Why Buy With Us?
Teton Valley Realty offers knowledge, professionalism, and membership through various MLS systems to ensure your agent know about every property available that could potentially fit your needs. Our company does not charge Buyer transaction fees, and offers free services throughout the time you own your property. We are here to assist, before, during and after the sale.
Agency & Representation with Teton Valley Realty
A person working with a Real Estate agent can be represented in two basic ways by their agent. In Idaho, a buyer or seller is first represented as a “Customer”. According to the Idaho Agency Disclosure, (pdf download available below) “As a Customer, your brokerage will not act as your Agent and is not required to promote your best interests or keep your bargaining information confidential. If you use the services of a brokerage without a written agreement, you will remain a customer.” Now, this can apply to a Buyer OR a Seller. It is most common for a Buyer to remain as a customer, since a Seller usually will sign a listing agreement when listing their property. As you might guess, that agreement is called a “Seller Representation Agreement” which we will go over in another section. A seller CAN remain a customer if that Seller does not sign a Representation Agreement, instead only a “Compensation Agreement”.
Dual agency means that one agent can represent BOTH a Buyer, and a Seller. In WYOMING, this is not allowed. In order to for a Seller’s agent to represent a Buyer in the same brokerage, the Buyer, or Seller, must be “assigned” to another agent in that brokerage.
A loan pre-approval is an important aspect delivering a powerful offer, especially with string real estate markets in the Teton Valley and surrounding regions. This is especially true in Jackson Hole and Victor, ID where more than one offer is sometimes received by the seller (This is called multiple offers)
A loan approval is not provided by a Real Estate agent at Teton Valley Realty, rather a local (or National) lending institution. It is a simple document that can be prepared quickly – and it shows the Seller that you are not only serious, but able to complete the transaction.
Writing an Offer
Now that you understand Agency, have chosen an agent to work with, and know how you would like to be represented, it’s time to write an offer!
Most offers are written on a standard Purchase and Sale agreement. There are variations of the agreement for commercial real estate, investment real estate, residential, as well as forms specific to each state. Every offer is different, and the steps will vary depending on the type of property you are trying to purchase. We will review a few of the most common elements associated with writing an offer below. However, these will change depending on your specific situation. This is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a guide!
Earnest Money Deposit: Most sellers will ask for a cash (or other form of material) deposit to show good faith/intention that you are a serious Buyer. Usually, this deposit can be applied toward the purchase. Most of the time, you will need to accompany your offer with your Deposit.
Contingencies: Most real estate contracts carry a contingency, or are subject to another agreement. The most common example would be an inspection. “The home purchase is contingent on the Buyer’s inspection of the property” However, a number of other contingencies can apply, such as water right research, subject to another property selling first, and so on.
Timelines: Offers are also contingent on all of the events occurring within the strict time frames described in the contract. It’s very important that you discuss your own obligations and obligations with your agent while writing an offer with you agent. Common timelines include full loan approval, inspection period, closing date, and many others.
All of these highlights are wrapped into an agreement that is drafted by the state’s Real Estate Commission. Your agent is trained to understand these agreements, so it’s best to review them with your agent!
***Be sure to check out our Subdivision Map under “Community Information” for a comprehensive list of available documents for each subdivision throughout Teton Valley including Driggs, Victor, Tetonia & Alta, WY subdivisions.
Plats and CC&R’s (Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions) always seem to come up when buying a property that is within a development. Even outside a development, a plat can still exist to show the boundaries of a property, or the location of an easement. A plat is simply a A map of a town, section or subdivision indicating the location and boundaries of individual properties. A form of CC&R’s can exist outside a development or a subdivision as well, in the form of a deed restriction, which is simply a restriction attached to the deed.
Your agent will happily explain any appurtenant plat or CC&R document, though do understand that while your agent is trained to understand these, your agent probably can;t review these in their entirety. A title company can be a helpful research tool when searching for additional details.
Multiple List Service (MLS)
What is the MLS, what does it mean to me?
The MLS is short for “Multiple List Service”. Without going into too much detail, it’s an organization of Realtor’s listings, or offerings, with one goal that’s fairly unique to real estate: help me sell my inventory, and I’ll help you sell yours. The MLS is basically a database of listings available to participating brokers, and the public through those brokers. Several regions throughout the US make up some 800 databases. Teton Valley’s region is called the “Teton MLS” and covers Several Counties in WY & Teton County, ID. The coverage also merges into some surrounding counties. The “Wyoming MLS” to the East covers the majority of central Wyoming, and the “Snake River MLS” covers most of the rest of SE Idaho. So, how do websites like Trulia.com and Realtor.com work? Almost ALL real estate websites use a service that syndicates or sends the listing from each MLS to a central website. Even though the Teton MLS & Snake River MLS are totally different with completely different formats and operating systems, the data feeds to one website, then that site converts it to a user friendly interface. Ever inquire on a listing you see on Zillia, only to have the agent tell you it’s no longer available? Probably true, since it takes hours, even days for that data to show up correctly on these types of sites.
Now, back to what does that mean to me? Well, it means several things. Most importantly:
1. Agent Smith CAN sell you any listing in ANY MLS as long as she is licensed in that state. Do your agent a favor, if you are thinking of Buying or Selling, give them a call. If they can’t help because they aren’t a member of that MLS, or aren’t licensed in that state, they can probably refer an agent who is. Buyers should pick an agent they are comfortable working with, and stick with them through closing. Every now and again an agent might steer you toward their own listings, but it’s not common. For the most part, Agents are trained, and ethical professionals.
2. You might ask yourself: How can I avoid lag time between a new property getting listed, and that listing showing up on my favoritetruzillio.com site? Apart from having a conscientious agent that sends updates immediately, your best bet is to utilize an MLS BASED website with a direct feed to that particular system. For an example… this website!
Trying to figure out how property tax and levies are created can be daunting, even for a real estate agent! Property tax can be defined as the primary source of revenue for the local governments that serve and protect the community, such as school districts, ambulance, fire, and so on.
First, we should understand how your property values are assessed. Basically, the assessor’s office identifies and values all the taxable property in the county. They use recent sales data, estimated construction costs, and other data to estimate the value of each property. All valuations are monitored by the state tax commission to ensure accuracy and compliance with state laws. The letters that you receive asking about sale data after you purchase a property are used to help value your property. Note*** Idaho is a nondisclosure state, and you are not required to submit this document. Weigh the pros and cons of giving this information to the County.
Next, we need to understand how the levy (imposed tax) is calculated. This job is handled by the County Clerk. The simplest answer is the rate is calculated by dividing the amount of property tax needed by the total taxable value of all the properties. The long answer is not quite that simple, but it uses the same method. This method is used by 14 districts within the county that create their own budget, and calculate a tax rate for that specific district. District 1, the City of Driggs has a slightly different tax rate and budget than District 2, in the City of Victor. So, each district divides their budget by the taxable value of the properties within that district to come up with the tax rate for that district.
Now that we have the tax rate for your district, and your assessed value, all each district has to do is multiply the value of your property by the tax rate to come up with your property tax amount. So, this is the final step before you receive your bill. It’s important to understand that each budget is created at the end of the year, and therefore your taxes are assessed for the prior year. The taxes are paid in two halves for each year. The first half of each year becomes due December 20th and the second half of that year is due the following year on June 20th. State law limits budget increases as a whole (not on an individual basis) to 3%.
Understanding that this is a very brief description of how the system works, coming from someone who does not work for the County with only a limited understanding, there are a few other points to be made here. One question you might ask yourself is, how can I reduce the amount I pay in property taxes? There are a few things to keep your eye on. First, if the property is your primary residence, make sure that you have applied for the homeowners exemption. This must be filed with the assessor’s office by April 15th. Second, always review your annual assessment notice, and call the assessor’s office if things seem out of line. Idaho Code states that any claim for tax reduction shall be filed with the assessor’s office between January 1st and April 15th of each year.