Montgomery, AL Property : For Sale By Owner Tips

February 10th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Pike Road, Prattville, Seller's Tips

Montgomery, AL, like any real estate market, will always have its share of people selling their property themselves – aka For Sale By Owner or FSBO (pr FIZZ-bo).  And that’s fine with me.  I am not one of those realtors that looks down on FSBOs.  I think it is up to me as a real estate agent to prove to the FSBO prospect that I will save them time and make them money if I list and help sell their River Region home or lot.

That being said, there will always be a segment of people that choose to sell their real estate themselves, without the help of an agent.  So I figure I might as well be helpful in case the FSBO experiment doesn’t go well, maybe they’ll call me.  They often do.

I read a great article for advice to FSBOs in the Wall Street JournalClick here to read it.  It had a lot of helpful sales strategies for FSBOs.

I would add to the article these suggestions to anyone selling their Montgomery property themselves:

3RiversRecon’s Tips to any Montgomery For Sale By Owner:

have a website1.    Get Your Own Website – Go to a domain seller like and buy your own website address.  If your home’s address is 123 Montgomery Street – buy or whatever is available.  The shorter the better.  I do this for all of my listings.  Use this on your flyers and advertisements.  If you advertise your home on something like, its website will be something incoherent like – no buyer can remember that, especially one who has been driving around looking at homes for hours.  Once you have bought your site through godaddy, go to the control panel and choose “domain forwarding” to point the site to the long one at fsbo dot com.  That way anyone who types in their browser will be taken automatically to the fsbo site.

2.  Buy Custom Signs – Those “For Sale By Owner” signs you buy for $3 at WalMart might be appropriate for your used go-cart that you put out on Highway 231, but do you really think it conveys the right image to someone you are asking to spend $200,000 for a  home ?   Make them double sided for greater visibility.  I would go ahead and buy 2 so that you can switch them out to avoid being faded or dirty.  Also be sure to get an “info tube” thing at WalMart or Home Depot so you can put some flyers with your sign.

3.  Make Effective Flyers – You start by taking great pictures of your home or lot.  Then spend the money and have them printed by a high quality color LASER printer.  Go to Kinko’s if you have no color laser printer of your own.  Get them to go ahead and run 150 copies while they’re at it.  The big cost here is the setup for a new print job, each additional copy is not as expensive, so you might as well print them all at one stop.  If you’re putting the flyers in the info tubes in the signs, don’t waste a lot of space by pictures of the outside.  They know what the outside looks like.  Just use one or two so that they can easily remember which one is yours (odds are that yours is the 10th flyer they have pulled that day).  If you are putting the flyer elsewhere then include more pictures.  Most Montgomery buyers are concerned about the school zones, so highlight that.

lake martin FSBO waterfront property homes4.  Be Available At An Instant To Talk Or Show The Home – Put your cell phone number on all advertisements.  Don’t confuse buyers by giving your home phone, your office phone, your fax, etc.  Just one will do.  Then KEEP THE CELL PHONE ON YOU at all times.  When it rings, answer it.  If you don’t answer the phone, the majority of buyers will move along and not leave a message.  If they want to see it now, show it now.

5. Call Or Email Me With Questions – Every property on the Montgomery MLS is unique, with its own special selling points to promote and challenges to overcome to a potential buyer.  If you’re stumped, give me a shout.  I am glad to help you think of an answer, even if you plan to continue to sell it yourself.

Do you have another helpful FSBO tip for the rest of the River Region?  Leave a comment below and help us all out!

Neighborhood Spotlight: StoneyBrooke Plantation in East Montgomery, AL

January 15th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods

StoneyBrooke Plantation is a planned community in East Montgomery, AL.  I recently visited a friend’s home in StoneyBrooke and realized I hadn’t blogged it yet.  So here we go . . .

It’s a Lowder Development (think Deer Creek and Woodland Creek neighborhoods on Vaughn Road), so if it seems very familiar, you’re right. It’s most unique feature is its proximity to I-85 – just off the I-85/Mitylene exit.   On the google map below, StoneyBrooke is red marker “A” (Deer Creek is “B” and Woodland Creek is “H”).

google map

There is a large common area with a pond and picnic pavilion, plus a large playground.  The neighborhood is divided into pods according to lot size (50′, 60′, and 70′ lots), and has sidewalks and landscaped “greenscapes” throughout.  There is no pool or neighborhood clubhouse.

StoneyBrooke has existing homes for sale plus lots for building new homes.  As of today (Jan. 7, 2010) asking prices for the 6 homes available on the Montgomery Area MLS range from $192,000 (1655 sq. ft.) – $269,900 (2,433 sq. ft.).

If you like new construction and a walkable neighborhood with amenities,  plus you want to be super-close to I-85, StoneyBrooke might be a good fit.  Give us a call – we can help buyers with any listing in the Montgomery Area MLS (and it costs buyers nothing more to have a Realtor working for them).

Neighborhood Spotlight: Cawfield in East Montgomery, AL

January 7th, 2010 categories: Montgomery, Neighborhoods

The dirt was moving in Cawfield this morning.  Yep – tractors were out pushing the red soil around in this east Montgomery neighborhood right off of Pike Road.

Today (January 7, 2010) the Montgomery Area MLS shows there are 25 lots for sale in Cawfield for $59,900. There is currently one house built in the subdivision.  According to the MLS, all lots are at least 85′ wide and there is a 2000 sqaure foot minimum for new homes. Cawfield is zoned for Halcyon Elementary, Georgia Washington Jr. High, and Jeff Davis High School

Cawfield is next to the Lochshire neighborhood on the portion of Pike Road  between Vaughn Road and Hwy 80.  It’s also close to Bridle Brook, Woodland Creek, and Merry Station, and right across Pike Road from Grace Episcopal Church.  It’s about a 5 minute drive to the Shoppes at East Chase, the Chantilly Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and I-85.

The subdivision was sold to a new developer in September 2009.  It should be noted that lots in Cawfield have a Montgomery street address and claim City of Montgomery sewer service on the MLS.  In this section of East Montgomery, neighborhoods/lots can be zoned for the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, or the Town of Pike Road. It’s kind of a patchwork, so if you have a preference, be sure to ask when looking for real estate in this area.

If you’re interested in building a new home in Cawfield, we’re not the listing agent, but we can help buyers with any property in the Montgomery area.  Give us a call and let us help you make an informed real estate decision.

In the Works: Pike Road Nature Trail

January 4th, 2010 categories: Activities, Pike Road

One of the benefits of Pike Road living is its rural landscape.  Sure there are neighborhoods and the local CVS, but there are also fields and ponds, woods and creeks.

A future network of nature trails will showcase that beauty and connect the communities of Pike Road.  These trails will accommodate “walkers, joggers and bicyclists as well as horseback riders” (Town of Pike Road website). The Pike Road community encompasses a LOT of land, and the trail will be a way to begin to connect these areas.

A $700,000 grant has been approved to begin the project, and Pike Road has purchased property for the trail head and trail end. It’s an Alabama Department of Transportation grant program, and will take some time to complete.

According to the Town of Pike Road website, the first 14.7 miles of the trail will run from Highway 231 to Flowers Road. I don’t have specifics, but according to my google map, this is the general area below (Hwy 231 runs up the middle of the map, with Flowers Road at the red marker):

Nature Trail Google MapI can’t run all 14.7 miles at once (yet!), but since East Montgomery isn’t known for its mountainous terrain, at least I stand a chance with the first 5.  We’ll update you when the trail is ready for action.

To read more about the Town of Pike Road, see their official website, and see more posts from the Pike Road section of our blog.

Christmas in the Town of Pike Road, AL

December 13th, 2009 categories: Activities, Neighborhoods, Pike Road

chapelThe Town of Pike Road invites the public to its Candlelight Christmas service at 6:30 on Tuesday, December 22, 2009. The service is held annually at The Meeting House on Chapel Hill in The Waters.

If you’ve never been to The Waters, or are interested in the community life in Pike Road, this would be a great event to attend.  It’s a picturesque development year-round.  I can imagine it is beautiful during the holidays.

For more picture of The Waters development, click here

4 Reasons to love Farmhouse Kitchen at Hampstead

August 28th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery


Farmhouse Kitchen in the Town of Hampstead in Montgomery, AL, is a gem of a restaurant. We knew it had a good chance of being cool simply because it’s part of this unique East Montgomery development, but what about the food?

We ate dinner there last night and it exceeded our expectations.  Here are 4 reasons we love Farmhouse Kitchen:

service1) Staff – This has to be #1 on our list because the service and hospitality were excellent.   We ate as part of a large group, but the servers and staff took care of our every need with ease.  I even got a hug when we left!  It’s not contrived hospitality – it’s the real deal.

2) Food – We tried the shrimp and grits, and it was fabulous.  Easily one of the best renditions of this dish we’ve had.  The skillet cornbread that’s brought to the table before the meal was fought over, and the homemade vanilla ice cream on top of our pecan pie was far better than any we’ve made in our own ice cream churn.


Fresh tomato, cucumber and onion with vinaigrette

Shrimp and Grits in a HUGE bowl

Shrimp and Grits in a HUGE bowl


Chocolate cake

3)  Atmosphere – Open and casual, you would not mind bringing your kids for lunch or dinner.  The decor is simple and comfortable, but not hokey or contrived to be “country.”  It serves a purpose and does not get in the way of the experience (which is the food).

High Street 34)  Location – If you haven’t been to Hampstead, head south on Taylor Road and take a tour.  We had fun walking the main street and enjoying the architecture before the rest of our group arrived. It’s definitely an escape from the strip mall experience.  We both commented that it would be fun to live in Hampstead and have a great place to eat within walking distance.

Forget chain restaurant, greasy, “country” cooking.  Farmhouse Kitchen is more like eating at your grandmother’s. And the service is just as good!

For a menu and hours of operation, click here.

New Construction Sightings in East Montgomery, Alabama

July 14th, 2009 categories: Neighborhoods, Pike Road

Driving through the Pike Road area of Montgomery County, AL, I saw evidence of new construction.

New construction in Lochshire

New construction in Lochshire

New construction in Lochshire

New construction in Lochshire

New construction in Cawfield

New construction in Cawfield

What does this mean?  I’m not making any predictions about the market, but I will say I haven’t seen much new building going on in the past year.

It’s nice to see a little real estate action.

Have you noticed new construction in your area of the River Region?  Comment below and let us know what’s going on in your neighborhood.

If you’d like to find a new construction home or any property in the Montgomery MLS, give us a call.  We’d love to help!

Pike Road, AL Adds to Town Hall

July 11th, 2009 categories: Pike Road

The Town of Pike Road has purchased the Pike Road Station shopping center on Vaughn Road. (see google map)

Now, while building prices are low,  they are considering adding a second story to the former Fine Foods Market building, creating a large auditorium area for community events. The first floor of the building will be used for Town Council offices and a meeting hall.

Here are some pics of the building:

New Pike Road Town Hall and shopping center

New Pike Road Town Hall and shopping center

New Pike Road Town Hall

New Pike Road Town Hall

New Pike Road Town Hall

New Pike Road Town Hall

To learn more, click here for an article from the Montgomery Advertiser.

Fun, Free (or almost) and Cool: Entertain Your Kids in Montgomery, AL

June 24th, 2009 categories: Activities, Montgomery

It’s already scorching in Montgomery, AL.

It’s the second day of summer.

How does a family survive?

Here are a few ideas for free (or very cheap) ways to keep your kids entertained this summer while NOT suffering a heatstroke.

img_0039Public Libraries: Where are they and what special events are going on?  Here’s a link to library summer events next week. Check back with local branches for more activities. Storytellers, singers, art – sounds fun.

Kids’ movies at The Capri: Every Thursday and Friday at 10 am and 1 pm, you can take your kids for just $1 a ticket.  Click here for their summer schedule, and get there a little early because it fills up quickly.

img_0029Kids’ movies at the Rave: Similar to the Capri, but FREE!  Click here for the summer roster.  They’re showing free kids’ movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 am for eight weeks this summer.  Like The Capri, no reservations are taken, so show up early to get a seat.

Artworks Gallery at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts: Air conditioned, fun, room to wiggle – all good things in 100 degree weather.  There is a box for donations at the front door of the museum, but there is no entrance fee. It’s a large, interactive space for kids to explore art with their families.  You can spend hours . . . click here for more info.

Riverwalk Splashpad: Located in the Riverwalk amphitheater park in downtown Montgomery, the splashpad is (for lack of better terminology) a large play area with water shooting out of the ground.  Like a big fountain.  Although this is not an air conditioned venue, it’s wet and FREE, and anyone can use it (although sometimes it’s closed for private parties.  Open until 7 pm everyday.  Click here for address and phone number.

I’m sure there are some I have overlooked, so feel free to add to the list by commenting below.  Good luck staying cool and saving money this summer!

Wilson Elementary and Carr Jr. High Registration Begins Today

June 22nd, 2009 categories: Montgomery, Schools
Carr Junior High School, Montgomery, AL

Carr Junior High School, Montgomery, AL

It’s finally time to head on over and make it official. If you live in the new Jim Wilson Elementary and Carr Middle School school zones, you can register your kids starting today.

Don’t expect to tour the  new facilities yet, though – you’ll actually register in Blount Elementary’s lunchroom. From today until Thursday, you can come from 9 am until 1 pm.  From June 22-25, come between 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm.

Wilson Elementary School, Montgomery, AL

Wilson Elementary School, Montgomery, AL

If you miss this two week registration period, you can still register your child – but it will happen closer to the beginning of the school year at the new school itself.

Not sure if you’re affected by these new school zones? Click here for MPS zoning maps.

For more info on what to bring with you, see the Montgomery Advertiser’s article “Registration Starts Today for New Schools.”

« Previous Entries

Next Entries »