Purchasing Your Dream Home

Make sure you choose a REALTOR® who will provide top-notch service and meet your unique needs.

  • How long have you been in real estate sales?  Sarah and Lisa have a combined 26 years in the Real Estate Industry.  Sarah has been in real estate since 1994 and Lisa since 2004.
     
  • Is Real Estate Sales your full time job?  Yes.  Our office is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.  We are also available evenings and weekends by appointment. 
     
  • Do you have special training? Realtors can take additional educational courses that will benefit you.  Both Sarah and Lisa are REALTOR® Certified Home Marketing Specialists.  They have taken professional courses in Finance, Real Estate Transactions, Fair Housing, Brokerage Relationships, Real Estate Regulations, Farm and Ranch Sales, Commercial Sales, Home Staging, Marketing, Technology, Environmental Hazards, Ethics and Professional Standards.
     
  • What’s your business philosophy?  What an important question. We are a very committed team of individuals who strive to provide exceptional customer service to our clients and customers.  We take what we do very seriously.  We help people through what is often a very stressful season of their lives.  Your relationship with your REALTOR® is one of trust, and we know trust must be earned and maintained.  We deeply respect our clients, and we sincerely put their best interest ahead of our own.  Regardless of which party to a transaction we represent, we will be fair and honest with all in the spirit of the Golden Rule.
     
  • What is your company’s policy on representation?  (See additional page on Seller & Buyer Agency)
     
  • How many homes did your real estate brokerage sell over the last 5 years?  Our combined total of 247 sales averages 49 transactions annually.
     
  • How will you keep me informed about the progress of my transaction?  How frequently? This is your decision.  Do you want updates weekly or do you prefer not to be bothered unless there’s a hot prospect?  We customize our service to you based on your wishes.  Tell your agent how often and how you prefer to be contacted (by phone, e-mail, etc.)
  • Stability- Remaining in one area for several years gives you a chance to participate in community activities, lets you and your family establish lasting friendships, and offer children the benefit of educational continuity.

  • Freedom- The home is yours. You can decorate any way you want and be able to benefit from your investment of time and money for as long as you own the home.

  • Predictability- Unlike rent, your mortgage payments don’t go up over the years so your housing costs may actually decline as you own the home longer. However, keep in mind that property taxes and insurance costs will rise.

 

  • Savings- Building equity in your home is a ready-made savings plan. And when you sell you can generally take up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples) as gain without owing any federal income tax.

 

  • Equity- Money paid for rent is money you will never see again, but mortgage payments let you build equity in your home.

 

  • Gains- On average, the value of a home doubles every 10 years. Real estate is appreciating approximately 3-5% per year here in the Lovell area.

  • Tax Breaks- The U.S Tax Code allows you to deduct the interest you pay on your mortgage, property taxes you pay, and some of the costs involved in buying your home. Please consult your professional for specifics.

 

Johnson Home and Land agents work as a seller’s agent and with the buyer as a customer on transactions where we are the listing agent.    This means that if the house you are interested in is listed through our agency we can still help you buy the home without any conflict of interest.  This is a typical “in house” transaction. 

As a seller’s agent working with the buyer as a customer –

We will:

  • Be completely fair and honest with the buyer
  • Assist the buyer throughout the entire buying process
  • Provide market data regarding recent sold properties
  • Educate the buyer about current and historical real estate market patterns
  • Prepare the purchase offer and all necessary disclosures
  • Exercise skill and care throughout the process
  • Perform the terms of written agreement between buyer and seller
  • Present all offers and counter offers
  • Account for buyer’s earnest money
  • Disclose any and all known defects about the property
  • Disclose all material matters regarding the property
  • Keep the buyer fully informed regarding the transaction
     

We Can Not:

  • Tell the buyer how much to offer or counter offer
  • Tell the buyer what the seller’s bottom line is
  • Disclose any personal information about the seller
  • Advocate and/or negotiate on buyers behalf

In situations where we are not the listing agent we can work with you as your buyer’s agent.  In this situation we will do all of the things listed previously for customers as well as advocate and negotiate on your behalf.   The following document gives further information about all of the agency/representation options available in Wyoming.

  • Siding: Look for dents or buckling.

 

  • Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage.

 

  • Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks.

 

  • Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate.
     
  • Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weather stripping.

 

  • Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts.
     
  • Ceilings, walls, and moldings: Look for loose pieces, drywall that is pulling away.

 

  • Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot.
     
  • Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/ Circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room.
     
  • Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation.
     
  • Water heater: Look for age, size adequate for house. Speed of recovery, energy rating.
     
  • Furnace/ Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating; Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs.
     
  • Garage: Look for exterior in good repair condition of floor— cracks, stains, etc; condition of door mechanism.

 

  • Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell.
     
  • Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof.
     
  • Septic Tanks( if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family.
     
  • Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains.

Johnson Home and Land offers buyers and sellers a home warranty program through HMS Home Warranty.  This coverage is optional and can cover the seller during the listing period and the buyer for one year after closing.  Some of the covered items include appliances, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling.  For more information about the options available to you please contact Sarah or Lisa.  We will talk to you about the specifics, deductibles etc.  Let us help you decide if an HMS Home Warranty is right for you.

  1. Look for exclusions to coverage. For example, most insurance policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage as a standard item. These coverage’s must be bought separately.

 

  1. Look for dollar limitations on claims. Even if you are covered for a risk, there may be a limit on how much the insurer will pay. For example, many policies limit the amount paid on stolen jewelry unless items are insured separately.
     
  2. Understand replacement cost. If your home is destroyed you’ll receive money to replace it only to the maximum of your coverage, so be sure your insurance is sufficient. This means that if your home is insured for $150,000 and it costs $180,000 to replace it, you’ll only receive $150,000.

 

  1. Understand actual cash value. If you choose not to replace your home when it’s destroyed, you’ll receive replacement cost, less depreciation. This is called actual cash value.

 

  1. Understand liability. Generally your homeowners insurance covers you for accidents that happen to other people on your property, including medical care, court costs, and awards by the court. However, there is usually an upper limit to the amount of coverage provided. Be sure that its sufficient if you have significant assets.
  • It protects the ownership right to the property both from fraudulent claims against ownership and from mistakes made in earlier sales, such as a mistake in the spelling of a person’s name or an inaccurate description of the property.

 

  • Title insurance is a one-time cost usually based on the price of the property.

 

  • It’s usually paid for by the sellers

 

  • There are both lender title policies, which protect the lender, and owner title policies, which protect the new buyer/ owner. The lender will probably require a lender policy.

 

  • Discounts on premiums are sometimes available if the home has been bought within only a few years since not as much work is required to check the title.

These are title companies operating in Big Horn County.

If you have a preference please indicate which title company you prefer.

Bighorn County Title Co.

1040 N. 6th Street

Greybull, WY 82426

 

Bitter Creek Title Co.

101 Ln 9

Powell, WY 82435

County Title Agency

 

417 West C Street

Basin, WY 82410

  • Your Closing Statement- The Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act (RESPA) statement. This form is sometimes referred to as HUD 1. It itemizes all the cost associated with the closing. You may need this for income tax purposes and when you sell your home.

 

  • The Deed- then deed is the document that transfers title of the property from you to the new owner. It will be recorded at the courthouse as well.

 

  • Affidavits- Any document swearing to various statements by either party are good to keep.

 

  • You Real Estate Contract and Addendums- It is wise to hang on to this in case you need to reference it again in the future. We will keep a copy of this document as well for at least seven years after the transaction closes.

 

  • Insurance Policies- They provide a record and proof of your coverage and applicable dates

 

  • Tax agreement- In Wyoming taxes are paid in arrears, meaning they are paid after the tax year is almost complete. When your tax notices come out in the fall they are for that years taxes. The tax notice will always go to the person who was the owner of record on January 1 of that year. Because of this, sellers often get the tax notice on properties they no longer own and do not owe taxes on.

 

If you have not received a tax notice by October 1, please contact the County Treasurer’s office and have a duplicate sent to you.