Homeowner Resources

Emergency Preparedness


Where to Start When Purchasing a Home

Purchasing a house will probably be the largest single transaction you will ever make.

For some, the thought of buying your first home can be intimidating, if not down right scary. We've created a section for you with helpful tips and resources to help guide you through the home buying process.


Let's get started with the easiest question, what is a REALTOR® ?

REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics.


7 Reasons to Work With a REALTOR®

  1. Ethical treatmentEvery REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client.
  2. An expert guideBuying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
  3. Objective information and opinionsREALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORs® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought.
  4. Expanded search powerSometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A REALTOR® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market.
  5. Negotiation knowledgeThere are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase.
  6. Up-to-date experience. Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
  7. Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
Questions to Ask When Choosing a REALTOR®
  • How long have you been in real estate? You're looking for a seasoned agent and while they don't need decades of experience under their belt, less than a year or two of experience can be concerning.
  • How long have you lived in this area? One noteworthy exception to the previous question is if she's lived in the area for a long time. A newly licensed agent shouldn't be automatically removed from consideration. If they've lived in the area their entire life, they likely know more about it than an agent who has been in the business for years but only recently moved to the region.
  • Do you have a team, or do you work alone? Many standalone agents are excellent, but don't ignore the value of a team. 
  • What is your schedule? If they're not a full-time agent, you need to know when they'll be available. 
  • Do you have any vacations planned? If they're heading out of the city anytime soon, make sure they have a back-up in case you find the perfect home while they're out of the country. 


Additional Resources

A comprehensive list of resources for homeowners, homebuyers and renters in the state of Montana. Helping homeowners make smart decisions to maintain and enhance the value of their homes. A list of information on REALTORS® and homes in your buying area. Helpful for buyers and sellers.


Regional Associations in Montana

Billings Association of REALTORS® (BAR)

Bitterroot Valley Board of REALTORS® (BVBOR)

Gallatin Association of REALTORS® (GAR)

Great Falls Association of REALTORS® (GFAR)

Helena Association of REALTORS® (HAR)

Missoula Organization of REALTORS® (MOR)

Northwest MT Association of REALTORS® (NMAR)

Rocky Mountain Association of REALTORS® (RMAR)


Emergency Preparedness

Floods, earthquakes, wildfires, tornados and extreme weather can happen at any time. Depending where you live, its good to have a plan for any or multiple emergencies that could strike.


Below are some links to resources and ideas on how you can be prepared.

Wildfire Preparedness

Reduce Your Wildfire Risk

Disasters and Emergencies 


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