What is a Zestimate, and what does Zillow know about Cullman Real Estate Values?

Posted by on August 21, 2013 | 1 Comment

The majority of home buyers are using the internet to search for their next home to buy. This is a national statistic from the National Association of Realtors, but is also true to our local real estate market in Cullman, AL.  Giant online real estate portals, such as Realtor.com, Zillow, and Trulia…just to name a few, have changed the way buyers search for homes.  Whether you have listed your home with Carter and Company, or any brokerage affiliated with a Multiple Listing Service, your listing is broadcast to these giant real estate portals.  With today’s technology and the internet, home searches are as easy and fast as the click of a button…and BAM! A buyer has in front of them a page full of search results which will include local real estate company’s websites along with these giant real estate portals, who in reality attract a large share of real estate traffic.  Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, etc…are all out there with typically bigger advertising budgets and deeper pockets for building brand awareness than the typical local real estate firm.  Giant real estate portals are good tools for buyers and certainly an asset to seller’s and seller’s agents because they are informative and easy to search, which helps get your listing out in front of as many potential buyers as possible, but keep in mind they are anything and everything but local. Some in fact will be so informative as to even provide Automated Valuation Estimators, such as “Zestimates.” Amazing, but true Zillow will tell you how much your home is worth in Cullman, AL. The most amazing thing about the “Zestimate”  is that some people will take them as a serious source for value determination. These estimations and valuations are notoriously inaccurate.  Listing data pulled from zip codes does not provide an accurate market analysis.  Zillow has no clue about neighborhoods and desired areas or market trends in Cullman, AL. Only a local Realtor can provide an accurate market analysis.  We have two things Zillow, Trulia, etc… does not and that is knowledge of our market, which can only be gained through experience in Cullman real estate working with buyers and sellers, and secondly, we have accurate information and statistics regarding the number of active and sold listings in the Cullman area from our MLS.
Technology and the ease of access to listing information are truly great tools as long as we always keep in mind their limitations in accuracy.

The Home Buying Process

Posted by on May 7, 2013 | No Comments

What Every Cullman Home Buyer Needs to Know

Our skilled negotiators will help you get the best home for the best price. We personally guide qualified buyers through each step of the home buying process. You can stand behind our experience and longstanding history of proven success. Cullman is an outstanding community that requires the specialize skills of an experienced Realtor.

• Determine and prioritize your wants and needs in your new home.
• Speak to your Lender and determine your buying power.
• Allow one of our experienced Realtors to help you find a home that meets your needs within your budget.
• Once you have found your dream home, our agents will help structure a purchase offer that is in your best interest, and skillfully negotiate with the seller’s representative until a favorable contract is agreed upon.
• The time period between the contract and the closing is when our agent’s work for you. We help make sure you are aware and take advantage of all the professional inspections available in order to make sure you know the condition of your new home before you buy it.
• Our agent’s goal is for you to arrive to the closing confident in knowing you have found the best home for the best price possible.

Home Inspections

Posted by on March 12, 2013 | No Comments

The home inspection is one of the most critical parts of the home buying process, especially in the state of Alabama which is the only true Caveat Emptor state remaining in the US. Caveat Emptor is a Latin legal term meaning “let the buyer beware.” Basically what all this means is Alabama law does not require a Sellers’ Disclosure of a property’s known defects which places the burden of discovery of the property’s latent defects on the buyer. Therefore, the moral of this blog post is to always get a home inspection, preferably done by a professional and licensed home inspector. Locally we have several reputable licensed home inspectors and any of our agents would gladly provide you with their contact information from which you can choose the one who best fits your needs.
Home inspections can vary depending on the type of property you are purchasing. For a list the basic elements that a home inspector will check and for further information regarding home inspections, go to www.ASHI.org, the website of the American Society of Home Inspectors.

Why Is My Home Not Selling?

Posted by on February 19, 2013 | No Comments

Price?

Yes, price is the correct answer the majority of the time. The economics of the process is relatively simple. All things are only worth what a buyer is willing to pay and a seller is willing to accept. Even with the simplicity of the economic theory, actually arriving at that magic price is difficult. Just think of the cost, time and effort that companies put into pricing a product so it succeeds in the marketplace. It’s no different in real estate.
If you have educated yourself in your local real estate market; are diligent in hiring a professional agent who is experienced in your area; AND are willing to listen to your Realtor, taking into consideration the market data they collect, you can get a lot closer to that magic number in much less time.
Make sure your properties’ listing price is competitive within your local market. Keeping in mind, in order for any potential buyer to obtain financing, the property must appraise. Appraisers use the same database your agent uses, which is the local MLS, to pull comparables and ultimately determine the value of your property or most importantly, the amount the lender is willing to loan to purchase your property.

People can’t buy what they can’t see

If you make it difficult for people to see your property, then the probability of a sale at the price you want drops considerably. Selling can be a nuisance, but it is a necessary one. When agents aren’t able to easily access your property for showings, it can prevent your property from being sold.

Out of your hands

It’s not always the seller’s nor the Realtor’s fault that a house is not selling. Sometimes the market changes and buyer’s disappear. Maybe a new home development has opened nearby and the new homes are more appealing to potential buyers. Many things can affect whether your house sells, which means you and your agent need to consider the reasons and make the necessary adjustments to get your property sold.

To Rent, or to Buy: That Is the Question

Posted by on February 1, 2013 | No Comments

Homeownership is often referred to as the Great American Dream. The culture we live in places a high value on owning a home. In the US, home value appreciation is one of the chief means of accumulating wealth. Purchasing a home is generally viewed as one of biggest and best investments a person will make. Homeownership can provide attractive tax benefits. Mortgage interest and property taxes are usually sizable tax deductions for homeowners.

Despite the advantages, buying a home is a major financial decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When buying in a cyclical real estate market, timing is most important and a Realtor with knowledge of your local market and its cycle is crucial. If you buy during a rising price bubble, the value of your home could plummet when that bubble bursts. In the mid to late 2000’s most housing markets in the US went through major corrections. People who sat on the sidelines and rented during the rising market were able to buy homes at much lower prices once the bubble burst.

There are several advantages and disadvantages to both buying and renting. Homeownership generally requires deeper pockets than renting. When roofs leak and hot water heaters break, there is no landlord to call when you own the home. It’s up to you to take care of the problem.

There are definitely situations where renting is the best choice and those are generally short term. In most cases, the longer you plan to live somewhere, the more it makes sense to buy. Over time, you can build equity through homeownership. Owning a home, as opposed to renting, is usually a better investment financially speaking.

Every situation is different and there are many factors which must be considered when determining which is best for you. We have a team of experienced Realtor’s who are extremely knowledgeable in our local real estate market. Let us provide you with the information you need to make that most important decision – Whether to rent or to buy.

Seller’s Top Four Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by on January 15, 2013 | No Comments

1. Putting the house on the market before all the pre-sale planned work is finished.
Avoid procrastination. Whatever the project, from painting to new flooring or any repair in between; get the work done BEFORE the marketing begins. Presentation is everything and there are no second chances on first impressions.
2. Over-improving the home for the neighborhood.
Be careful not to make too many additions and upgrades for the area. You never want to overbuild your house for its location. Keep in mind your competitors and make your property a nice addition to the community not an anomaly.
3. Pricing the property based on what the seller wants to net.
This pricing strategy most always fails. Remember the seller controls the “listing” price, but the MARKET controls the “sales” price. This is the black-and-white, matter-of-fact reality of the market. Your agent can provide you with a Comparative Market Analysis to estimate the actual market value of your property and help determine a realistic listing price. A listing price that is reflective of your current and local market will produce the quickest sale at the highest amount.
4. Getting emotionally involved in the sale of the home.
This is one of the biggest challenges home sellers encounter when putting their house on the market. Once you decide to sell your house, it’s no longer a home but a commodity. Buyers make low offers. Don’t let emotion into your contract negotiation.

Carter & Company Goes White Water Rafting On The Ocoee River

Posted by on August 22, 2012 | No Comments

Team building at it’s best!!! This past month our office took a fun filled trip to the Ocoee River for a little white water rafting. The four pictures below truly captured the intense fun and excitement of our adventure.

Rafting Group I


Rafting Group II


Feeling the Love


The After Shot

3 Tips to Sell Your Home This Fall

Posted by on August 14, 2012 | No Comments

With the start of a new school year signaling summer is coming to an end, the anticipation of fall is in the air. The fall season not only brings cooler weather and college football, but it also is a great time of year to sell your home. Follow this link for 3 Tips to Sell Your Home This Fall .

Cullman Real Estate Listing Update

Posted by on January 24, 2012 | No Comments

New Listings and Price Reductions for the Week of January 22, 2012.
Huge Price Reduction Motivated Seller!! Wonderful family home in established subdivision $189,900
85861 – 1469 Longbrook Dr NE (Cullman) 4BR/3BA home with finished basement is perfect for entertaining adults and kids. Great yard with in-ground pool and playset, property also borders creek. Covered side patio off kitchen over looking pool is the perfect place for a grill. Large great room with a fireplace. Formal living area with

Click here to see entire The Cullman Times Ad

cathedral ceiling. Large Kitchen. Rec room in basement with wet bar, exercise room, full bath with tile shower and garden tub plus 2 car garage in basement. Don’t miss this one!
Great for first time home buyer! Located in subdivision close to town. $104,900
88011 – 32 CO RD 1636 (Bent Creek S/D) Well kept 3BR/2BA home with excellent layout and amenities. Large, well thought out bedrooms in user friendly floor plan make this a home sure to attract attention. Freshly painted and ready to move in to. Call Jeff
Remodeled 3BR/2.5BA home in the heart of East Elementary Historic District. $ 189,900
88012 – 805 5th Ave SE (Cullman) Gourmet Kitchen with breakfast area and attached formal dining room. Updated cabinets, light fixtures, energy efficient windows, refinished hardwood floors, wiring and plumbing make this home so attractive to anyone seeking easy living in town. Wonderful deck out back beckons you to relax in a quiet, friendly neighborhood. Partially finished basement with concrete floor is ideal for storage. Call Jeff
Gorgeous +/- 6.5 acre building site. Close in to town. $77,500
88013 – 1249 CO RD 1319 (Basch RD) Property has had lots of excavation work done, and has the perfect place for a pond. Old barn has been restored. Great place to build.
Great home for a large family with over 3,000 sqft on 17 acres in the Eva area. $289,900
88025 – 79 Union Hill Rd (Eva) Home features 4BR/2BA/3HBA and a 3 car garage. Large living room with brick fireplace open to the dining area. Kitchen with lots of cabinets, walk-in pantry and breakfast nook. 2 master bedrooms, one with enormous closet, bath and spacious sitting area that opens to patio area with a great view of one of the two ponds located on the property. 3 pull down attic storages in house plus 2 storage buildings and barn on property. Call Wendy
Price Reduced!! Remarkably restored old farm house on over 11 acres. $149,900
87595 – 80 CO RD 508 (Hanceville) Refinished down to the studs with all new updates and upgrades. Entire top floor is master suite with sitting area and bath. Sit on the front or back porches and enjoy quiet rural living. Barn on property could be used for garage or shop. Pasture is fenced. Call Jeff

Cullman Real Estate Update

Posted by on January 10, 2012 | No Comments

New Listings and Price Reductions for the Week of January 8, 2012.

Foreclosure – 2BR/2BA on 4 acres. $85,000
87975 – 466 Maddux Rd (Eva) Home has hardwood, tile and carpet. Large bedrooms with plenty of closet space.  Over sized den or rec room with small sink and cabinet. Glass sun room. 2 Car detached garage and small shed in back. Property is partially wooded and has 3 driveways which could easily be used for an additional manufactured home site.  Call

View our Cullman Times Ad

Wendy

Cute 2BR/1BA home with new metal roof, central heat/air, and hot water heater. $79,900
185 School House Rd (Baileyton) Home is situated on .4 acres with a one car carport, storage building and storm shelter. House has beautiful hardwood flooring in kitchen and dining area. An abundance of cabinets in the kitchen and like new carpet in the bedrooms and living room.  Large laundry room with extra storage/hanging space and room for freezers.  House has a circular drive and is move in ready. Call Damon.

Exceptionally nice brick home with a large yard in a quiet neighborhood. $144,900
86904 – 69 Bates Rd (Eva) Very neat and tastefully decorated 3BR/2BA home features a vaulted ceiling and bay window in master bedroom. All window blinds to stay. Master bath has Jacuzzi tub and walk in shower.  Garage has been enclosed as a den with French doors and a separate laundry room.  Backyard is fenced and has a storage shed. Located near the Cullman County line. Call Debbie.

Price Reduced!!! This is as good as Gatlinburg within minutes of town!!! $299,900
86838 – 297 CO RD 219 (Dodge City) Gorgeous mountain home nestled in the woods surrounded by beauty.  A-frame has full windows overlooking the wooded mountain view.  Very private, self contained with generator back up and drilled well ***40×60 shop with power, 14’ side walls and 16’ roll up door.  Detached 3 car garage.  This place is beautiful!

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