Ooph, it’s difficult to shop for Big Sky real estate online, don’t you think? Everyone does it, though. I get it.
In many primary-residence markets, like Cincinnati or Seattle, shopping online is practical and effective. However, the challenges online buyers face in our market are irksome. Here are the reasons you can’t successfully peruse Big Sky real estate via the World Wide Web.
- Mapping. Since we don’t have mail delivery in Big Sky, our addresses oftentimes are not mapped to their accurate location. Condos are frequently entered into our MLS database with their old developer number, not its current street address. Some streets are new and don’t yet exist on Google or Bing maps. Thus, many of our listings appear to be located at the Conoco. Weird, I know. Furthermore, it’s next to impossible to determine a condo’s location within its association. Without knowing the subject property’s orientation, neighboring space, or viewshed, how can a buyer know which Hill Condo or Crail Ranch Townhome is best suited to their needs?
- Non-disclosure state. Montana law does not require that the purchase price of a property be publicly available. Meaning that you cannot research the current market value or what a seller originally paid, in our great state. This means Zestimates are meaningless in Montana. Only your local broker can advise you; the all-knowing internet cannot.
- Details: HOA dues, taxes, and utility costs cannot be found online, creating occasional frustration for buyers. Since most of the properties in Big Sky are condos — they’re popular due to their easy maintenance, shared amenities, and clustered cozy feel — these fees are critical in the affordability equation. For example, do you know that Hidden Village condos have some of the highest HOA fees but they don’t have assessments? Did you know that some HOAs charge transfer fees at the time of purchase?
For these reasons, a buyer is well-advised to buddy up with a licensed, local agent from the get-go. It doesn’t cost anything to work with a buyer’s representative, but it does cost a lot to search online yourself.