Overview of the Commercial and Residential
Real Estate Market in Montana

Big Sky Country is home to the largest migratory elk herd in the country and the greatest breeding population of trumpeter swans in the lower United States. The Rocky Mountain Front Eagle Migration Area that is located west of Great Falls has one of the highest concentrations of golden eagles. The largest population of nesting common loons can be found North of Missoula. The average square mile of Montana has about 6.8 people, 1.4 elk, 3.3 dear, and 1.4 antelope. Of the state's 56 counties, 46 are considered "frontier counties" and have less than 6 people per square mile. Billings has 109,059 of the 1,015,165 total Montanans, according to the U.S. Census. It is the only city in Montana with more than 100,000 people. Its median home value is $180,900 and the median household income is $48,908. Across the state, the median home value is $184,200 and the median household income is $46,230. The homeownership rate is 68.3 percent.

Montana is one of only 11 states where the selling price of commercial and residential real estate is not disclosed to the public. Efforts are being made by some to change that legislation, but for the near future, it will continue with that method of unrevealed recording of sales. Montana has seen significantly less oil and gas exploration recently due to falling oil prices. Less drilling means lower employment and capital expenditures, too. Some feel this slow down in the significant economic sector of energy production could hurt the economy of the entire state. However, Great Falls is the site of a new 186,933-square foot big box store that should break ground in 2015. Construction is also underway there for a 216 unit apartment complex. With Montana's prosperous tourism sector, new restaurants continue to thrive across the state.

How to Become a Realtor in Montana

All real estate licensing and regulation of agents in the state is handled by the Montana Board of Realty Regulation. Applicants must be 18 year of age or older and have successfully completed at least the 10th grade of high school or have an equivalent certificate. They need to also complete 60 hours of Board-approved pre-licensing education within two years of applying for their license. Prospective agents must pass the real estate exam with a minimum score of 80 percent on the national section and at least 70 percent on the state section. After successfully passing the licensing exam, individuals must submit a copy of their test results along with a 2x2 photo. This must be done within one year of the exam. For some special circumstances, the Board may approve a waiver for all or a portion of the education requirements and exam. Montana currently has a reciprocity agreement with Alberta, Canada.