Big Inventory – Low Prices – Low Interest

SW Colorado is overloaded on listed properties. What does this mean for you the buyer? Great prices and at a time when interest rates are at historic lows. We aren’t like many metropolitan areas where homes are 1/2 their original value, but great values are out there. You can buy a large parcel with beautiful home and irrigation and stay below $300,000. This hasn’t happened in our area in years. Be sure to contact me. Barbara Cullington (970) 946-9309

Interview with a REALTOR®

by: Sarah Cullington (A REALTOR’s daughter)

While studying abroad, my host family asked the standard question “What do your parents do?” Without thinking, I casually replied, “Oh, they’re Realtors.” The quizzical expressions on their faces caught me off guard. My host mom squinted her eyes and slowly repeated my response in the form of a question: “They are Realtors?. . . I don’t understand.”

At first, I assumed they were joking and would proceed to start cracking Realtor jokes; something to which  anyone workingin the Real Estate industry is accustomed. But I was wrong. They were stumped about the title “Realtor,” a term they did not use to describe Real Estate Agents in their region. This surprised me, I had never thought about Realtor as an unusual job title. Recalling this story a few weeks ago, I finally decided to clear up the confusion and to ask my mom, a Realtor, what maker her a Realtor and not just any ol’ Estate Agent.

Me: “What is the definition of a Realtor? How is the term different from a Real Estate Agent? Broker?”

Barb (mom):” The following is a quote from the National Association of Realtors (NAR)

‘The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics.

Working for America’s property owners, NAR provides a forum for professional development, research and the exchange of information among its members, and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system and the right to own real property.

Members belong to one or more of some 1,700 local associations/boards and 54 state and territory associations of REALTORS®. Additionally, they can join one of our many institutes, societies and councils to enhance their expertise and network with other professionals globally’

I chose to join the NAR because it provides learning opportunities, and brings together a community of Brokers who work together to improve the market each day. The customers benefit because their Realtor can offer real insight into the conditions of the market and has the ability to network with other NAR members to provide the best information to the potential buyer and seller.”

Me: “Why should someone choose a Realtor over trying to sell themselves or buy through the person directly?”

Barb: “A Real Estate Agent like a REALTOR must pass state testing, take required education to do so, and pay fees to the state for a licence. Most of all, he or she must maintain the required education requirements set down by each state.  A REALTOR goes beyond that by first joining a local organzation of Board of REALTORS, which belongs to the state Board of REALTORS.  In Colorado it is the Colorado Association of REALTORS (CAR), who by charter are members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). The status of REALTORS sets apart the designation of Real Estate Agent by holding to strict codes of ethics, providing educational and other volunteer benefits to the community, following laws and promoting laws that protect the home seller and buyer, providing legal support to REALTOR members, and many other out reach programs.

Me: “What should we all expect from our Realtors? How involved are they? Do they keep checking up on clients? What does the person pay for?”

Barb: “The state defines the role of a Real Estate Agent and REALTOR alike. In Colorado you can be represented as a Transaction Broker, a Buyers’ Agent, A Sellers’ Agent, or a Customer. These terms are all clearly defined. After discussion, the type of service is selected by the customer. All require confidentiality and due diligence with any monies and terms in contracts. A Buyer may pay the commission to their agent, but generally commissions are paid by the Seller; this is all negotiated. The service to be provided is also variable and is negotiated in each transaction. Commissions are also all negotiated with each transaction. The client and agent get together and set goals on advertising, signage, dates, etc. We all try to keep in touch with our clients. In the current market, however, when we are all carrying large inventories this is not so easy, every agent has their own techniques.”

Me: “What are the most common mistakes you have witnessed by buyers and/or sellers? What is the most important lesson you have learned over the years? What is your favorite success story?”

Barb: “Mistakes often made by sellers. . .over valuing their property based on personal feelings and not on market conditions, and not cleaning and presenting their properties well. By Buyers. . .not being realistic in what they can afford. NOTHING IS CERTAIN UNTIL YOU ARE AT THE CLOSING TABLE; AND, EVEN THEN DEALS CAN FAIL. Always be straightforward, never mislead.  My favorite recent story. . . educating a young couple on the benefits of USDA loans and thus assisting  them in negotiating on a much nicer home than they  could have bought with traditional financing. My favorite story of all time. . . most of my clients become my good friends.”

Higher Interest Rates

Buyers in 2009 have benefitted from lower home prices and lower interest rates, but rising oil prices from earlier this year and the fear of higher inflation may cause a sudden change in interest rates. Could this put a hamper in the slowly recovering housing market?

Property Taxes

Do Coloradans want to raise property taxes to meet financial needs of State? Probably not. My experience is that one of the first questions I get from out-of-state inquirers is “What is the property tax?” This apparently is an important factor in driving new buyers to our state, and in particular, our beautiful Southwest setting. Let me know what you think on this matter.

Colorado West Realty’s Blog

Hi! This is our first post for Colorado West Realty, thanks for stopping in! I thought I would use this opportunity to introduce the team.

Currently we are 3. Well, 3 lovely folks who work to provide the best realty of the Southwest to our wonderful clients. There is also Sarah Cullington, our sweet daughter, who helps with the site and will be providing some blog posts. Colorado West Realty is a family run company by my husband, Ed Cullington, and me, Barb Cullington, with the addition of one our Broker Associates, Bob Toles. All three of us have spent 20 + years in Southwest Colorado and plan to stay. We are passionate about the area, believe in this community, and welcome everyone!

Barbara Cullington, Broker, GRI, ePro

Barbara Cullington, Broker, GRI, ePro


I’ll start by introducing myself. I’m Barbara, but you can call me Barb. I have  lived in Cortez, Colorado for 28 years and have watched this community grow. I started working in Real Estate about 8 years ago when my husband bought Colorado West Realty. What I love about my job the most is interacting with people from every background. I have heard so many interesting stories from world travellers I could probably write a book!

I love a number of things about the Southwest: the beautiful country, the close community, and of course, the soccer!  I was raised in the Midwest with a very strong sense of civic responsibility. I have been coaching, refferring, and playing soccer for over 20 years and watched all three of my children compete on the local teams. I was a co-founder of the local youth soccer program (Tri-City Soccer) in the 1980s and have continued to serve the program as Coach, Director, and Referee as well as raising thousands of dollars for the club over the years. I am also a Director of the Cortez Chamber of Commerce and serve on committees to help promote the Downtown Area and to act as an Ambassador for Cortez. I am the Secretary/Treasurer for the Four Corners Board of REALTORS®.

I have been certified as a  Quality Service Certified Broker, an e-PRO Internet Professional, and have achieved a Certificate of Achievement from United Country’s UNITEDPOWER course. With 20 years of editing and copy design, I specialize in advertising media for our company.

I have a lot of great memories in the Southwest and will always encourage others to consider this area for their new home!

Ed Cullington, Managing Broker

This is my husband, Ed.  He has been in the Realty business for over 20 years! Known as quite the joker, his clients are drawn to his  humor and sweet personality. He still works with many of his first clients and considers them good friends. He and I met here in Cortez, Colorado, and have not left since.

Ed is very active in the community as a Chamber member, a volunteer, and a Karate instructor. Ed first discovered Karate while taking our son, Jon, and our daughter, Sarah, to their first class as kids and decided to stick around and join in. He was instantly hooked, eventually earned his black belt, and has provided classes for youth in the community. Sarah was always excited to bring her father to career day at school for being the Karate Kid Realtor.

Ed helped me join the world of Real Estate and we are grateful to own our business where we are able to work with and meet so many people. Ed has always remarked how he is grateful to have the opportunity to be one of the first faces people meet when they move to Cortez.

Ed specializes in commercial sales and leasing, and manages the largest commercial retail spaces at the Cortez Plaza.

Bob Toles, Broker Associate

Bob Toles, Broker Associate

The man to the left is Bob. Bob joined our team about three years ago and we have really enjoyed working with him. He originally earned a Master of Business Education and actually taught a few of our children’s classes in high school. Bob has lived in the area for about 25 years, most of which he worked as a teacher. After he retired, he realized an interest in Real Estate and soon joined our team. He brings a  very kind and easy going personality the office, something his clients also appreciate. He loves this area for all the outdoor opportunities. He views it as an ideal place to raise kids and especially loves spending time with the grandkids. His daughter attended school with our daughter, another proof that most people are connected to each other in some way helping to build a solid community. Bob also is in charge of our residential property managment business where his business management skills and his compassion for others is a strong attribute. Since he has joined our company our property managment services have more than doubled.

So that is us in a nut shell. As far as the business goes, Colorado West Realty has been around for 20 years (celebrating our 20th anniversary this year!) making us one of the oldest real estate offices in town. We teamed up with  United Country in 2007 as a way to help better serve our current and future clients. We also provide property management services, and are happy to manage a number of homes in our community. If you would like to learn more about the Southwest, feel free to contact us anytime! Email or call 1-(800)-328-6020.


Barbara Cullington