4 Tips to a Successful Real Estate Transaction

Home Inspections4 Tips to a Successful Real Estate Transaction. A home inspection is a necessity for any type of buyer, according to Big Sky Sotheby’s broker and Realtor® Cathy Gorman.

Gorman has been in the brokerage business since the early 1990s, and says that home inspections are a critical part of any successful real estate transaction. If you’re a potential buyer, here’s everything you need to know about having your property inspected.

#1 What’s a home inspection?
A home inspection is initiated and paid for by a buyer during their due diligence period to examine the physical status of the property. Some things inspectors look for are plain to see: cracked tiles, mold; an aging roof or water damage. But Gorman says a good home inspector will provide a thorough examination of many other aspects that might not be as obvious to a buyer or even an experienced Realtor®. These include things like turning on all the faucets, checking each and every outlet, and making sure the boiler is working, among many other things.

“It’s a tedious job that requires an eye for the details and a thoroughness,” says Gorman. In addition, a home inspector may be able to recognize details such as windows or wiring that is not up to code.

“If the piping to the sink is made out of something that is now considered noxious, I’m not going to know that – the seller might not even know that,” Gorman explains.

#2 Do you really need a home inspection?
“Any good realtor recommends a home inspection every single time, for every single condo or home that they sell,” says Gorman, who even recommends home inspections to those purchasing a newer property. “It’s a very inexpensive piece of insurance to give the buyer peace of mind.”

Gorman says having a property inspected is in the seller’s best interest, too, as it protects all parties from potential liability issues later on.

#3 How to find a professional
On average, a home inspection can run anywhere from $350-$500, says Gorman. At Big Sky Sotheby’s, realtors provide buyers with a list of certified home inspectors to choose from. Because a home inspection usually needs to happen pretty quickly to facilitate the closing process, Gorman says most buyers base their decision on availability and cost. Gorman also suggests buyers look for someone they personally connect with. It’s also not a bad idea to ask about their experience in general or with a certain type of property – older homes, for example – especially if the property you are having inspected is unique in some way.

#4 Other considerations
Although it is highly recommended that all buyers bring in a certified home inspector before closing on any property, Gorman says there’s an important caveat for those using this important service.

“Home inspectors are not builders. They don’t have a full understanding of the construction process. Sometimes they get things wrong,” says Gorman.

If a home inspector suspects something about the property is not up to code, for example, Gorman says she will always contact a builder or somebody with a higher level of expertise to confirm.

So although an inspector will do their best to “be the eyes and the ears of the buyer,” she says, “they’re not always right.”

Big Sky Sotheby’s Montana Featured Agent : Allison Gilley

Featured agent Allison GilleyTo say Allison Gilley is a people person would be an understatement. A highly experienced Broker with a love of the outdoors, Allison brings her enthusiasm, positive attitude, and a passion for personal connection to her work at Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty.

As an owner of a Century, 21 Inc. franchise, she has had experience working with sellers, buyers, and investors in residential, farm, ranch, commercial and vacant land sales. She also has expertise with property development, property care taking, and property management.

Allison began working with Sotheby’s after selling her own Century 21 franchise in 2008.“I met (owners) Tim and Cathy and just totally liked them right away,” says Allison, who explains that she felt they shared a similar philosophy. “And the Sotheby’s name, you can’t really beat that,” she adds.

Allison says she also appreciates that Sotheby’s reputation is consistent around the world. “I know that [a Sotheby’s] office is going to have the best listings and the best agents. It’s that name brand that just says “high quality.”

As an agent, Allison is a go-getter who believes that being active in the community and building relationships is a big part of what makes her successful. Among her favorite aphorisms are: “Work hard, play hard. Love where you live.” “Don’t sit in the office and wait for the phone to ring,” she adds.

What continues to excite you about working in real estate?
“I’ve always enjoyed helping people find their dream home in Montana,” says Allison, who has experience with first-time home buyers and “people who thought they could never afford a house.” She continues to see her work as helping others make their dreams come true.

Tell us about one of your areas of expertise?
“Negotiating, keeping everybody positive and marketing,” says Allison. “Making connections is probably my best quality.”

What community activities do you participate in?
Allison has been advocate for domestic and sexual violence, worked with American Cancer Society, volunteered with the food bank and the Boys & Girls Club as well as countless other organizations and events, and has served on numerous nonprofit boards. She is experienced with fundraising. “Cause I love people,” says Allison, adding, “My whole thing when I wake up every day, is just “make people smile.”

How did you get into teaching Zumba?
After she stopped touring with a belly dancing group in the Montana, Allison says she began to miss dance. True to her style, she did something about it – right away. “I took a Zumba class. By the end of the week I was teaching a class. I got certified the following week,” says Allison. “Zumba is all about giving back to the community.”

What advice would you give to today’s buyers?
“Find a realtor that you like working with and stick with them,” says Allison. “I still believe that the realtor has a place.” Allison explains that she sees buyers and sellers going about purchasing properties themselves, without the understanding that a minor oversight could have major consequences down the line. She says that working with a realtor gives a buyer access to exclusive properties, expertise, and an understanding of the process, plus the peace of mind that comes from having somebody who knows “how to ask the right questions” in your corner.

What does it mean that you’re a “proven negotiator?”
“I’m really good at figuring out how to make the deal work.”

What’s your favorite recreational activity?
“The reason I’m here is for skiing, that’s number one. Everything else is icing on the cake.”

How has your outlook on the profession changed?
“I still believe in the old-school method of writing a handwritten note, making the phone call,” says Allison, who places a high value on making personal connections and going the extra mile. “I still believe there’s a place for human interaction in this crazy world.”

Click to view Allison Gilley’s contact information.

Affordable Transportation to Big Sky Montana

Transportation from Bozeman to Big Sky

Need a lift with your bike or skis to Big Sky, Montana? Sit back and enjoy the ride with affordable transportation from Bozeman to Big Sky, Montana.

It’s a gorgeous ride through the canyon from Bozeman to Big Sky; but if you have to make the trip frequently, you don’t have reliable transportation, or you just don’t want to get behind the wheel on a wintry day – the Skyline Bus offers excellent and affordable options for both commuters and vacationers alike.

It’s a gorgeous ride through the canyon from Bozeman to Big Sky; but if you have to make the trip frequently, you don’t have reliable transportation, or you just don’t want to get behind the wheel on a wintry day – the Skyline Bus offers excellent and affordable options for both commuters and vacationers alike.

From Bozeman to Big Sky – and Back
The Link Express operates seven days a week during the summer and winter seasons, and makes multiple trips from Big Sky to Bozeman daily. Frequent travelers would be wise to Skyline Bus Passes, which is a screaming deal at three dollars per round-trip. Purchase the 10-ride-pass ($30) and get one free trip; or the 20 ride pass ($60) and get three free trips. There is also a 5 ride pass option for $15.

Even better, these multi-use bus passes are transferable, which means you are welcome to hand over your pass to a friend or family member for the day, or use one pass for two riders. Skyline Buses are equipped with bike and ski racks, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

An important note: Passes cannot be purchased from Skyline bus drivers, so plan ahead. If you forget to purchase a pass in advance, drivers will accept a cash fare of $5.

Bus passes are available from the following merchants in Bozeman and Big Sky:

Bob Ward & Sons, Chalet Sports, Gallatin Valley Mall office, Joe’s Parkway, Rosauers, Round House, Town & Country Foods (campus location), Exxon / Casey’s Corner, Big Sky Owner’s Association in Meadow Village; Big Sky Resort, Country Market in the Meadow Village Center; Hungry Moose Market & Deli; Moonlight Basin.

Getting around Big Sky
Once you get to Big Sky, service is free. The Canyon-Mountain route goes from the Rainbow Ranch to Moonlight Lodge, with multiple stops in-between. Buses operate seven days a week during the summer and winter seasons.

Off-season schedule
The off-season bus schedule is April 20-June 4 and Sept. 14-Nov. 22. Skyline Buses are not as active during these times; but the Link-Express still offers service Monday through Friday from Bozeman to Big Sky. Those needing service in the Big Sky area can schedule a free ride by calling 406-995-6287 in advance.

Summer schedule
Beginning June 5, The Link Express offers four trips to Big Sky daily; and the Canyon-Mountain bus resumes regular service around Big Sky. Big Sky local service is on-demand during unscheduled times or to non-scheduled locations is still available by reservation. Summer service ends Sept. 13. For Routes & Schedules Big Sky and downloadable maps, go to www.skylinebus.com.

Connecting routes
If you’re visiting Bozeman, the Skyline Bus connects with Bozeman’s free Streamline service at the Montana State University stop. The Streamline provides service all around Bozeman as well as to Livingston and Belgrade. Skyline also connects with Greyhound service in Belgrade.

Other options
If you prefer private service or need transportation to the Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport, Big Sky Taxi offers group and individual shuttle service by reservation. Big Sky Taxi can accommodate large and small groups and offers luxury service for the discriminating traveler. Private tours of Yellowstone are also available.

For an instant rate lookup, go to www.bigskytaxi.com. Karst Stage also offers daily shuttle service to and from the airport, as well as chartered van, bus and mini-bus service for groups of all sizes.