Review of Darby, Montana


Over Inflated Prices
Star Rating - 11/14/2007
I have been looking for property in Darby Montana and the entire Bitteroot Valley since March of 2005. It appears that the Realtors and potential sellers have an over inflated sense of worth. While the rest of the country is experiencing a real estate crash, Darby is purportedly seeing 25 to 50% increases in property worth.

In FY 2002/2003 for example: 40 acres with a 3,500 square foot home sold for $475,000. In 2005 5 acres and the home were split and went on the market for $475,000. The remaining 25 acres was held as future investment by the owners. The house and 5 acres was listed for $615,000. It sat for a year and a half, dropped to $550,000,then to $495,000 and finally to $475,000. During this time it was listed on at least three different MLS sites for 2 different prices. It was listed on a forclosure site for $419,000 while listed on the Bitteroot MLS for $475,000. It was listed on the Missoula MLS with aditional property available, though the split was already final and no additional property was actually available. It recently sold for somewhere near $450,000. Becasue the owners changed realtors and adjusted prices so often, the sale shows the avearage days on the market reflect less than 90 days. It shows a sale for 4% less than the asking price. In actuality it waa on the market for over 500 days and sold for almost 40% below the original asking price.

This is an example of what is going on all over the Bitteroot Valley. Don't be fooled. Ask your realtor for a listing history of any property you are looking at. Montana is a "non-disclosure state" so beware!!! What you will find is that sold prices have dropped by 4% this year (2007), and a total of 8% since 2005. Look at sold CMAs only. Most realtors in the area will give you listing prices as CMAs, and look 60 miles away for comparables that match thier asking price. Most listing prices have gone up each spring, only to sit on the market creating a false sence of upward adjustment in the area, and giving Realtors false CMAs to use as comparables.

The bottom line is that the market is being manipulated by the Ravalli County Association of Realtors.
Sanford | Healdsburg, CA
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1 Replies


This is nothing new, Realtors will try to get the most they can however they can, prices really need to drop to 2000 levels before we can see any sustainable rebound. A 39-42% drop from 2006-7 peak to trough according to NYU Prof. Roubini, can be expected. Read the book Collapse by Jared Diamond; He explains the water level and unsustainable conditions Bitteroot Valley part of Montana.
John | Anaheim, CA
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