Short Sales – Selling Your Home When You Owe More Than It's Worth

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As a Realtor in Warner Robins GA it is not uncommon to go on a listing appointment and meet with a seller who wishes to sell their home, but they owe too much on the home including 2nd mortgages, leans, or lines of credit, haven ' t lived in the home very long, and the current market value is less than their payoff. A good option for homeowners in this situation to consider is a Short Sale. Here is the basic process of how it would work: A Realtor gives a homeowner a free market analysis, determine if the home is a good prospect for a Short Sale, Realtor provides Foundation Realty Solutions with the completed Short Sale Prospect Information Sheet, Foundation Realty Solutions determines if they will accept the home as a short sale prospect, Realtor lists the home for fair market value, Foundation Realty Solutions acquires the property from the sellers lender within a couple months, at that time Foundation Realty Solutions will work with the Realtor at setting a new price to market the home in order for the homeowner to sell at their payoff, including contracts and closing costs. A commission is paid to the Realtor one time at the completion of the sale. The homeowner will not make any profit on the sale, but it will allow them to get out from under the house at a price they would not have otherwise been able to obtain.

If you answer yes to any of these questions than it may not be a good Short Sale Prospect

1. Can the house be sold for enough to pay off what the seller owes on it?
2. Does the Seller have the means to resolve their situation on their own? Do they have money sitting in a bank account or equity in another property that they can use to catch up or pay off their mortgage (s)?
3. Does the Seller insist on staying in the house (even when it's pointed out they'll have to move if the house forecloses)?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, this may be a good Short Sale Prospect

1. Is the Seller willing to move and walk away from the house?
2. Is any foreclosure sale more than 10 days away?
3. Is the house over-leveraged?
4. Does the house have more than one mortgage on it?
5. Is the house really ugly?
6. Is the house unconventional / obsolete?
7. Is the house a victim of its surroundings (ie, located on a busy highway, next door to a cemetery, crime scene, etc.)?
8. If the house is "pretty", do you think it would sell in 30 days or less if you dropped the listing price by 20%?

Benefits

1. There are no fees or costs of any kind to the Agent or Seller
2. Agent receives full listing commission
3. Houses sell quickly – you have a very competitive price
4. Realty Solutions Solutions handles the Short Sale – saving Realtor many hours of time while increasing the success rate
5. Agent retains the listing and the client
6. No more long phone calls and frustration dealing with loss mitigation
7. The process is quick and easy

Here is a link to Foundation Realty Solutions along with FAQ's
http://www.foundationrealtysolutions.com

For assistance with a Short Sale or buying a home in Houston County or Peach County in Georgia please call (478) 396-2440 or visit my website.

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Source by John Cobb

Tips on How to Sell Your Home Quickly!

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When selling your home, it is extremely important to show your home at its potential. Here are a few simple things you can do to increase the attractiveness of your home to potential buyers while still keeping within a budget. Some of these items are do-it yourself projects and some require the help of a professional. Either way these changes will help you get top dollar for your home and also have a great return on investment.

In cost ascending order, here is what you can do to better present your home:

1) De-clutter, De-clutter, De-clutter – This is probably the most cost effective improvement you can choose to do. When it comes to showing your home, less is more. Remove religious items, family photos, gadgets and knickknacks. Keep in mind, you want the buyer to remember the home and not your collection of seashells.

2) Clean – I know you are busy, but grab the glass cleaner and the vacuum and get rid of those dust mites and smudgy windows.

3) Upgrade hardware – Are those handles on your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors still from the 70's? Changing the hardware is a simple and cost effective way to give a new, modern look to an old cupboard door.

4) Upgrade light fixtures- Along the same lines as # 3, change old, outdated light fixtures and electrical cover plates. These are cheap to replace yet make a huge difference in the appearance of a room. Do not forget to make sure to replace burnt out light bulbs as well.

5) Paint – Freshen up the interior of your home with a new coat of paint. Use a neutral color to make the space appear larger than it is and also to allow the buyer to envision their own furniture in the space. Neutral colors are the best way to go as it allows the buyer to remember the space and not the bright orange wall color you chose in the 80's.

6) Upgrade flooring – I know the old shag rug in the living room is a classic, but a potential buyer probably will not agree. If it's in your budget, replace it with simple, neutral broadloom or hardwood floors. If hardwood is way out of your budget, opt for laminate.

7) Kitchen Upgrades – We all know women make the final decision when buying a home. We also know that one of the first rooms a woman looks at is the kitchen. If it's not in your budget to re-model the kitchen then consider replacing those old appliances with stainless steel. Stainless steel appliances are sleek and will give your home that modern touch.

8) Curb Appeal – OK, so the interior of the home is looking spiffy, we can not forget about the exterior – after all the front yard is the first thing the buyer sees when they pull up to the home. Make a good impression and make the home more inviting. Grab that lawn mower and hedge trimmer and add a few flowers. In today's market climate it is more important than ever to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. After all, you only get one chance at a first impression so why not make it a good one!

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Source by Joy Paterson

How to Sell Your Home Without a Real Estate Agent

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Considering the rapid rise in home prices over the past several years, home sellers are taking a hard look at the commission they have to pay to a real estate brokerage to market and sell their home. Real estate commissions vary across the country; they average in the four to seven percent range.

According to the 2004 National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers fourteen percent of homes were sold by-owner. The NAR study listed the two most difficult tasks for for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) were preparing and fixing up the home for sale and getting the pricing right.

Invite three full-time mid to high producing agents to your home to give you an opinion of price. Understand that if the three price opinions are not what you think the property is worth, you should understand the danger of an over-priced property. Homes that are over-priced have been studied by large national real estate brokers and over-priced homes take longer to sell and sell at a lower price as a percentage of the original list price.

Ask the agents to give you constructive feed back on what you should do to make your home visually appealing to the majority of buyers. Below are some staging tips to prepare your home for market.

1) Research how to "stage" your home to maximizeize its appeal to homebuyers by creating a spacious and pleasant home environment for buyers.
· Start by removing the first thing that gets in your way.

· Take one or more major pieces of furniture out of every room to make it more spacious.

· Keep matching furniture pieces together to build uniformity in a room.

· Create seating areas where two or more people can talk.

2) Keep the eye moving when staging a room.

· Use furniture placement to direct the buyer's eye towards a room's features.

· Move large pieces of furniture away from windows.

· Place large furniture at entry end of room to lighten visual load at opposite end of room.

· Use area rugs to anchor seating arrangements.

· Have your dining table closed to its smallest size.

3) Use furniture placed on angles in a room to give it a quick update.

· Angle a bed in a corner of a bedroom to focus attention.

· Angle furniture in a V shape in living and family rooms.

· Angled furniture can help fill a room short on furniture and lend a designer look.

4) Create vignettes in rooms to set mood.

· Breakfast tray with coffee cups, newspaper, flower vase on bed.

· Set the dining room table with linen tablecloth, china, silverware, and stemware.

· Set up game table for chess, bridge, or backgammon.

5) Effective model homes focus on creating the right environment.

· De-clutter so buyers can overlay their furnishings and lifestyle.

· Clean, fresh, and new smell.

· Attention to detail. Clean rooms and landscaping trimmed.

· Subtle background music, classical, light jazz, or rock.

· Interior décor and wall colors accent home's architectural features.

· Live plants or fresh flowers add finishing touches.

6) Understand decorating basics that can guide you to repositioning a room.

· Color. A little goes a long way.

· Scale. Do furniture sizes complement or overwhelm a room?

· Pattern. Easy does it to avoid distracting from room itself.

· Lighting. Use it to define dark corners. Helps to fill out a room.

· Focal point. Fireplaces, views, art, find one in every room.

· Texture. Adds visual interest, warms cold spaces and finishes.

Understanding and completing the paperwork in a real estate transaction was number three of the most difficult tasks according to the NAR study. Once your home is priced right and ready for market you should retain a real estate attorney to help you review contracts, disclosure forms and to help you qualify potential buyers of your home. An experienced real estate attorney can help you avoid the common pitfalls in real estate negotiations and will facilitate a smooth transaction.

Here are some cliff-notes on real estate contracts.

· Use an approved real estate contract by your state real estate attorney association or local Board of Realtors®.

· Real estate contract. A binding agreement between buyer and seller. It consist of an offer and an acceptance as well as consideration (ie money).

· Acceptance. Agreement by the parties of the terms of a contract.

· Contract length. Research customary contract lengths, the standard is 45 days from contract to closing.

· Have sold comparables properties on hand for prospective buyers.

· Comparable. Closed prices for similar homes in age, condition, location and size.

· Price. Study average sold prices as a percentage of lists in the last six months.

· Low-ball offers. Buyers should offer over 87% of list if they are serious, otherwise you will not respond at all to low-ball offers.

· Counteroffer (s). The response to an offer or a bid by the seller or buyer after the original offer or bid. Request all counteroffers to be in writing.

· Require all buyers to present the highest level of mortgage commitment with their contract.

· Mortgage Commitment. A document by a mortgage lender that commits the lender to providing a loan at agreed terms and conditions.

· Mortgage term, rate and amount. Look for strong down-payments of thwenty-percent or more. Interest-only loans signal that the buyers could have been stretching to qualify for a loan.

· Cash offers in lieu of mortgage financing should be confirmed with a letter from your financial institution staging funds are on deposit to close the contract.

· Federal law requires Lead-Based Paint Hazard disclosures.

· Lead-Based Hazard. A disclosure of reports or knowledge of Lead-Based Hazards. Buildings built after 1978 do not present Lead-Based Hazards.

· Read Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home by the US EPA.

· Real property disclosures required by the federal or your state Written statements by the seller (s) of a property disclosing any known defects.

· Local disclosures. Local requirements of disclosure that the seller provides and the buyer acknowledges, such as certificates of occupancy.

· W-9 form. An IRS form requesting taxpayer identification and certification numbers of buyers to receive interest on earnest money from delivery to closing.

· Subject to appraisal. Most contracts as part of the mortgage contingency require the subject property to appraise at a minimum of contract price.

· Appraisal. An objective third parties opinion of value by a licensed or certified appraiser.

· Earnest money deposit. Money given to the seller at the time the offer is made as a sign of the buyer's good faith.

· Research customary earn money deposits as they vary. The larger the deposit, the increased motivation you buyers show to perform the contract.

· Refund of earnest money deposits. Contracts should provide for repayment of the entire earnest money deposit within agreed contingency periods. Seller's attorney should hold earnest money deposits.

· Attorney approval period. Your attorney reviews and makes changes to the contract, typically 5-7 business days.

· Property inspection period. The right under a contract for the buyer at their expense to discover the actual condition of the property. This period typically runs 5-7 business days.

· Well and septic inspections. These are independent of structural and mechanical inspections.

· Timelines for contingencies run concurrently.

· Contingency. A provision in a contract requiring certain acts to be completed before the contract is binding.

· Closing / escrow date. The date of the end of the transaction process where the deed is delivered, documents are signed, and funds are disputed.

· Possession date. The date agreed by contract when the buyer can occupy the property.

· Final walk-through. A property tour before closing or escrow that permits the buyers one final verification of condition, agreed repairs and personal property.

· Tax pro-rations. The amount of credit given to buyers at closing for unpaid property taxes, when taxes are paid in arrears. Pro rations should always be more than 100%.

· Personal property. List and initial all personal property included with the sale, such as air-conditioners, appliances, and playground equipment.

· Home sale contingency. The contract is contingent on the sales of the buyer's property.

· Buyers show motivation when including a home sale contingency by having their current property already on market.

· Home closing contingency. The contract is contingent only on the successful closing of an existing real estate contract.

Marketing your home to prospective buyers should include these methods.
· A professionally painted yard sign.

· Newspaper advertisements classified and photo.

· Public and broker open houses.

· Internet: virtual tour and at least eight photos.

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Source by Mark Nash

For Sale By Owner Signs – Why They Are a Big Mistake

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Every year, thousands of homeowners opt to avoid real estate commissions by listing their homes themselves without a Realtor®. It makes a lot of sense, why pay 6% of the sales price if you don’t have to (especially in a down market like today)? There is nothing wrong with this thought process or the decision to sell for sale by owner. However, the decision to go to a hardware store and buy a cheap white and red For Sale By Owner sign with a place to write in your number with a black marker, actually is a mistake that should be avoided.

Rather than use a For Sale By Owner sign, you should do one of two things. First you can design a custom sign that does not say For Sale By Owner and looks like a real estate company sign, but with your contact information. It does not have to say Realty, Properties, Real Estate or anything like that. It just should not say For Sale By Owner, By Owner, or anything of that nature. It needs to look like a real estate broker sign even if the subdivision name or something else is in the spot where you would normally have the real estate broker name. The second option is, if you are using a flat fee listing company to gain MLS entry, use that broker’s sign with your contact information on it (as long as it doesn’t have the same type of ‘for sale by owner’ slogans or URL’s the cheap signs from the hardware store have). You will benefit from the professional look with the Realtor® logos, while still getting all the drive-by phone calls that any For Sale By Owner using a cheap sign would receive.

Almost any sign company including several real estate sign companies on the Internet can assist you in designing and printing a For Sale sign. It might have a house on it, a snow scene if you live in the mountains or just be professional-looking with stylized fonts in 2 or more colors. You should place an Equal Housing Opportunity logo on it. Make sure it is the standard size metal sign that you see in your area, such as 2′ by 3′, and if possible, have it installed on a wood post or H-frame. Many major cities have sign installation companies that install and remove posts and signs for real estate agents; again this adds to the professional look and feel of the sign.

When your sign ceases to look like a cheap For Sale By Owner sign, you will cease to receive as many agents hassling you about listing your property with them. They are more likely to think you are already listed by an agent since your sign looks like a professional sign. (It is an ethical violation to approach the seller unsolicited and attempt to get a seller to cancel their listing and switch listing agents). Unrepresented buyers are less likely to realize right away that there are no agents involved and ask for a discount based on avoiding commissions. You are also less likely to be approached by scammers who attempt to prey on unrepresented sellers with various schemes like kicking back illegal payments to shill 3rd party companies. Finally, the professional -looking sign will tell prospective buyers that you are serious about selling; you did not just throw a cheap sign up on an overpriced property to see if anyone would pay your above market price.

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Source by Donald Plunkett

Realtor Vs FSBO – An Unbiased Comparison

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I'm sure you've heard many arguments when or not a Realtor is better at selling your home than you are. Every Realtor, without fail, will tell you that they can sell your home faster and for more money than you can. They will even have statistics to prove their point. On the flip-side, almost every "For Sale By Owner" site on the web will tell you the opposite. So who do you believe when both parties are self-serving?

Being a Realtor with a working team and also the CEO of a For Sale By Owner website, I will attempt to take an unbiased approach to this argument and cover the pros and cons of each place. There are 4 points that a Realtor will base their arguments on and so I think it is only fair to address each of these points.

4 Points Or "Arguments" A Realtor Will Make

1. A Realtor can price your home more accurately.
2. A Realtor can negotiate the deal better than you can.
3. A Realtor can sell your home for more money.
4. A Realtor can sell your home faster.

So let's ask each question and talk about the real answers. For the sake of this discussion, let's first assume that the Realtor we are talking about here is an experienced agent that sells more than 12 homes per year. Why is that important? Because over 80 percent of Realtors sell 3 or fewer homes per year and can not really make any of the arguments listed above. How can they? The agents that only sell 3 homes per year have to relearn the business on almost every deal. This is true across the industry. There are too many "part-timers" for these arguments to be a blank statement for every Realtor.

CAN A REALTOR PRICE YOUR HOME MORE ACCURATELY THAN YOU CAN?
Up until a few years ago, the answer was most definitely "Yes" but that has recently changed. Let's compare.

Realtor
It is true that, on average, Realtors price homes more accurately than a FSBO seller will. Realtors have resources available to them to see all of the recent sales in any given neighborhood. They can also see all of the available homes currently on the market. By analyzing this data, they can make a fairly accurate prediction of what a home should sell for and even how quickly it should sell.

Seller – For Sale By Owner
Most sellers price their home based on what they "think" their home should be worth. Their pricing is based on very little accurate data other than what other homes are currently priced at that are still on the market. No Realtor would ever … or sooner, should never base a price on what is for sale but rather what has sold. With today's technology and the resources on the web, a seller can spend as little as $ 16.95 and get the same information that a Realtor uses. Now for the tricky part … forget any notice that your home is better than any other seller's home. Use this report and base your price on hard data and you can price your home as accurately as a Realtor.

Winner – It's a Tie … if FSBO sellers use the data available to them and take an unbiased approach in pricing their property.

CAN A REALTOR NEGOTIATE A BETTER DEAL THAN YOU CAN?
There is more to negotiating than just the price. With that being said, let's compare.

Realtor
There is no substitute for experience when it comes to negotiations. As I said before, there is more to negotiations that just price, there are repairs, time-frames and many other small details that become part of the negotiation. A Realtor has the ability to step back emotionally and really look at the deal in an unbiased way. They should be able to analyze the proposed price and use their data to support the selling price. Through experience, they can recognize which repairs make sense to accept, which ones can be settled with money and which repairs should be thrown out with supporting arguments as to why.

Seller – For Sale By Owner
It's hard to compete with experience when you are negotiating a contract. It's like playing cards. You get better the more you play. You learn when to hold fast, when to bluff and when to fold. This does not mean that you can not do it though. Here is where you have to weigh your options carefully. If you sell on your own and get the raw end of the deal on repairs or even lose a few thousand dollars on price because you did not have the data to support your argument, how much did you save by not using a Realtor? The average home seller saves $ 15,000 in commission when selling as For Sale By Owner. So if a Realtor could have saved you that $ 3,000 in the selling price and kept you from making that $ 2,000 in repairs, you are still ahead $ 10,000.

Winner – Realtor … but is stronger negotiation worth 6%?

CAN A REALTOR SELL YOUR HOME FOR MORE MONEY?
According to NAR (National Association of Realtors), "Sellers who use a real estate professional make 16 percent more on the sale of their home than do sellers who go it alone". Is this true? Let's compare and see.

Realtor
We talked about accurate pricing earlier. Accurate pricing in the beginning is key to getting the most money for your home in the end. Realtors have the data available to them to accurately price a home in the beginning. It should be a safe assumption that, on average, Realtors can in fact sell your home for more.

Seller – For Sale By Owner
As I mentioned earlier, FSBO sellers now have the same data available to them to price their home accurately. Accurate pricing is key to getting the most money for your home. It has been proven that if you price your home even 10% above true market value, you will only reach 30% of the potential buyers for your home. The longer your home sets on the market, the more inclined buyers will be to get aggressive with their negotiating in the belief that you are getting desperate. If you price 15% below market value, you will reach 90% of potential buyers but once again, buyers will think you are desperate to sell quickly and become more aggressive in negotiating the price even lower.

So where does the 16% figure come from? The statistics that back this figure up, though incomplete at best, stem from past FSBO sellers using their gut feelings to price their home or simply listing in the local paper.

Winner – It's a Tie … again, only if FSBO sellers use the data available to them and take an unbiased approach in pricing their property.

CAN A REALTOR SELL YOUR HOME FASTER?
Let's hear their arguments and then compare.

Realtor
When you ask a Realtor how they can sell your home faster, their response is almost always "accurate pricing equals a faster sale" and "we offer greater marketing" or "greater exposure for your home" to drive more interested buyers. We have already answered the issue on pricing so let's move on to the "greater exposure" claim. A Realtor has one main marketing avenue. I am talking about their local MLS of course. The MLS feeds the Realtor's listings out to Realtor.com which is the largest real estate website in the world with over 5 million unique visitors per month. Only a Realtor can list a home on the MLS. They may also talk about magazine and radio ads but any honest Realtor will tell you that these are really there to advertise their brokerage and drive leads for their buyers agents. Very few Realtors submit your home to additional real estate sites, usually due to lack of know-how.

Seller – For Sale By Owner
How does a seller compete with Realtor.com? It is the largest real estate site on the planet after all. Thanks to the new technology available today, a few (not all) "for sale by owner" websites will syndicate your listing out to multiple real estate classified sites. The combined site visitor reach of these sites can be well over 12 million unique visitors per month. That's a lot more than 5 million. I am by no means discounting Realtor.com. In fact, I think it would be very smart to ensure your home is also listed on Realtor.com. So if Realtor.com and the MLS is only for Realtors, how can you list your home there? A few Realtors (very few) offer a flat-fee MLS listing. For anywhere between $ 299 and $ 499, a Realtor will list your home on the local MLS and Realtor.com. You will still be responsible for paying a buyer's agent 2% to 3% if they bring the buyer but that still saves you 3% to 4% in commissions. On a few FSBO Websites, you can get the great exposure of your local MLS and Realtor.com through a "Flat-Fee MLS plan". Plus, you can still reserve the right to sell "For Sale By Owner."

One important detail to consider here is the fact that a Realtor's service is free to buyers. Because these services are free, they would be foolish not to employ a Realtor. Realtors will NOT show a FSBO home unless they know they will get paid a commission. Plus, the MLS is the only place most Realtors conduct a home search for their clients. It would behoove you to list on the MLS if you are not seeing immediate success selling without the MLS.

Winner – Tie in regards to traffic and exposure … comparing a Realtor to FSBO without MLS exposure.

Winner – For Sale By Owner Seller … comparing a Realtor to FSBO with Flat-Fee MLS option.

VERDICT
So what does this all mean? It means that times are changing. There are enough resources available to you, the "For Sale By Owner" home seller to allow you to sell successfully, quickly and for top dollar. There are times when the need for a Realtor is real and necessary. Their expertise, experience and dedication to help ease your stress during these potentially difficult times can be worth every penny you pay. If you have the money and the ability to enlist the aide of a Realtor, then I feel confident in saying that you will not be sorry. However, if money is tight or you have the time to educate yourself on real estate, then you will be very rewarded. Good luck!

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Source by Joshua Harley

How To Sell Used Books On Amazon: How To Start Your Own Home Based Bookstore – 5 Amazing Tips To Sell Used Books On Amazon! (Passive Income, Selling Books On Amazon, Home-Based Bookstore)

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FSBO, Not a Good For the Current Economy

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Many are selling their property today. However, there are very few buyers. Although the economy is showing signs of progress, it has not reclaimed fully yet. Since the industry is not yet doing well, many believe that it would be best to try the FSBO. With this, they do not need to pay any sales commission, which means that they will benefit from the proceeds in full. However, there are various downfalls of, for sale by owners, in this type of economy. Bear in mind the there are more sellers and there are very few buyers. The competition in the market is tough. With lack of experience, you have a slim chance of success.

Here are a few of the reasons why it is best to work with an agent when selling your property in this type of economy:

1. An agent will assist you during the complex process. As you may already know, there are different steps involved in selling a property. You have to deal with the problems of the title as well as the other restrictions. You have to check your property as well to make sure that you will be able to sell it for a good value.

2. With the help of an agent, you will be able to reach more buyers. You can advertise your property by putting sign in front of your house. You can also post ads in the local newspaper. However, you can use more marketing tools with the help of an agent. Bear in mind that he has connection and he knows how the market works. He can enroll your property in the different sites. He can also ask for referrals from other agents who are working with some buyers.

3. An agent can help you determine the right value of your property. It is difficult to determine the right value of your property nowdays because they are relatively lower. Having an agent will help you determine the best value for your property. He can compare it with other similar properties in your area or use other accurate approach.

4. Your agent will help you compete with other sellers in the market. Since there is a buyers market in the industry today, the competition among sellers is tougher. An agent can greatly help you with this because of his experience. He knows how to attract the buyers and he knows how to negotiate with them.

5. He will protect your best interest. This is one of their responsibilities. That is why you can be certain that you will be informed about the important facts about the transaction.

Selling your property in this type of economy is difficult. That is why you need the help of someone who can make things easier for you. Working with an agent allows you to simplify complex processes. It will even help you reach more buyers and make sure that you get the best value for your property. These would be difficult to achieve if you try to sell the property on your own.

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Source by Roby V. Pagong