Julie Fillingham

Broker Associate

RE/MAX Gold Country

1659 North First Street, Suite 17

Hamilton, MT  59840

406-880-8734  Cell

406-363-5750  Office



When selling your home, there are no guarantees that a buyer will simply walk through the front door the day after you list your home. There are steps that you need to take so that your property receives maximum exposure to attract a ready, willing and able buyer.


1.     A key factor is positioning your home with the best possible price.   Setting a fair asking price from the start will generate the most activity from other real estate agents and buyers.  You will need to take into account the condition of your home, what comparable homes in your neighborhood are selling for, and state of the overall market in your area.  It's often difficult to remain unbiased when putting a price on your home, so your real estate agent's expertise is invaluable at this step. Our job as real estate agents is knowing what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood and the average time those homes are sitting on the market.  If you want a truly objective opinion about the price of your home, you could have an appraisal done.  This typically costs a few hundred dollars.  Remember: You're always better off setting a fair market value price than setting your price too high.  Studies show that homes priced higher than 3 percent of their market value take longer to sell.  If your home sits on the market for too long, potential buyers may think there is something wrong with the property, you face possible further declining value and losing buyers that move on to another property with a better asking price.  Often, when this happens, the seller has to drop the price below market value to compete with newer, reasonably priced listings.


2.    Prepare your home.  Most of us don't keep our homes in "showroom" condition, especially with the busy life many of us lead.  We tend to overlook piles of boxes in the garage, broken porch lights, and doors or windows that stick.  It's time to break out of that owner's mindset and get your house in tip-top shape.  The condition of your home will affect how quickly it sells and the price the buyer is willing to offer.  First impressions are the most important.  As your real estate agent  I can help you take a fresh look at your home and suggest ways to stage it and make it more appealing to buyers.  A home with too much "personality" is harder to sell.   Make minor repairs and replacements.  Small defects, such as a leaky faucet, a torn screen or a worn doormat, are simple fixes.  Clutter is a big no-no when showing your home to potential buyers.  Make sure you cleared all your bathroom and kitchen counters to make every area seem as spacious as possible.  Neutral paint colors are always recommended.  I recommend staying away from overwhelming colors that may not appeal to all buyers.  Paint is a cheap fix and can go a long way in your homes appeal to a buyer.


3.    Get the word out. Now that you're ready to sell, I will help you to set up a marketing strategy specifically for your home.  I utilize many tools in getting your home the visibility it deserves, including vast Internet coverage, a well recognized  yard sign,  two MLS systems in which your home will be listed, agent-to-agent referrals, local and national advertising amongst some of the most recognized web-sites.  RE/MAX is world wide which means your listing is available to people around the globe.


4.     When you receive a written offer from a potential buyer, I  will first find out whether or not the individual is prequalified or preapproved to buy your home.  If so then we will review the proposed contract, taking care to understand what is required of both parties to execute the transaction.  The contract, though not limited to this list, should include the following:   Legal description of the property, offering price, down payment, whether it will be purchased using financing or cash, list of fees and who will pay them, deposit and earnest money amount, inspection contingencies and any repair allowances, method of conveying the title, appliances and furnishings that will stay with the home, closing date and any other contingencies.   At this point, you have three options: accept the contract as is, accept it with changes (a counteroffer), or reject it. Remember: Once both parties have signed a written offer, the document becomes legally binding. If you have any questions or concerns, be certain to address them prior to signing any acceptance.


5.    Most offers to purchase your home will require some negotiating to come to a win-win agreement.  As your real estate agent I will protect your best interest throughout the bargaining.   As your agent I  know  what each contract clause means, what you will net from the sale and what areas are easiest to negotiate. Some negotiable items include: * Price * Financing * Closing costs * Repairs * Appliances and fixtures * Landscaping * Painting * Move-in date and *Closing date.


6.    Preparing to close.  Once you accept an offer to sell your house, you will need to make a list of all the things you and your buyer must do before closing.  The property may need to be formally appraised, surveyed, inspected or repaired.   As your agent I will oversee  the effort and serve as your advocate when dealing with the buyer's agent and service providers.  Depending on the written contract, you may pay for all, some or none of these items.  If each procedure returns acceptable results as defined by the contract, then the sale may continue.  If there are problems with the home, the terms set forth in the contract will dictate your next step.   You or the buyer may decide to walk away, open a new round of negotiations or proceed to closing.  Important reminder:  A few days before the closing, we will want to contact the entity that is closing the transaction and make sure the necessary documents will be ready to sign on the appropriate date, review  the closing statement and remember to take your photo ID to closing.  Make sure you have begun your move preparations and you have all of your help scheduled.


7.    Close the deal. "Closing" refers to the meeting where ownership of the property is legally transferred to the buyer.  As your agent  I will guide you through the process and make sure everything goes according to plan.  By being present during the closing I am able to mediate any last-minute issues that may arise.  When began this journey together and we will finish it together.  After the closing, you should make a "to do" list for turning the property over to the new owners.  Here is a checklist to get you started. * Cancel electricity, gas, lawn care, cable and other routine services. * If the new owner is retaining any of the services, change the name on the account. * Gather owner's manuals and warranties for all conveying appliances.  The day you have waited for…collect your check and hand over the keys.