The Liz Moore Market Watch Blog

'Black Friday' in Real Estate?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Sep 24, 2019 @ 11:06 AM

rustic-vegan-AwOG1tC5buE-unsplashDid you know that the week of Sept. 22 is the best time to buy a home in the U.S., according to data released by realtor.com? Forty-one out of 53 markets in the U.S. reported that buyers see significantly less competition and greater inventory during this time.

"As summer winds down and kids return to school, many families hit pause on their home search and wait until the next season to start again. With dramatically less competition, persistent buyers will feel the scales tip in their favor as eager sellers begin to cut their prices in an effort to entice a sale," said George Ratiu, senior economist of realtor.com. "As seasonal inventory builds up and restores itself to more buyer-friendly levels, fall buyers will be in a better position to take advantage of today's low mortgage rates and increased purchasing power."

In general, buyers face 26% less competition across all markets while inventory increases by 6.1% during the first week of September, compared to the average week of the year. For us here in the South, buyers see 26.2% less competition.

As a result, during this “Black Friday” week, 5.8% of listings nationwide see price cuts, making them, on average, 2.4% less expensive than during their peak. This effect is the most noticeable in the West, where homes on the market see an 8.6% reduction—to 4.6% lower than their peak—followed by the Midwest, the South and the Northeast.

If you've been thinking about buying, now could be the perfect time!!  Click here to search available homes for sale.And if you're brand new to the home buying process, or just want to be better educated, download our free Home Buyer's Guide.

Tags: Buyers, Sellers, Home Sale Statistics & Trends, lizlocal, lizlocal-Richmond, lizlocal-Williamsburg, lizlocal-Peninsula

What Will We See in the 2019 Peninsula Real Estate Market?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 11:09 AM

rawpixel-620230-unsplashBy: Donna Moyer, Managing Broker in Newport News

2018 was another solid year for local real estate. Here on the Peninsula, closed sales finished up 1% for the year, on top of a small increase in 2017. The final quarter was strong, with pending sales up a little over 7%.

We are entering 2019 with less than 4.5 months of active inventory, and homes selling, on average, in only 41 days. On average, sellers accepted offers at over 98% of their asking price last year. That is good news for sellers who are priced properly and in good condition, or for prospective sellers who are thinking about diving into the market. Nationwide, most markets are experiencing inventory shortages, which is the single biggest factor keeping a lid on the number of sales.

The exception here is the upper end market, where sellers need to be significantly more patient – there is currently 10 months of inventory priced at $500,000 and up on the Peninsula.

Prices remained remarkably steady during the past 12 months, with the median sales price on the Peninsula at $192,00 for most of the year.

Here is what I see in the coming 12 months:

A shortage of listings has been our biggest challenge for the past 18 months. My expectation is that we will continue to see more listings come on the market as we move into the Spring. We have seen a significant jump in new listings over the past few months, signaling that wise sellers recognize the importance of beating the competition to the Spring market.

As the typical Spring seasonal demand builds, consumers will realize that moves need to be made ASAP in order to take advantage of a 9 year streak of historically low rates and home values. It’s important to note that the market can shift quickly, and it will not surprise me to see a highly competitive Spring season for homes selling below $400,000.

Interest rates will continue a slow and steady climb this year. Interest rates have been perplexing over the past 12 months. Most predicted the inevitable ascent would begin as the economy gained steam, but rates remained lower than predicted, most likely because the feds were hesitant to do anything that might inhibit the momentum of the recovery.

I believe that 2019 will be the year that interest rates incrementally increase, but the question remains by how much and how frequently. The good news is that this is a sure sign of a strengthening economy, but the bad news is that each hike raises the bar on home affordability. My prediction is that this will add some urgency to the market this year, particularly in the lower price ranges.

Prices will finally begin to show improvement in many neighborhoods. Prices are neighborhood specific, and some areas are definitely improving faster than others. We saw a slight rise in appreciation on the Peninsula last year (with the median sold price up 5%), and I expect we will continue to stay on this more normal appreciation rate in 2019 and beyond.

If a home purchase is on your New Year resolution list, buy early in the year, as interest rates have a much greater impact than most realize. For instance, waiting for prices to drop 5% to save $12,500 on a $250,000 purchase may cost you an extra $225 per month in payments; if rates increase from 4% to 5.5%, then your payment increases from $1194 to $1419. For most buyers, the affordability index of monthly payments is a more critical consideration.

We were fortunate to participate in 1 out of every 6 home sales on the Peninsula in 2018, insuring a position as an agency in the local market. Your support and referrals are much appreciated, and we promise to deliver the extraordinary client experience that has become our hallmark!

*All stats based on Broker Metrics (REIN MLS areas 101-113) residential home sales in 2018

If you are looking to buy or sell a home this year, email us at info@lizmoore.com.  We'd love to help!

Tags: Buyers, Sellers, Hampton, York County, Newport News, Poquoson, lizlocal-Peninsula, relo-peninsula-news

Liz's Crystal Ball for 2019

Posted by Liz Moore on Wed, Feb 27, 2019 @ 04:01 PM

crystal ball-12018 was another solid year for local real estate. Here in Williamsburg, closed sales finished up 5% for the year, on top of a 2% increase in 2017. The final quarter slowed down slightly, with pending sales down almost 2%.

We are entering 2019 with less than 4 months of active inventory, and homes selling, on average, in only 30 days. On average, sellers accepted offers at over 98% of their asking price last year. That is good news for sellers who are priced properly and in good condition, or for prospective sellers who are thinking about diving into the market. Nationwide, most markets are experiencing inventory shortages, which is the single biggest factor keeping a lid on the number of sales.

The exception here is the luxury market, where sellers need to be significantly more patient – there is currently 18 months of inventory priced at $750,000 and up in Greater Williamsburg.

Prices remained remarkably steady during the past 12 months, with the median sales price in Williamsburg slightly above $300,000 for most of the year and finishing up at $310,000. 

Here is what I see in the coming 12 months:

A shortage of listings has been our biggest challenge for the past 18 months. My expectation is that we will continue to see more listings come on the market as we move into the Spring. We have seen a significant jump in new listings over the past few months, signaling that wise sellers recognize the importance of beating the competition to the Spring market.

As the typical Spring seasonal demand builds, consumers will realize that moves need to be made ASAP in order to take advantage of a 9 year streak of historically low rates and home values. It’s important to note that the market can shift quickly, and it will not surprise me to see a highly competitive Spring season for homes selling below $500,000. Interest rates will continue a slow and steady climb this year.

Interest rates have been perplexing over the past 12 months. Most predicted the inevitable ascent would begin as the economy gained steam, but rates remained lower than predicted, most likely because the feds were hesitant to do anything that might inhibit the momentum of the recovery.

I believe that 2019 will be the year that interest rates incrementally increase, but the question remains by how much and how frequently. The good news is that this is a sure sign of a strengthening economy, but the bad news is that each hike raises the bar on home affordability. My prediction is that this will add some urgency to the market this year, particularly in the lower price ranges.

Prices will finally begin to show improvement in many neighborhoods. Prices are neighborhood specific, and some areas are definitely improving faster than others. Appreciation was relatively flat in the Greater Williamsburg market last year (with the median sold price down just over 1%), and I expect will continue to trend toward more normal appreciation rates (4 to 5%) in 2019 and beyond.

If a home purchase is on your New Year resolution list, buy early in the year, as interest rates have a much greater impact than most realize. For instance, waiting for prices to drop 5% to save $12,500 on a $250,000 purchase may cost you an extra $225 per month in payments; if rates increase from 4% to 5.5%, then your payment increases from $1194 to $1419. For most buyers, the affordability index of monthly payments is a more critical consideration.

We were fortunate to participate in 1 out of every 6 home sales in greater Williamsburg in 2018, insuring our position as the #1 agency in the local market. Your support and referrals are much appreciated, and we promise to deliver the extraordinary client experience that has become our hallmark!

*All stats based on Broker Metrics for WMLS, 23188, 23185, and 23186 residential home sales in 2018

If you are looking to buy or sell a home this year, email us at info@lizmoore.com.  We'd love to help!

Tags: Buyers, Sellers, Williamsburg, lizlocal-Williamsburg, relo-williamsburg-news

Real Estate Assessments Grow Across the Richmond Area

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Feb 08, 2019 @ 11:37 AM

rawpixel-790897-unsplashReal Estate Assessments are up in the majority of counties across the Richmond area and the news has homeowners buzzing.  

Hanover County will see its largest year-over-year increase in the past decade by 6.1%.  According to the assessor’s office, the reassessment of 37,000 properties and new construction will increase the value of the county’s total taxable property by $856.6 million.  

The median assessment of a Hanover County home will be $277,700, an increase of 7.7% over the current year.

In Henrico County residential real estate assessments were roughly 4.8% higher than last year’s, with the average assessment at $255,000.

Henrico’s tax rate is 87 cents per $100 of assessed value, meaning that the average real estate tax bill for Henrico homeowners will increase by about $92.

The average assessment in Chesterfield County increased by about 3.7%, with the average single-family home assessed at $250,000.  Here, the county’s real estate tax rate is 96 cents per $100 of assessed value.

What does this mean for homeowners?  The market is strong and there's not a lot of inventory.  If you have been thinking about selling, now could be the time!  Email us at concierge@lizmoore.com, or click below, and we can prepare a complimentary analysis of market value for you.

How Much is My Home Worth?

 

 

Tags: Buyers, Sellers, lizlocal, lizlocal-Richmond, relo-richmond-news

Incorporating a Pop of Color

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 @ 04:04 PM

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Want to try some bold, trendy colors in your home but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered.

A cayenne red can make bold, spicy statement. A deep purple or blue can add depth and richness. A sunny yellow or warm orange can brighten any space. A soft green or light blue can bring the peace of nature inside. Color showcases our emotions and our creativity, and always makes a statement.

These bold, trendy colors are fun, popular and can update any home, but trends can also be passing. A great way to stay current and protect your investment from becoming outdated is to incorporate these colors in
your home in small bursts, also known as pops of color.

Pops of color can highlight architectural details and add personality to any space. The best part is you don't have to commit an entire room or wall to that trendy color to achieve the effect, a pop is just that, a small
area or item in that special shade providing a flash of color.

Try an accent wall, half wall above or below your chair rail, or a piece of furniture. Even painting a frame, chandelier, lamp, or pair of candle sticks in a bold shade can add a pop of color and lend visual interest to a room or area in your home.

Great areas to play with color are laundry rooms, bathrooms and entry ways. You don’t spend hours in these places, rather you pass through and fun colors here can leave a lasting impression.

You’re not a painter? No problem. You can always hire a professional for a big job, but this is a fun way to put those hours you’ve logged watching HGTV to good use.

What you’ll need for your DIY makeover paintover: an old rag, painter’s tape, primer or white paint if you're covering a dark color, your paint color of choice, and an appropriate size paint brush for the project. For added appeal, find updated or funky accessories for your piece like a new lamp shade or drawer pulls.

It’s really quite simple once you have all of your supplies. First, wipe away any dust so you have a smooth, clean surface. Next, remove drawer knobs or tape over any hardware or areas you don't want painted. Apply a primer coat if needed to cover particularly dark colors and stains. Next, apply one to two coats of your chosen paint color and let dry.

Remove any tape and reaffix the necessary items like lamp shades, light bulbs, or drawer knobs, and wait for the compliments to start rolling in.

The possibilities don’t end with paint when it comes to playing with color.

Throw pillows, blankets, vases, and framed prints are just a few easy, low commitment ways to play with color
in your home.

So, go ahead and make a splash with bold, trendy colors in your home! We want to see your projects and how you incorporate pops of color in your home.

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
Click below to subscribe to our blog!

Tags: Buyers, Sellers

Countertop Trends in 2018

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 @ 02:22 PM

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It’s said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s where we prepare our meals every day, often where we eat, and where we gather and socialize.  The countertops are the largest surface in the kitchen, and they need to be both durable and beautiful.  So, what’s trending in kitchen countertops in 2018? 

For years granite was the preferred countertop material.  It’s strong, durable and attractive.  Granite is a natural rock and is porous.  That means liquids like water, wine, and oils can seep through the surface and cause staining and even encourage the breeding of dangerous bacteria.  Granite can be sealed to solve the porous issue, but sealant wears off over time and must be redone again and again.  Once sealed, granite is easy to clean and maintain and is unaffected by harsh chemicals making this an attractive choice. 

Granite is still very popular, but with its noted downside, alternatives have been on the rise in popularity.

Quartz is by far the most popular trend right now.  Quartz is generally harder and denser than granite and the pattern is more like marble which is appealing to many homeowners. Quartz is strong, durable, non-porous, and low maintenance.  It is highly resistant to stains and is the most hygienic countertop option for homeowners.  Quartz comes in many colors, patterns, and finishing techniques that mimic the look of natural stone.  All of this does come at a price though, with Quartz being one of the more expensive countertop materials. 

Marble has also been a popular choice recently.  This countertop material is beautiful and highly heat resistant.  Marble can be scratched and can be affected by harsh chemicals though, making it a little more difficult to clean.  Marble is one of the more expensive choices on the market as well. 

Butcher block countertops have been trending recently.  These countertops are solid wood laminated together with adhesive, giving a warm, natural look.  Butcher block is heat resistant but can burn and can also scratch easily.  But as it’s natural wood, this surface can be more easily repaired than other options. 

Aside from material, there are other trends in countertops such as color, pattern, finish, and integrations. 

Preference for soft neutral tones is a common theme running throughout the home in current décor trends, and kitchen countertops are no exception. Bold countertop colors are fading from popularity as neutrals become the norm.  Instead of a bright blue or jet-black countertop, you are more likely to find soft grey, white and beige tones in kitchens in 2018.  Homeowners are still incorporating colors in wall color or backsplash tile or even in their seating choices, but countertops are trending towards neutral colors. 

Speaking of backsplash tile, we’re seeing trends move away from the previously popular 4-inch-high slab of countertop material going up the wall.  Now, in its place decorative tiles are starting at the countertop surface.  As the countertop goes low-profile with neutral tones and thin slabs, the backsplash has become a canvas to try out bold styles. With the tendency for homeowners to extend the backsplash to the ceiling (instead of just below the wall cabinetry), the backsplash has become something of an accent wall, forming the visual focal point for the kitchen. 

The busy pattern of round particulates is becoming less popular as realistic veining is gaining in popularity.  Technology is offering creative solutions to make material like quartz resemble slabs of natural stone like granite and marble.  Manufacturers are creating veins and interesting swirled patterns into their countertop slabs now. 

For even more of a natural look, some homeowners are opting for a matte finish on their countertops rather than a high-gloss polished slab.  Textured finishes like honed and leather surfaces are on the rise as home design as a whole is incorporating more textured and tactile surfaces.  Honed finish is a matte finish with little to no shine.  Depending on material, the look will vary, but it should have a low sheen and smooth surface.  Honed finishes work well with marble as its lack of shine more easily conceals any flaws or scratch marks.  Leathered finish has become popular in recent years, it has a soft sheen that is less glossy than a polished slab and has a different tactile feel.  The leather finish retains the stone’s natural color giving it a more natural and sophisticated look than honed.  The finish also hides fingerprints and water spots well, which is very appealing.

With countertops trending toward more modern and functional materials and finishes, the kitchen sinks aren’t being left behind.  The favorite look for homeowners has been a sleek, continuous style from the countertop to the sink, a look that is still trending in 2018.  Integrated sinks are made from the same material as the countertop so the two blend seamlessly together, resulting in a sleek, modern style.  This trend also makes maintenance a breeze with the lack of a break between countertop and sink.  Also, an adaptation to this is different material sinks–like stainless steel, vitreous china, and quartz that have a flange made of the same countertop material giving it that seamless integration from sink to surface.  The possibilities are endless.

With so many options, homeowners can really change the look and feel of their kitchen by simply updating the countertops.

Are you thinking about selling your home and are wondering if you should update the countertops?  Email us at info@lizmoore.com and we'd be happy to give you some advice!

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
Click below to subscribe to our blog!

 

 

Tags: Buyers, Sellers

Design Trends: Outdoor Kitchens

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Wed, Jun 20, 2018 @ 03:25 PM

Capture-14Grilling is great but preparing and cooking your entire meal outdoors is even better! Outdoor kitchens are trending, here's what you need to know to create an outdoor kitchen of your own.

Outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity as homeowners seek to add value to their homes by creating more functional space, like an outdoor kitchen. Kitchens have become the hub of the home and outdoor kitchens are an extension of that trend where the family can gather outdoors.

Outdoor kitchens allow for prepping, cooking, enjoying, and cleaning up to happen in one place outdoors, no more trips back and forth from the kitchen to the patio. With outdoor kitchens, everything you need is outside, so you can enjoy your gathering as much as everyone else is.

Cooking outdoors also reduces the heat indoors. Stovetops and ovens can make your home uncomfortably warm and make your air conditioning system work even harder. Shifting some meals to outdoor kitchens allows for lower cooling costs and increased comfort in your home.

Some kitchen features are easier to add to outdoor kitchens than they would be to an interior kitchen. If water features, fire pits, or even a pizza/baking oven are things you'd like to enjoy, your best bet is putting them outdoors.

Outdoor kitchens can include elements like grills, side burners, sinks, refrigerators, food prep stations and counters, drawers and storage spaces, griddles, bar and beverage centers, trash and towel drawers, vent hoods, stone ovens, and more.

Traditional outdoor kitchens are comprised of a masonry base tied in to the style and exterior of your home with either brick or stone.

Contemporary outdoor kitchens are characterized by sleek lines and polished finishes like granite and stainless steel.

Whatever your style and preference, there are endless options to customize your outdoor kitchen and make this extension of your home your new favorite spot.

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
Click below to subscribe to our blog!

Tags: Sellers, buyer, RVA Home Building

Landscaping Tips and Tricks

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Tue, Jun 12, 2018 @ 02:40 PM

irene-davila-198059-unsplashWhether moving into a new home, selling your home, or maintaining your existing home, landscaping can add wow-factor and curb appeal to every home.  It can often be overwhelming and confusing, so we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks from the pros.

Start with a plan

Create a drawing of your yard and plot out your master plan for your landscape.  This may look intimidating, but just work in phases or sections focusing on small projects that are part of a bigger picture.  This will help keep your budget in check and keep the project moving along as well as provide you with a sense of accomplishment and confidence.

So how do you design your landscape?

Make a list

Before designing your landscape, consider a few questions- Do you have children that will play in your backyard and how much space do they need?  Do you want to grow vegetables or fruit?  How much time and motivation do you have to devote to maintenance?  Do you have rabbits or deer that are eager to munch on your new landscape? Answering these questions first will help you define your needs and wants in a practical way, and second help you select plants and flowers that will perform best in your yard.

Study the natural lighting

It’s important to know how much sun the area you’re landscaping gets, and not only how much, but what time of day the sun is on that area.  Many plants and flowers have very specific sunlight needs and tolerances that must be taken into account when designing your landscaping.  For example, afternoon sun is much hotter and tougher on plants and flowers than morning sun.  If you have an area that gets afternoon sun, it would be wise to choose heat-tolerant flowers like hibiscus and lantana, these will tolerate high temperatures and dry conditions while still providing vibrant color.

Study the wind

Wind whistling around the corner of your home will quickly extinguish a fire pit.  By studying your landscape’s wind patterns you can decide the best place for your fire pit or outdoor fireplace if you choose to include one.

Design around a focal point

Any good garden design has a focal point, or series of focal points, whether it’s a statue, fountain, fire pit, stunning tree, or beautiful series of shrubs or flowers.  The point is to draw the eye and move it through the landscape design.

Scale and pace

This is the most difficult element in landscaping design, but scale and pace give your landscape a cohesive look.  Using variations in size, shape and color will lead people through the space.  Place tall plants and shrubs in the back or up against a building, and then medium size, and finally ground cover in the front.  Repeat some elements, whether it’s a certain plant, common color, or shape, to add a sense of cohesion.  But to avoid monotony, add an occasional element that’s different but still complements.  

Design for all seasons

When planning your landscape, include elements that will wow in various seasons, so your landscape always looks appealing.  For example, include perennials like an evergreen that produces berries in winter along with spring blooming bulbs and summer blooming bushes paired with inexpensive annuals for every season.  This is a great way to ensure there is always something beautiful in your landscape.

Get Edgy

Edging creates a defined, finished look to your landscaping including your flower beds, driveways and walkways.  You can use brick, stone, or natural material like plants.  Natural edges are especially beautiful and form the lowest tier of your landscaping design.  Low-maintenance perennial plants are ideal for this job like hostas or annuals like impatiens in shady spots, or perennial yellow alyssum flowers or annual zinnias in full sun locations.

The art of the disguise

Design ways to hide your AC unit and trash cans.  These things are necessary but can be quite the eyesore.  Build lattice around your unit or cans and have ivy or climbing summer blooms like clematis or mandevilla decorate it, or plant shrubs to hide both.

Make paths for high traffic

Pavers, gravel, pebbles, bricks, and more material are popular choices to build pathways through your landscape for high traffic areas.  This will protect your lawn and add visual interest at the same time.

Light it up

Landscape lighting is aesthetically pleasing as well as a safety feature making sure paths and features are visible after sunset.  Twinkle lights in trellises or strung in ornamental trees can add beauty and whimsy, while path lighting leads the eye through the landscape and has many designs and options to choose from including solar lights!

The most important thing to remember is to be patient and flexible.  Your landscape project is not a 3-day HGTV makeover, those shows have crews of 60 or more skilled workers and professional designers with years of experience.  Take it slow and accept that some changes might need to be made season to season and year to year until you get your landscape just right.  It’s a process, get outside and enjoy it!

Are you interested in hot real estate topics, tips and trends?  
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Tags: Sellers, buyer

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 10: Why?

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 @ 02:33 PM

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By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 10: why?

Question 10: Why should I list with you?

In most real estate markets, only a small percentage of agents sell more than 4 or 5 homes per year. While experience isn’t the ONLY key to a great agent, it is important. Your agent should be committed to real estate as a full-time career, be responsive, and care about your objectives in the transaction. A good agent will ask you what is most important to you. In addition to understanding the market, and having a strong marketing strategy for your home, a great agent is also a skilled negotiator, and will protect your bottom line throughout the transaction.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers, relo-peninsula-news, relo-williamsburg-news, relo-richmond-news

10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR, Part 9: Your Company

Posted by Lynnette Tully on Fri, Apr 13, 2018 @ 02:36 PM

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By Liz Moore

Hiring the right real estate professional is probably the single most important decision you’ll make when you put your home on the market for sale. I recommend interviewing a few agents from different firms before making a choice. There are 10 questions you should ask before you hire a real estate agent - part 9: your company!

Question 9: What is different about your company?

There are hundreds of agencies in the market, but only a handful control the majority of the sales. There is a reason for that. Your agent should be able to demonstrate a competitive advantage for their firm. If they can’t, you should question whether or not they will be able to differentiate your listing from the sea of competition.

Our firm’s tagline is “real estate reinvented” and we understand how to market unique competitive advantage. Our legendary No Surprises program empowers our clients with knowledge sooner in the process by providing them with pre-listing appraisals and home inspections. Knowledge is power, and in this case not only creates peace of mind but a true negotiating edge.

Are you are thinking about about selling your home?  Download our eBook, "10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR®".

Download 10 Questions Every Seller Should Ask Before They Hire a REALTOR

Tags: Sellers