Finding the right real estate agent to help you buy or sell your home is a task you cannot take lightly. With so many realtors out there making sure you find one tImage titlehat you can work well with and has your best interest can be a task. Remember you will be working with this person for months, possibly years and he/she will know everything about you and your family before the transaction is complete. Compatible personalities should be the first thing you look for and then look for knowledge of the market and industry as a whole.

It is unfortunate for our industry but many realtors are thrown out into the market
to find customers and sell homes but have very little if any training other than taking a web based training class and passing a state issued exam. While that is commendable it does not give you market insight or the knowledge needed to identify problems with homes and provide pricing advice as well as other advice that is expected of your real estate agent.

Make sure you interview several agents and ask your family, friends and coworkers for referrals as well. If they had a great experience with a real estate professional it is likely you will have the same experience with the same realtor. If you know you have specific needs such as a language need or handicap then call your local board of realtors and ask for some recommendations and Google names to do further research.

Your home buying and selling experience will be a fun and exciting time in your life with the help of the right professional so make sure you take your time casting that role. When interviewing real estate agents always ask why they got into the business and if their answer is “To work less and get paid more” or something similar then keep interviewing the best of us in this business do it simply because we love it.


Why you need your own agent if you are building a new home

Have you ever stopped in at a builders model home in a new and upcoming subdivision and then been hounded for months by the on-site agent to come back and give it a second look or go see another subdivision being developed by the same builder? These aggressive sales tactics are an integral part of on-site training for most builders’ agents. The tactics obviously work or they would not continue to train them however most of these captive agents are bound by contract to only show homes in their builders developments so they are not likely to tell you about a great home less than .5 mile away built by a competitor that is 10k less and is offering 20k in incentives or the one year old home, same model one street over that the seller must sell because they are unexpectedly being transferred out of town.

These examples are just some of the reasons why it is in your best interest to have your own agent that works for you exclusively navigate the purchase of a new home or construction of a new home in a community. Other advantages include price negotiations, contract review, construction oversight and coordinating the inspections, closing, etc.

The best part is that it costs you nothing! The seller or builder in this case pays your agent to represent you. Would you sue someone and use the same attorney the other party is using? Of course not. Partly because the attorney would tell you it is a conflict of interest to have inside knowledge from both parties. This is no different. If you buy a home with the agent that is representing the seller (builder) you have the same conflict. This is what we can a dual agency and according to dual agency agreement the agent representing both parties is not able to provide advice about pricing or any inside knowledge they just prepare the contract and present it.

Is this the kind of representation you want on one of if not the largest transaction in your life? I doubt it so please do not allow an on-site agent to tell you that you can not have representation or they will get you a better deal if you use them exclusively. This is simply not true and most on-site agents will recommend you get your own agent to advise you throughout the process. Make sure any agent you choose has experience with new construction and is familiar with the local builders. Bottom line – have representation that has your best interest.

Is pricing the most important aspect of selling a home?

The answer is a very simple YES! Overpricing your house will not only cause it stay on the market much longer than your competitors but you could lose the ability to sell it at all after it has been on the market for month after month. I love the impact of this graphic and it really sums it up. The longer your home sits on the market the less a buyer is going to expect to pay for it because days on market equates to lost value.


When you list your house for above market value you lose opportunity. So the buyer that is out with their agent looking in your neighborhood will pass over your house and buy the one across the street. I know that you may have upgraded your kitchen and that one across the street hasn’t but you can’t price above market value without a really good argument where the value is apparent for both the potential buyers and the appraiser. Here is the thing you ask whatever you want for your house but once you get an offer and come to an agreement on the terms the bank is going to send out an appraiser who will look at all the homes in the area that have sold and tell the buyer what the bank is willing to lend based on that data.

So bottom line is make sure you understand the market in your area when decided on the list price and put away your emotional ties to the house because at the point you decide to sell your house it is just an asset and no longer “your” house. The quicker is sells the more you will net off that sale…bottom line. Don’t lose the momentum you have with a new listing by overpricing if you truly want to sell your home. Call/email/text me if you want to learn more about what your house can sell for 256-513-7299 or visit my site at

Offers above list price!!

I am not sure if this is going to be a trend we see as the spring market gets into full swing or if it is a coincidence…but I have been involved in several multiple offer situations with my clients and these homes are selling for above asking. I hope this means that the time has come in Huntsville for prices to increase which we haven’t really seen in the last few years. A little increase here and then a decrease the next month but nothing notable. I am very excited about this market right now in our great city. If you had your home on the market last year and didn’t get any offers now is the time to give it another try while interest rates are holding and buyers are hungry for more inventory. spring market

181 Newberry Ct

Great Madison home with chef’s kitchen

I have a great new listing located in Madison that offers open concept, one level living with a huge chef’s kitchen, mater suite with large walk-in closet and jetted tub, formal dining and living rooms, family room with wood burning fireplace and its located on 1/2 acre lot. If you are looking in the Madison area give 181 Newberry Ct a chance and you will be pleased you did. This home is located in the Endeavor Elementary, Monrovia Middle and Sparkman High school district. Contact me if you have specific questions about this home or any home you see on the market or for a showing.

181 Newberry CtNewberry Kitchen





3 things to do to help sell your home

In today’s competitive housing market there are several things all sellers can do to help the sell their house.

  1. The most important thing is price. Everyday your house is on the market and not priced correctly you are losing potential buyers and your listing is aging. When buyers look for a house they set up specific price ranges to search and maybe you are willing to come down to their range but unless you have your home priced right they will never see it in a search to even consider it an option. You need to make sure your price is driven by actual comparatives – homes that have sold in your neighborhood or area if you are rural. You can price your home however you want and even accept an offer at your full list price but if your house cannot appraise for the sales price you will have to renegotiate with the buyer so they can secure lending.
  2. Curb appeal – This is sometimes overshadowed by interior amenities but making sure your home looks appealing to potential buyers from the street is extremely important. Many buyers look for a new home online and then drive-by before calling their agent to see the interior. So while you may feel that any potential buyer will fall in love with the interior of your home you have to get them through the front door and that is where curb appeal can be the thing that sells your home. So make sure you keep the grass cut, hedges and shrubs trimmed, and sidewalk clean of debris. For an added bonus put a few potted plants on the front porch or a nice welcoming wreath on the front door. Don’t overlook the gutters as overflowing gutters are a sign of homeowner neglect and can turn away buyers.
  3. Clutter – Before listing your home make sure you clean up the clutter. If you need to rent an exterior storage container to do it then make that sacrifice. It is better to have the container in the driveway and a clutter free home than to have your home overfull of contents so potential buyers miss its charm and space. A cluttered home can make buyers feel that the space is small. You want the home to feel spacious and open so buyers can see their items in the home and plan spaces.

Keep these three things in mind before trying to sell your home and know that any one of them can be a deterrent but if you do all three you will have interested buyers and traffic.

Fun facts about Huntsville


  • Land in and around Big Spring was sold to Leroy Pope for $23.00 an acre.
  • Huntsville was called Twickenham before the people had it changed to Huntsville after the first settler John Hunt.
  • Harrison Brothers Hardware opened in 1879 as a Tobacco shop.
  • Hunstville’s Railroad Depot is one of America’s oldest.
  • Confederate soldiers were imprisoned at the Railroad Depot. Some of their graffiti can still be seen.
  • Pope Mansion was built on Huntsville’s highest hill in 1814.
  • Weeden House Museum is the oldest building in Alabama still open to the public.
  • Huntsville is home to the largest collection of pre-Civil War homes.
  • Huntsville hosted the first Constitutional Convention for the state of Alabama in 1819 where 44 delegates drafted the state’s first constitution.
  • Huntsville was the first capital of the state after being admitted to the union.
  • On April 11, 1862, Huntsville was seized by General Mitchell of the Union Army. It severed the Confederate Railroad communications. This seizure and subsequent surrender is why Huntsville still retains many of the Pre-Civil War buildings.
  • Huntsville was once known as the Watercress Capital of the world.
  • Huntsville’s early growth was due to the cotton industry.
  • Monte Sano State Park has over 2000 acres.
  • Huntsville is considered a part of the Cumberland Plateau.
  • Huntsville is built over a vast network of caves.
  • John Ditto established Ditto Landing, a trading post and ferry service in 1802.
  • 25th Alabama Battalion surrendered to Union troops on May 11, 1865 on their beloved Monte Sano Mountain.
  • Monte Sano saw the triumph of the New South in June 1887 when the 233 room, Queen Ann style Monte Sano Hotel opened.
  • Prominent personalities visiting the Monte Sano Hotel included William H. Vanderbilt, William Waldorf Astor, Walter Damrosch, Jay Gould, and Helen Keller.
  • Huntsville Bell Factory started in 1809 and functioned until 1885. Its 3000 spindles and 100 looms were powered by a water wheel.
  • Electric street cars appeared in Huntsville in 1901, replacing horse and wagons.
  • In 1941, Huntsville was chosen to play an important role in the war effort of the United States. A chemical warfare plant was established on Huntsville Arsenal. Redstone Ordinance Plant manufactured conventional artillery shells.
  • The Huntsville Arsenal and the Redstone Plant were built on 40,000 acres of cotton fields and swamps.
  • After the war in June of 1949, the Department of the Army closed down the Huntsville Arsenal and placed “For Sale” Signs on the property. It never sold.
  • The Army concentrated its missile program to the new Redstone Arsenal in November 1949.
  • Spring of 1950 brought Werner Von Braun and 118 scientists to Huntsville from Fort Bliss, Texas.
  • The Redstone Rocket, a surface to surface missile was developed here.
  • The German group helped organize St. Mark’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
  • President John F. Kennedy visited Redstone Arsenal and Dr. Werner Von Braun.
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center was established in 1970.
  • Maple Hill Cemetery was established in 1818 on 2 acres of land purchased by the city for $200.00 from Leroy Pope.
  • Maple Hill now covers almost 100 acres.
  • Maple Hill Cemetery is the oldest and largest cemetery in the state of Alabama.
  • There are between 80,000 and 100,000 people buried at Maple hill Cemetery.
  • All of the plots in Maple Hill Cemetery are sold.
  • Leroy Pope Walker was a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army that gave the order to fire: starting the Civil War.
  • Lily Flagg was a prize cow that took top honors in Chicago as world’s greatest butterfat producer.
  • Judge Paul Speake brought law and order to Madison County.
  • Clement Claiborne Clay was charged with complicity in the murder of President Lincoln and imprisoned with Jefferson Davis.
  • Alabama A & M was established on December 16, 1875.
  • In 1825, there were 308 males and 170 females living in Huntsville.
  • Huntsville was the epicenter of a earthquake in 1959 that spanned a 25 mile radius and caused minor damage.
  • Schools were established in Huntsville in 1812
  • John Hunt is considered the Founder of Huntsville Leroy Pope is considered the Father of Huntsville George Steele is considered the Builder of Huntsville
  • Oak Place on Maysville, George Steele’s home, was the site of the inaugural party for President James K. Polk
  • In 1940, Herbert Johnson working the radio booth of WBHP. heard planes buzzing overhead. Knowing it was dark outside and the lights were not on at the airport, he urged his listeners to rush to the airport and leave their car lights on. By doing this, it guided the planes to a safe landing. This earned him and WBPH an award citation from the U.S. War Department.
  • All 4 court houses of Madison County have been built on the same site.
  • Huntsville represented the Age of American Settlement
  • The land in and around Huntsville yielded 1000 pound of cotton per acre.
  • John Hunt was Scotch-Irish and immigrated to Pennsylvania and then moved south
  • Alex Haley, author of Roots, spent his early years in Normal when his father was an Agriculture Instructor at A & M.
  • Huntsville represented the age of American Settlement
  • Huntsville opposed secession from the Union hoping for a compromise.
  • Big Spring actually froze over in 1898
  • Frank James, brother of Jesse James, was tried at the Federal Court House in Huntsville for robbing an Army Corps of Engineers payroll. He was found not guilty.