For more than 12 years, I have been selling real estate in the type of place you might recognize from picture post cards. The Seeley Swan Valley has the "Big Four" of Natural Beauty - forest, lakes, rivers, and mountains - offering year-round recreational opportunities. Every year, thousands of tourists and part-time residents flock into the area to enjoy camping, fishing, canoeing, hiking, and skiing.
Discovered in 1861 by the Seeley brothers, the Seeley Swan Valley is about 55 miles northeast of Missoula, the second most populous city in Montana. It lies between the Swan and Mission Mountains and is dominated by small towns such as Seeley Lake, Condon, Ovando, and Potomac - all of which lie along State Route 83 that bisects the valley. Though the area has plenty to do all year, summer is most popular with tourists, so the town population temporarily swells. Tourism plays a major part in the economy of the area, and year-round residents ranch the land or work in forestry.
The fluctuating population and the many recreational attractions in the area make an interesting challenge for a real estate agent. Many potential home buyers want second homes or rental property. This means that incentives like the first time buyers' credit have not had much impact here, as most buyers already own elsewhere. The repeat buyers' credit has more potential to impact the area, but only if buyers fall in love with this part of Montana, as I did a dozen years ago, and want to become permanent residents.
So how do I approach selling real estate in the Seeley Swan Valley? First, while the biggest part of my market is second homes, I never give up on the potential of the region to attract more permanent residents. For this reason, I promote the many benefits the Valley has to offer homeowners.
I also offer top notch service. Because many buyers are not local, I do much of my business online and through phone and fax. Before that, however, I know potential buyers come to my website, which I am constantly improving. My site offers the newest listings from the Missoula County MLS with best search tools available to buyers plus a convenient assessment for home values for sellers.