at Clever Real Estate. Clever eliminates all the hassles and headaches of FSBO while helping you pay less than you would for a traditional realtor.
In Montana, sellers pay an average of 2.7% to a listing agent. Considering the median home value in Montana is $431,000, that amounts to $11,551. But with Clever, you can sell with a top local agent for just 1.5%, letting you keep more of your home’s equity in your pocket.
7 steps to sell a home in Montana without a realtor
Selling a home without a realtor involves many of the same steps as selling with one, except you’re on your own. To learn more about the basic steps to sell, read our simple, 12-step guide to selling a house.
For Montana FSBO sellers, here’s what you need to know.
1. Get your home ready to sell
Listing your home for sale by owner in Montana means you need to do all the prep work before listing your home. Common tasks for getting your house in shape to sell include:
- Painting the interior or exterior
- Improving the landscaping
- Deep cleaning and decluttering your home
- Updating old or rough-looking appliances
- Taking photos of your home (a professional photographer costs around $140)
- Staging the home for showings (professional staging costs around $1,529)
Savvy buyers will probably pay the most attention to bigger-ticket items like windows, heating and cooling units, and major appliances. If any of these are in severe disrepair, it may be worth updating or fixing those.
However, big-ticket items for buyers are big-ticket items for you too, so don’t spend thousands fixing up your home if you don’t have a good reason to think you’ll get it back when you sell.
If you have health-related concerns such as high levels of radon or mold, it’s a good idea to address those before listing.
If your home needs too much work to sell to a typical buyer, you might consider selling to a cash buyer. You can quickly compare cash buyer offers against your home’s value on the open market with Clever Offers. Try it for free with no obligation.
2. Price your home accurately
One of the biggest risks when listing a FSBO Montana home is mispricing it. Research suggests that FSBO homes sell for anywhere between 5-26% less than realtor-listed homes, which could cost you thousands, or even tens of thousands, of dollars.
Listing too high could result in your home spending a long time on the market, which generally requires lowering your price to continue attracting interested buyers. Underpricing, by contrast, just means even getting your asking price will result in a lower sale price than a realtor may have gotten you.
We recommend the following strategies to help you avoid this very costly error.
Get a comparative market analysis (CMA)
A comparative market analysis is a process of determining what similar homes are selling for in your area. Deciding which homes to include and how to adjust for differences in the homes is as much art as science, so it’s important you know what you’re doing and avoid personal bias.
People who sell with a realtor usually get their CMA done by their realtor, among other things, and it’s usually free of charge.
Hire an appraiser
You can also hire an appraiser to give you a professional opinion of the fair market value of your home. The average cost of an appraisal in Montana is between $300 to $435.
Although you might be tempted to skip this step and save money, having a professional who is familiar with home values in your area is well worth the cost. Spending a few hundred dollars for this expert opinion on pricing could save you tens of thousands on your sale proceeds.
3. List and market your home
Before you list your home, familiarize yourself with Montana’s regulations for real estate advertising. It’s extremely important to comply when marketing your home.
Next, expose your listing to as many potential buyers as possible. The best free options for FSBO sellers include:
- Facebook Marketplace
- Zillow or Trulia (in the FSBO section)
You can also use old-school advertising methods like putting a sign in the front yard, but the effectiveness of that strategy depends on the amount of traffic you get near your home — and there’s always word of mouth.
If you want maximum exposure, think about working with a Montana flat fee MLS company.
Montana flat fee MLS companies
Flat fee MLS companies allow you to get your listing on the MLS, which is the main directory for homes listed for sale by realtors, despite you not being a realtor yourself.
In Montana, this will cost you about $80 to $1,000. Our top picks for flat fee MLS companies in Montana are:
- Congress Realty: Best for a stress-free process
- Flat Fee Realty: Best for affordable pricing
- FSBO.com: Best for showcasing your home
Read our in-depth guide to Montana’s flat fee MLS companies to decide which one works best for you.
Requirements for Montana seller disclosures
Montana is a “buyer beware” state, which means Montana real estate laws don’t require you to disclose issues in the home to a potential buyer. This puts the responsibility on the buyer to conduct their own inspections to ensure there are no problems with the home they consider a deal breaker.
Although not required by law, it’s common for Montana FSBO sellers to provide disclosure forms to potential buyers. This helps avoid any surprises that may cause the deal to fall through later.
You can make these forms available by attaching them to your listing, emailing them to interested buyers, or bringing copies to showings and open houses.
4. Manage showings on your own
Scheduling showings can be difficult and time-consuming, so it’s imperative you have a system.
Free tools like Google Calendar are helpful for scheduling individual showings and keeping them organized, and a spreadsheet will allow you to track contact information of interested buyer’s agents.
If you’re using a flat fee MLS service, they may include showings or open houses for an additional fee.
Block showings near each other for convenience, but also to build a sense of competition between prospective buyers. Use a lockbox so that buyers and agents can enter on their own and view the home at their own pace.
Place helpful documents like flyers and disclosure forms in a conspicuous place like on the kitchen counter. Prepare to answer follow-up questions after showings.
5. Review and negotiate offers
Offers from interested buyers will typically come in the form of a buy-sell agreement. Read this over carefully and make sure you understand the implications and fine print before signing.
Be aware of any hurdles you need to clear for the deal to close, like contingencies in the offer. Often, buyers will make an offer contingent on an inspection coming back without any major issues and the property appraising at or above their offer. Appraisals are usually required for financed offers, though cash buyers can skip that step if they want.
You can always negotiate the contingencies, close date, and the repairs you’re willing to do. Check out our recommended negotiation strategies to get the best deal possible for yourself.
You’re not required to hire a real estate attorney to sell a home in Montana, but it might be a worthwhile expense for FSBO sellers, especially when it comes to reviewing contracts.
6. Allow the buyer to conduct due diligence
After the buy-sell agreement is signed by both parties and earnest money is paid, the due diligence period begins.
Depending what’s outlined in your agreement, the following steps may occur during this time:
During this period, you might need to negotiate again. For example, if your home appraises for less than the sale price and your contract includes an appraisal contingency, you may need to renegotiate. You could lower your sale price, offer other cost-saving incentives, or the buyer could pay out of pocket to cover the gap.
If you want to back out of a deal during any stage without a contingency in place, we recommend you talk to a real estate attorney.
If nothing occurs that requires renegotiation, or if you successfully renegotiate after a contingency clause applies, you can proceed to closing.
The closing date is identified in your signed purchase agreement, though it can be renegotiated if necessary.
In Montana, closing appointments are usually facilitated by a title company, but an attorney or real estate broker can also handle it. or real estate attorney. Closing appointments can be held with both parties present or separately. Either way, both the buyer and seller will receive a closing statement summarizing the details of the deal. Then, you’ll sign a lot of paperwork showing you are informed of all the legal aspects of the transaction.
Because Montana is a wet-funds state, the title company will deposit your sale proceeds on the day of closing.
For sale by owner paperwork in Montana
Here’s a list of the Montana paperwork you’ll need to sell your home without a realtor.
- Montana Owner’s Property Disclosure Statement (optional)
- Mold disclosure
- Lead-based paint disclosure form
- Buy-Sell Agreement
Not finding what you’re looking for? Check out our comprehensive list of paperwork for selling your house without a realtor.
Best alternative: work with a discount broker
For many people, trying to sell without an agent isn’t worth the hassle. If you think you’ll need some help along the way, a discount broker is a good alternative.
Discount brokers are full-service real estate agents who are willing to work for a reduced commission rate. Sellers can save thousands while still receiving assistance from an expert local agent.
For discount broker services, we highly recommend our friends at Clever! Clever pre-negotiates with top agents to offer you low commission rates without compromising on service quality.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a lawyer to sell my house in Montana?
It isn’t required to have a lawyer when selling real estate in Montana — but it can be worth your money to hire one anyway. There are a lot of legal documents to complete, and making a mistake in any of these will be costly and time-consuming to put right. Real estate attorneys will typically charge you around $300 an hour for their help. Learn more by chatting with an experienced real estate lawyer.
Is selling a house without a realtor worth it in Montana?
Selling FSBO in Montana will save you the 2.5-3% commission typically paid to realtors, but it means you’ll have to do most of the work alone. For instance, you have to comply with all legal requirements and schedule house viewings, both of which take a lot of time and effort to do. If you don’t have the time or experience, then it may be better to work with a realtor.
If you’d like some more advice about selling your home, here are a few great resources to check out:How realtor commissions work in Montana: Even if you decide to sell your house without an agent, it’s still a good idea to offer commission to the buyer’s agent. Learn how much realtors expect to earn and what you can do to make your listing more appealing to agents and their clients. Top We Buy Houses Companies in Montana REVEALED: If you need to sell your home in a hurry, a We Buy Houses company may purchase your house as-is for a reduced rate. Find out if this option could be the best option for you here!
How Much Does it Cost to Sell a House? True Costs Revealed: Wondering how much you’ll have to pay to sell your house? Check out this article to calculate your repair budget, closing fees, marketing expenses, and more.