Madison/Huntsville Metro Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

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Oct. 7, 2021

How to Market Real Estate Listings ?

It is not enough to just create a property listing and sit back. In order to get the right buyer, you must attract the right type of traffic from various online sources. All of this requires planning and strategies that get your listing in front of the right audience and increases the chances of a transaction. 

In this post, we discuss 9 ways often employed by us to market your listings in the market. These strategies are a mix of digital ads, content marketing, video marketing, and other methods that use the potential of the digital platforms often used to generate real estate leads. So without further ado, let’s begin. 

MLS Listing with highlighted features 

For most people, especially first-time homebuyers, buying a home is the single biggest investment they will make. It is important to take time to find the right property. The MLS Listings are an excellent way for you to find the properties that match your needs and want.

MLS listings usually include information about the property, including location, price, size, amenities, and contact information of the listing agent.

You can also use them to find out if there are any homes sitting on the market that you might like before they hit the open market or if there are any past properties that still have some equity in them so you can potentially purchase them at a better price than what they had originally listed for.

Content Marketing to market your listing

Content marketing is the use of content to engage with customers, prospects, and other audiences. Content marketing can take many different forms. Some include blogging, social media posts, videos, infographics; others may involve the design and development of an e-book or white paper."

But how can content marketing be used effectively? The good news is that it's not hard to get started. Here are a few ideas that make content marketing effective and useful to market your listings.

  • By creating valuable content that the audience finds useful and engaging
  • Develop a blog where you share your insights about real estate
  • Use social media channels to connect with potential clients
  • Share content on other platforms to boost discovery

Keyword Optimization for Listings 

One of the most important factors in SEO is keyword optimization.

Using the right keywords will help you rank higher for searches across various platforms. Keyword optimization also referred to as search engine optimization, is the process of researching and selecting which words or phrases to use on your website are most likely to draw visitors based on their search terms. This section will be discussing MLS Listing Keyword Optimization and how it can be used to increase your ranking in search engines like Google.

The first step is to identify what keywords you want your website to rank for. This may include specific neighborhoods or geographic regions, types of properties (new construction vs resale), specific amenities (gyms, outdoor pools), or other items that may be unique about your listings (views, pet friendly).

Custom Landing Pages 

Landing pages are the digital equivalent of the traditional “for sale” sign. When people drive by a house with a sign, they slow down and hopefully inquire about the property. When they visit a landing page, they should feel that it is worth their time and that will invest in the property.

Some factors to consider when designing a real estate landing page:

  • Appropriate design to appeal to your audience
  • Calls to action
  • A clear vision for what you want visitors to do
  • Strong focus on your offer
  • Concise copy


High-Quality Listing Pictures 

Real estate pictures are the main factor in marketing a property. They need to be high quality and professionally taken so they can show the property in its best possible light.

That's why many real estate agencies hire professionals to take pictures of their properties and give them an edge over their competitors.

But with modern cameras and camera phones, enthusiasts with a good eye for photography can take quality pictures that will do the job just as well. Here are some highly applicable tips and tricks on producing high-quality pictures for real estate listings

Feature important listing on home page

A property listing on the home page is a crucial decision for any real estate company, as well as for the potential customer. It takes into account search engine optimization, but also how it impacts user experience.

An important factor to consider when deciding between listing a property on the home page versus on an individual page is information architecture. The way you organize your website can have an impact on how your customers find their way through it and what kind of content they are more likely to engage with.

Video Marketing

Video marketing is the new key to the market. It enables you to reach your potential customers, engages them, and converts them into customers. With video marketing, it becomes easier for you to share your stories with people who are receptive to them.

The best thing about this type of marketing is that it can be done at any time, no matter what time of day or where you are in the world.

Video marketing is not just about shooting videos for your company’s social media accounts. Marketing via video goes beyond simply posting a video on YouTube or Vimeo. Video marketing now includes all types of videos, including corporate videos, testimonial videos, explainer videos, and product demonstrations.

Social Media Marketing

Social media has become a major way to market property listings. With the advent of social media marketing, it is now possible for agents to reach out to a broad range of potential customers.

The challenge is the number of platforms and tools available for use. This makes it difficult for marketers to determine which platform or tool is best for them and their profession.

A search engine optimization company in Florida can help you with this decision by analyzing your business objectives, customer needs, and competition pattern in order to provide a tailored-made solution that focuses on your needs.

Google Ads

Google Ads is a great platform to market your listings for a reasonable cost over the internet. It is one of the most popular advertising platforms with an estimated 90% of internet users utilizing this service.

The Google Ads interface is quite intuitive and easy to use. You can find all the necessary information about your listings, including prices, pictures, descriptions, and more.

The Google Ads interface allows you to set up automatic bidding within different price ranges which will then be adjusted in response to changes in the market.

Additionally, advertisers have access to a number of features that allow them to measure their performance and optimize their campaigns based on data from previous campaigns.


April 20, 2021

Remote Online Notarization in Alabama


The covid pandemic has given home closings a serious blow among other things in real estate. This is the reason we are seeing widespread adoption of remote online notarization that allows all parties to conduct the closing process over a video call and complete the transaction legally. 

Many states have permanently made remote online notarization and eClosing legal. Alabama has also passed its own bill to legalize RON and allows notaries to perform RON and eClosings in the current time. 

If you are a notary or attorney based in Alabama who wants to learn more about this topic this post is meant for you. However, before we do so, let’s learn some basics about RON.

What is Remote Online Notarization?

Remote online notarization (RON) is the process of notarizing documents electronically. During the closing process, the title company facilitates the RON where all parties including buyers, sellers, their respective agents, attorney, and other parties sitting at different physical locations come together to express consent and legally transfer the ownership of the property. 

The attorney applies the digital seal on the new deed and this is when the transaction is considered to be complete. 

Remote Online Notarization in Alabama

Alabama has not passed any RON bill yet however the state has temporarily approved remote and virtual notarizations in the state without the direct involvement of the attorney. According to the emergency order of the Governor, all Alabama notaries may notarize documents online and also apply signatures. 

The order also states that anyone participating in the call can be considered a witness. 

Benefits of remote online notarization

There are many benefits of remote online notarization. These are:

RON is Safe. One cannot simply change or manipulate the details including the notary seal or signatures of a digital document unlike a physical one. In the current times, RON’s ability to provide social distancing during the closing process also adds to its 

Gives you happy clients. RON saves the hassle for buyers and sellers to travel or mail physical copies of documents. This adds to their positive experience. 

Saves you money. RON saves cost during title search and redoing physical documents and the paperwork needed in general. It also saves costs for the clients, they otherwise incur in mailing the documents. 

Remote online notarizations are going to become a norm in the future. If you are a registered notary in Florida and thinking about remote notarization, this may be the right time to add that to your list of services.  

Posted in Title
April 19, 2021

Everything about property taxes in Alabama


Like most states in the US, Alabama charges property taxes too. Irrespective of the fact you own a residential property or commercial, taxes are levied on both property types across all counties in Alabama. It is important to understand property taxes as they are an important part of closing costs and appear in the ALTA statement as well.  

Property Tax payments in Alabama are due in two equal installments. One on July 28 and the other on December 5. 

Property Tax rates across counties in Alabama:

Property taxes are paid as a percentage of the total value of the property owned. In Alabama, property taxes are relatively lower and come to 0.48% of the value of the property with some variations from one county to another. Here is the list of the median values of property taxes. 


County Median Annual Tax Tax Rate
Autauga $471 0.32%
Baldwin $583 0.31%
Barbour $287 0.31%
Bibb $275 0.28%
Blount $397 0.32%
Bullock $394 0.51%
Butler $316 0.36%
Calhoun $478 0.42%
Chambers $342 0.39%
Cherokee $483 0.39%
Chilton $381 0.37%
Choctaw $200 0.27%
Clarke $310 0.31%
Clay $268 0.26%
Cleburne $394 0.35%
Coffee $547 0.37%
Colbert $457 0.40%
Conecuh $303 0.40%
Coosa $277 0.32%
Covington $291 0.30%
Crenshaw $276 0.35%
Cullman $363 0.29%
Dale $398 0.36%
Dallas $322 0.39%
DeKalb $356 0.35%
Elmore $484 0.30%
Escambia $371 0.38%
Etowah $476 0.43%
Fayette $241 0.29%
Franklin $323 0.37%
Geneva $331 0.36%
Greene $223 0.34%
Hale $319 0.34%
Henry $391 0.34%
Houston $454 0.35%
Jackson $352 0.33%
Jefferson $1,014 0.66%
Lamar $231 0.30%
Lauderdale $574 0.42%
Lawrence $386 0.36%
Lee $854 0.52%
Limestone $562 0.37%
Lowndes $330 0.50%
Macon $372 0.47%
Madison $835 0.46%
Marengo $313 0.35%
Marion $259 0.30%
Marshall $517 0.42%
Mobile $696 0.55%
Monroe $291 0.28%
Montgomery $497 0.39%
Morgan $511 0.39%
Perry $313 0.47%
Pickens $329 0.34%
Pike $391 0.33%
Randolph $327 0.37%
Russell $546 0.46%
St. Clair $464 0.31%
Shelby $1,050 0.51%
Sumter $273 0.37%
Talladega $389 0.38%
Tallapoosa $360 0.33%
Tuscaloosa $611 0.37%
Walker $271 0.29%
Washington $246 0.29%
Wilcox $260 0.32%
Winston $270 0.31%


How to calculate property taxes in Alabama?

Calculating the property tax for any county in Alabama is easy. Simply use the following formula


Total property tax payable =     (Property Value* rate of tax for the county)



How to pay property taxes in Alabama?

Yes. In fact, there is a separate item in the mortgage statement, if you are paying one already. If you have no mortgage, then you can also pay online using your debit or credit card.  

Are there any exemptions for property tax in Alabama?

Yes, there are multiple conditions in Alabama that allow exemptions property tax exemptions. These are:

  • Exemptions for veterans who own the property and veterans with disabilities
  • Spouses of veterans 
  • Spouse of a first responder killed in the line of duty
  • Exemptions for people with disabilities

How to find property tax records for Alabama?

Finding property tax information for Alabama is very easy as it is for other states. There are many websites where you can enter the property details and county to find the details. This is a reliable site that allows you to search tax details for properties across Alabama. 


Posted in Title
April 18, 2021

Top Property Appraisers around Alabama


A property appraisal is one of the crucial steps that determine the financial worth of the property. A property appraiser can unearth a number of things that can potentially change the financial value of the property to a great degree and hence the closing costs as well.

Obviously, appraisers are important but there are a lot of them out there. Even in Alabama, there are many companies, who either appraise properties full-time or provide a mix of similar services. So the question is, how do you choose the right appraiser? This is what we are going to answer in this blog. 

In this post, we will give you a curated list of property appraisers around Alabama. If you are anywhere in Alabama or hunting for a property in the nearby areas then this list is going to be useful for you. 

So, here is a list of the top property appraisers in Alabama. 

Appraiser Hub

Appraiser Hub provides services around Alabama that include Birmingham, Blount, Jefferson, and other places. It is quite a prominent name among realtors and underwriters when it comes to property valuation. 

  • Free Resources and Quotes - No
  • Experience - -
  • Breadth of Services - No
  • Phone - 205-870-4666
  • Email -   -

Judith Haney  

Judith Haney is a popular name when it comes to appraising properties around Alabama. Judith specializes in appraising residential properties for lenders and individuals around Alabama. They also provide services for divorce settlement, bankruptcy, estate, and probate settlement, FHA mortgages, and much more. 

  • Free Resources and Quotes - no
  • Experience - NA
  • Breadth of Services - Yes
  • Phone - 205-821-0519
  • Email -    - 

Appraisal-source has been appraising properties around Birmingham, Alabama. It is a well-known name that deals with both commercial and residential properties and provides services such as estate planning, private mortgage insurance removal (PMI), For Sale By Owner marketing, and insurance valuations besides providing appraisal services. 

  • Free Resources and Quotes - Yes
  • Experience - -
  • Breadth of Services - Yes
  • Phone - (205) 243-9304
  • Email -  -

Appraisal Services of North Alabama 

Metro appraisals is a home appraisal company that services located in Hunstville Alabama. The company specializes in Appraisals for residential properties, Multi-family duplex, 3-plex and 4 plex property Appraisals, FHA and Conventional Loan Appraisals, New Construction Appraisals, Land Appraisals, Reviews of all types, both field and desktop, and much more. 

  • Free Resources and Quotes - No
  • Experience - NA
  • Breadth of Services - Yes
  • Phone - (256)536-8800
  • Email -

Hope you found the information useful. Keep an eye out for the latest listings on our website and stay updated. 


Posted in Title
April 9, 2021

Closing Costs in Alabama


Closing costs are an itemized list of expenses such as transfer taxes, title insurance costs, deed recording fees, and much more to prep the property for sale, approve the mortgage and transfer the ownership from the seller to the buyer. 

Both buyer and seller have their own share of closing costs that they incur to facilitate the transaction mutually. While closing costs are normatively divided between the seller and the buyer, a lot of times, parties can negotiate that can change the final amount or the net proceeds that the seller receives after the transaction. 

What is the average closing cost in Alabama?

On average, the closing cost in Alabama is around 1 - 1.25% of the total sale price of the property. That means a $300,000 property will cost around $3000-$3700 in closing costs. 

What are the numerous closing costs in Alabama?

Closing costs represented as an itemized list of costs may have a total of 15-16 cost items. While a lot of them are paid by the buyer, the seller also contributes by paying a significant share. Here is the list of closing costs paid by the buyer. 

Closing costs paid by the Seller in Alabama


Following are the closing costs paid by the seller in Alabama

Commission for the agent. Commission for the agent is around 6% of the total value of the property. This is the most expensive closing cost component shared between both parties. Hence, the seller pays around 2.5% of the total commission.

Proration. Property taxes are paid as the prorated amount. The seller is supposed to pay the taxes till the time they own the property. For example, if the seller is going out on 30th October, they are going to pay taxes for the first 10 months. The buyer then pays taxes for the remaining two months. Hence, closing at the end of the year is going to cost more in the prorated tax amount.

HOA Fees. The HOA fee is the fee charged by the homeowners’ association for maintenance purposes. It is important for the seller to clear this before they leave the property. 

Outstanding Utility Bills. Before you can sell the property, you should make sure to clear all dues and outstanding utility bills. 

Title Insurance. The title insurance protects the owners and the lenders with the help of the owner’s and lender’s policy respectively. Title insurance amounts to a significant closing amount in Alabama. You can use this Alabama title insurance rate calculator to calculate the price for your policy. 

Title Search. A title search is a process of searching through the records in the county office to establish the owner of the property and make sure that the property is free from liens or any disputes. 

Municipal Lien Search. This is to make sure that the property does have code violations, sewer or water balances, etc. 

Closing costs paid by the Buyer in Alabama

Following are the closing costs paid by the buyer in Alabama

Home Inspection. The home inspection is initiated by the lender on the buyer’s behalf to make sure that the property is alright and won’t need hefty repairs after purchase. 

Home Appraisal. A home appraisal is done to ascertain the market value of the property for loan origination. The home appraisal fee is also paid by the buyer in Alabama. 

Survey Fee. Surveys could be ordered by the lender in order to make sure that the property does not have any encroachment that could lead to a dispute in the future with the neighbors. The buyer pays the survey fees in Alabama. 

Credit Report. The lender needs this report to grant a mortgage to the buyer. Generating the credit report costs in the amount that is paid by the buyer in Alabama. 

Underwriting Fee. If the buyer is purchasing with a loan, the underwriting fees will apply. It is also called loan application fees or origination fees interchangeably. 

Transfer Taxes. It is the tax collected by the state when the property is transferred from the seller to the buyer. 

Recording Fee. After the deal is done and papers are signed, the new deed is made and recorded in the county records. This is called recording the deed and comes with a fee called recording fees.  

Hope you found our post insightful and helpful. Tuned in for more posts in the future. 

Posted in Title
July 31, 2017

Curious About Local Real Estate?

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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You can sign up here to receive your own market report, delivered as often as you like! It contains current information on pending, active and just sold properties so you can see actual homes in your neighborhood. You can review your area on a larger scale, as well, by refining your search to include properties across the city or county. As you notice price and size trends, please contact us for clarification or to have any questions answered.

We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.