Billings Real Estate FAQs #1: How long does it take to close on a home?

It kinda depends on a couple of things. If cash, a closing can happen within 2 weeks. If losing lending, then it takes anywhere from 30-60 days depending the marketing and appraisal turn around times. Currently, its about 45 days.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #2 What is earnest money?

Earnest money is money paid to the title company along with your buy sell (offer) to show that you are interested and want the property in excrow and plan to buy it. This money can go toward your down payment or closing costs at the end.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #3 What is a Broker, realtor, real estate agent?

A Broker has reached the highest level in real estate and has more responsibilities as well as the ability to broker a company with other agents.

A Realtor means that they subscribe to the Realtor Association and the Code of Ethics. 

A Real Estate Agent means they have a license but are not apart of the Realtor Association and therefore no direct access to the MLS- Multiple Listing Service where all the homes are listed for sale.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #4

What is my first step in getting started to buy a home?

The first step is contacting us so we can teach you the 7 steps to home ownership. We also love to learn more about what you are wanting and desiring in a home so we can start monitoring the market. Then we will help you get in touch with a lender to see what you might be able to get qualified for. 

Billings Real Estate FAQs #5

Is there downpayment assistance in Billings, MT?

Yes, there are many options. We would love to go over them with you. Please reach out to us and we will inform you of the current options. Email [email protected]

Billings Real Estate FAQs #6

Is there crowdfunding but for home buyers?

YES! We are apart of an exciting program that allows you to crowdfund for your down payment assistance. Its passed all regulations and laws to make this available to everyone. To get started go to my page and click on start funding to get started today! We even help raise money for your down payment! Reach out and we will get your campaign popping!

Billings Real Estate FAQs #7 How does buying a foreclosure work in Billings?

There are a few ways to do it. Many times cash is king with that and the best deals are found at auction. But sometimes there are some on the MLS that you can get access to and view before buying. Usually they require conventional if not paying cash. If you are interested in wanting to find a flip or investment property, let us know! We would love to help you!

Billings Real Estate FAQs #8 

Who pays for the buyers representation during a transaction?

Great FAQ, when a home is purchased through an agent that is working with the MLS then this commission for the buyers agent is covered by the seller and this has already been negotiated with the seller by the sellers agent and it is recorded in the MLS. This is to protect all parties. Its so important to have your own representation and not just default with the sellers agent for representation as the buyer. Hard for an agent to have two masters. If you do allow this, you must trust the agent very much! This is called Dual Agency and is not legal in many states, but is still legal in Montana. But its important to know its not ideal for the clients but workable with high levels of trust! 

Billings Real Estate FAQs #9: How do I find out how much it costs to sell my home?

We can prepare a netsheet for you complimentary. Just contact us and ask for a NET SHEET and we would love to put one together for you! It covers the closing costs, title fees, agent fees, taxes, etc.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #10

How can I figure out how much my payment will be for a home I want to buy?

We can run some estimates for you. To get an even more specific number, the lender would run numbers for you for the specific home you are looking at.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #11  As a buyer, can I work with two or three agents at the same time?

If you have signed a contract with an agent for them to represent you then you only work with that one agent during the contract timeframe. If you dont have a contract you can select who you would like to work with. It is ideal to interview some agents then select one to work with. This way, you have someone working on your behalf and knows you and your situation. No reason to shift around, having many agents scheduling appointments for you.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #12 Do I need a preapproval in order to start looking at houses?

It is ideal. For many reasons. One, you don’t want to waste your time looking at homes to buy if you don’t even know your budget. Not only you wasting your time, but also the agent and the sellers. Its part of the job of the realtor/ broker/real estate agent to make sure you are qualified before looking at homes on the market. In some cases, it is fine to look at a couple while getting your financing in order. The second reason is that its hard emotionally if you fall in love with a house then find out you cant have it because of financing limitations. Its most efficient to have your financing and then start looking in person. It always an option to start watching the market with your agent or online before starting the process to get an idea what is available!

Billings Real Estate FAQs #13 Can I drive my own car around or do I drive with the agent?

Usually you will drive your own vehicle and meet at the scheduled showings to view the properties. If you do want to ride with the agent then that is something that you will need to ask the agent if they do offer that. With some of the liability issues some agents do not do that.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #14 What happens to my earnest money if I do not want to buy the house after the inspection?

If there is issues with the inspection and you need to back out, you will be entitled to receiving your earnest money back. There is some paperwork that has to be completed for the title company to release the money.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #15 Should I go to open houses?

Yes, you can go to open houses and see what is out there. If you are already working exclusively with an agent then you can certainly just let that agent know at the open house that you are already working with an agent and then you can direct any questions to your agent if needed.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #16
Should I go to open houses?

Yes you can go to open houses and see what is out there. If you are already working exclusively with an agent then you can certainly just let that agent know at the open house that you are already working with an agent and then you can direct any questions to your agent if needed.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #17 Are there tax write-offs for homeowners?

Yes there are tax deductions for homeowners. We would recommend that you talk to your accountant or bookkeeper about how this impacts you and it is important to keep all of your closing documents to be turned into your bookkeeper.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #18 Are there any zero down programs in Montana?

Yes there are some zero down programs in Montana some of them include roll development, VA loans for veterans, as well as some down payment assistance programs.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #19 Can I use the city of Billings down payment assistance funds to buy a multiplex?

No, you cannot. This program does not allow multiplexes to be purchased with down payment assistance.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #21 If I sell my home before 2 years what’s the implications?

If you sell your home before 2 years then there could be some additional taxes. It would be important to discuss this with your bookkeeper or accountant on how that works if you use any and all money from the sell for another home/ down payment.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #22 Can my payment change from month to month or year to year?

You are mortgage payment can fluctuate because of insurance and taxes but your principal and interest are fixed with the traditional 30 year fixed mortgage so those will not change.

Billings Real Estate FAQs #23 How long should I own a house before selling it ideally?
The general rule of thumb is to plan to stay there for at least five years. This way there is enough appreciation and equity that you will most likely not take a hit on the house. But I have helped many people sell within 2-3 years and still walked away with cash in hand or for the next house down payment. The only way to get a better idea is to contact us or use our feature on our website to get the value of your home going. Once we receive, we will run numbers for you asap!

Billings Real Estate FQA #24 Should I use my friend or family member for my real estate transaction?

Of course this is a personal choice. There are pros and cons to everything so lets look at those. Pros: You may feel comfortable with him or her. Maybe your family member is going to give you a better rate. Cons: Sometimes family members don’t get as good of service. The comfort allows them to slip up. They feel they already got your trust and approval so nothing to prove. At the end of the day, you have to decide what is best for you. I would recommend to interview three agents. Get a feel for them and how they operate. You want the best cause you deserve the best! Interview us! 

Billings Real Estate FQA #25 What happens if the appraisal comes in low?

If the appraisal comes in low and you are the seller, then you can hold to your asking price and see if the buyer will pay the difference in cash or you may have to go down to adjust for current market conditions based on the appraisal. It is hard to fight the appraiser after he or she has submitted the offer. 

If you are the buyer and the appraisal comes in then you can ask the seller to reduce to that amount. If you wont agree, then you can pay the difference in cash or walk away from the deal. 

Billings Real Estate FQA #26 What is the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP!) and how does billings real estate help it?

The YEP! organization is a 501 C 3 that was created in conjunction with Royal Realty to give back to the community. We love our community and want to see thriving families. We have a soft spot for our younger generation. We are grateful to offer local family friendly events as well as scholarship funds and an outreach program. Ever home we help with to get to the closing table helps to continue to fuel this small non profit ran by 100% volunteer efforts. Check out the website:

Billings Real Estate FAQ #27 Who is Serena Anderson and April Sanchez in the real estate community in Billings Mt?

Serena Anderson and April Sanchez cares about the experience and adding value to their clients throughout the process of buying or selling a home. They want to accommodate their clients the best they can to make the whole transaction as smooth as possible. Serena and her team want to succeed with you!
Every sell they make, a portion goes to the foundation, the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP!). This supports local youth and so many amazing events and outreach programs!

Billings Real Estate FAQ #28Serena Anderson Licensed in two states?

Yes, She is currently licensed (2019) In Nevada and In Montana.

Billings Real Estate FAQ #29 Does Royal Realty have a Snowbird Program?

Yes, Serena and her team has PRO agents ready to assist through the process of getting a second or third home in a warm climate.