The Benefits of Flat Fee MLS Listings

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Home sellers today have multiple options for listing their homes for sale and in the current economy, many are opting to go the route of ‘For Sale by Owner’, more commonly coined as ‘FSBO.’ While employing the FSBO sales method may be cost-efficient, there are also limitations that one does not face when employing a real estate broker.

One such limitation for FSBO sellers is the inability to use the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) directly. The MLS replaces an earlier system wherein each real estate company had its own ‘internal inventory.’ With the MLS, real estate agencies post their inventories in one central database for the geographical area, which is open to the public for viewing. Sellers employed “selling agents” to place their property on the MLS for a commission on the sale price, often between four to seven percent, paid to the selling agent at closing.

Increasingly, more brokers are offering flat fee MLS listings to FSBO’s and any others interested in the service. With a flat fee MLS listing, a broker provides the service of placing information about a property into the MLS system for a one-time low fee.

This service has a positive effect for all parties, buyers, sellers and real estate agents. From the buyers’ standpoint, the MLS provides a more straightforward way to look at a range of properties. Buyers also know that since FSBO sellers operate without an agent, there will be one less cut taken out of the sale price. From the sellers’ side, it is important to utilize the MLS in the sale of their real estate and the MLS flat fee listing service is the most economical method to sell a real estate property. For the broker, while the MLS flat fee listing service decreases the revenue stream under the selling agent method of yore, the broker receives payment immediately at the time of service. It is a win-win method.

The idea of flat fee MLS listings is also part of a greater movement where Web access to information is reshaping conventional business methods. Traditional systems that operated on a more closed information pattern are yielding to more flexible purchasing strategies for large investments like cars and homes.

Flat fee MLS listings are one of the most economical and efficient methods for sellers to get information about their real estate on the market and into the public eye. They are a low fixed cost alternative to high buyer and seller agent commission fees.

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Source by Jim Powell

For Sale By Owner: 14 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Attempting

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The number one reasons for home sellers attempting to sell their home themselves is to save money or to facilitate a non-conventional arrangement with a buyer for a unique reason. Whatever the motivation, it’s important to ask yourself these questions so you have an overview of what your home sale will all entail. If you have any additional questions regarding the matter of selling your home, contact a local agent for a free consultation. Also, don’t be deterred if you don’t like the first one you are in touch with. It’s normal for a seller to “shop around” for the right agent. Buying and selling homes will be one of the most important transactions of your life and both, you and a potential agent should treat it as such.

Have you asked yourself…

1. Do you have the knowledge, time, and sales skills necessary to sell your home?

2. If a potential buyer is making aggressive offers, will you be able to negotiate strategically for yourself?

3. Do you know how to analyze the market data and comparable homes to determine the accurate value of your home?

4. Are you in the know of real estate trends that might affect the sale price and timing of selling your home?

5. Do you know how to understand a buyer’s finances and qualification for a loan?

6. Do you have concerns letting strangers into your home?

7. Are you knowledgeable enough in real estate contracts to create a legally binding contract, acquire all the necessary documents and signatures, and include counter-offers according to regulation?

8. Did you know that without a realtor, you are basically taking your home off the market every time you leave your house?

9. Did you know that many professional people and services are required to close the sale including an escrow and title company, home warranty company, pest-control and inspection services, and a lender? Do you currently have these relationships in place?

10. Do you know if you need a real estate attorney to assist this transaction, how much it will cost, and how much liability they will assume?

11. Do you have marketing experience, specifically in real estate, and the funds to allocate to your strategy?

12. Did you know that potential buyers will possibly expect you to lower your price because there is no realtor to pay a commission fee?

13. Did you know that there are advantages and disadvantages to the seller depending on which type of loan the buyer chooses?

14. Are you prepared to put in a lot of time, during evenings and weekends when it’s most convenient for potential buyers, to show your home?

Before you decide to sell your home yourself, consider the benefits a realtor can provide you that you may currently be unaware of. Because transactions facilitated by a realtor generally sell at 15% higher price points, the benefits you receive for paying your realtor their average 6% commission usually far outweigh the benefits of selling your home alone.

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Source by Shane Nguyen

Real Estate Agents and Technology – How to Use Tech Devices to Your Advantage

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A primary advantage of technology is it can considerably increase your productivity … if you know how to use it well. It seems sometimes that the new products around are nothing less than gizmos or are so hard to understand that only an engineer could figure out how to use them efficiently. One example: although the majority of agents now use the internet to communicate with their clients, surveys found that many real estate agents do not use the Internet fully to capture and retain leads. An article in Realty Times thus reported that home buyers’ main complaint about Realtors online is that they don’t respond to email inquiries fast enough.

Real estate agents can use technological devices to help them manage their schedule, advertise, stay in touch with clients, and accomplish many other tasks. And many actually do use tech devices. A 2002 survey conducted by the National Association of Realtor, “Technology and the Realtor,” shows that 80 percent of Realtors use between 4 and 6 devices for their work. Additionally, another NAR survey conducted in 2000 found that 77 percent of respondents used email for business purposes. However, many do not use these devices to their full potential.

Some people are naturally gifted to quickly understand how technology works and how to use it to their advantage. For all the others, there is help.

For example, ePro, a comprehensive Internet certification program for real estate professionals, teaches the basics about doing real estate business online. People who complete the course learn more about Web sites, online tools, and the Internet as a way to reach today’s consumers. ePro has been offered by the NAR since 2000.

For agents looking for training for more specific devices, the Internet is also the first place to go. Indeed, many companies provide courses on how to do a better use of PDAs, Blackberry, etc.

New technologies have the potential to help professionals be more productive with their time. However, these professionals will need proper training to be able to control these technologies instead of wasting time trying to make them work.

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Source by Kris Beldin

FSBO Tips – Telling Potential Buyers There Are Other Offers

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This practice is often done with different types of major purchases: automobiles, business deals, and yes (we know) homes !! Is this a good idea, especially when it comes to a For Sale by Owner home? Let us take a look at this concept.

There are occasions when an FSBO will receive multiple offers on their home. In that case they have a few ways available they can deal with this. One way is to let each potential buyer know that there are other offers being made to them. They can even "play a game" of telling the other prospects when a counter offer is made. An important thing this will do is jack up the selling price of your home. The logic being, whoever wants it badly enough will pay the highest price to you. This is almost like being at an auction. In this type of a scenario, telling prospective buyers about other offers is a good thing.

However, before utilizing this type of strategy you must understand any negative effects this could have on your sale. If one or more of your prospective buyers feels they have already proposed a fair price for your home; continuing to play this game could only aggravate them. You may well wind up with everyone getting disgusted with the process and NOBODY buying your house. Then YOU will be the loser, as the possible buyers will likely all go elsewhere instead.

Something else about an FSBO entertaining multiple offers for their home and telling the other buyers about them is this. Both the seller and the buyer run the risk of missing out on a great opportunity. This is an especially good point to make to the other potential buyers in a multiple-offer situation. Be sure to tell them all the great features of your home, yard and neighborhood. Do not leave out any important details. Let each prospect know what they will be missing if they drop out of the process. Remember – it is highly likely they already view your home as a "deal they cannot refuse." Then they could wind up just as disappointed as you are if they miss out on the opportunity to purchase your home.

One thing you can do to make the most out of entertaining multiple offers for your home is to be prepared in the first place. BEFORE you begin as an FSBO do some research on this scenario. Go onto pertinent websites, talk to experts, find out how you should best deal with this concept; should it arise. Practice your negotiating techniques of this type beforehand, then you will be ready to deal with it. Another thing you can do is to get to know each potential buyer when they begin to make an offer. Learn about any limitations they may have financially or even mentally. Perhaps their personality type makes them adverse to this type of negotiating deal. You will want to know that before telling them about other offers. The best advice you can get on this subject is – to be prepared!

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Source by Bill Len

NAR – For Sale by Owner – "SCARE TACTICS"

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Don’t sell your home FSBO – you will be robbed, raped or god forbid – worse. The NAR has been promoting this fear mongering for years. Here is a direct quote from a “Realtor” Ezine article (please note – the author refers to himself as a “Seasoned Real Estate Broker”) titled “NAR(r) Broker Will Swear It – Real Pro’ Agents Share It – FSBO “Truth” – and I quote – “Sometimes, the “Truth” hurts. Yet, being ripped off, raped, or even worse – hurts a whole lot more. Ask any police officer if home sellers should open their doors wide to strangers.” Are you serious? So is that why we pay 6% sales commission to sell a home – Security/Background checks? Now it all makes sense – I finally understand the value – give me a break! There may have been a time when real estate agents actually “screened” clients before bringing them to your house – that said, I firmly believe it was done to determine what they could afford and weather or not they were wasting the realtor’s precious time. I guarantee I can set up an appointment – through a Realtor to view a house within the next hour – they will take my first name – PERIOD!

Our friend, the “Seasoned Real Estate Broker” must be “old” school. The new NAR (which recognizes that Realtors do not “screen” their clients) scare tactic now claims that FSBO’s homes sell for up to 15% less then Realtor assisted existing home sales. They have developed a clever little “medium” based formula that demonstrates this and of course the Realtors that form their association believe the propaganda and diligently and naively spread it to prospective FSBO home owners. The problem with their calculations is they use a flawed formula to support their argument – they use a MEDIAN price as opposed to an AVERAGE price. The median is a “middle number” in a series of numbers – the average is a sum of all numbers divided by the total number. Have you ever looked at the “medium” mark on a test and had it mean anything to you?

The real “TRUTH”, as this author so eloquently puts, it is that Realtors are absolutely scared silly with the prospect of FSBO’s cutting into their revenue stream. The fact that they are being eliminated by the internet as a real estate sourcing tool manifests this fear to the point that they have to revive “old wives tales” – can you imagine being “ripped off, raped, or even worse” to save a measly 6% – no me neither. That said, I would love to see the face of the realtor that is asked to provide confirmation that all prospective clients have undergone a background check prior to viewing your property. Realtors “used” to ask for Identification – they don’t even do that anymore.

Also according to this author – “Every year, dozens of real estate agents are abducted, robbed, raped, and murdered” – my god they should be getting danger pay. I can’t think of ANY other profession that is subject to such potential crime and danger on the job. Did he say “dozens”? Another question – why would anyone “abduct” a real estate agent? Please excuse my tongue and cheek response to this article – I just find it bizarre that this tactic continues to be utilized or worse has been “reborn”. On a more serious note – my mother is a 35 year real estate agent – she has NEVER had a “bad” experience with a client. She did however have her home robbed two days after a real estate agent from the city showed her home to two gentlemen in a white van (can you say “red flag”). When police investigated the Realtor didn’t even have their names – now that is well screened.

The reality of selling your own home boils down to this – and this alone. If you can put together a decent marketing plan, properly price your home and are semi-personable without being overbearing you can sell your own home and save significant dollars. Should you be careful about whom you are letting into your home – of course. Is there risk – yes – there is always risk. Is there reward – of course – significant. The trick is to mitigate risk by being careful and using your instincts and, as always – be careful whom you are letting into your front door.

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Source by Mark Camphaug

How To Sell Your House Fast Regardless Of Your Situation!

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Do you need to sell your house quickly in today's ever changing real estate market? Do you need to get cash fast for your home? There are options even in this real estate market to help you accomplish all of your goals you have for selling your house. You can sell your house for all cash or on terms. You are probably asking what are terms? Well you have other options in today's market to sell your house over a short period of time say 12-18 months or over a longer period of time like 3-5 years. This will depend on how much cash you will need up front. By selling your house on terms you will be able to have your house payments made for you every month and be able to walk away with some cash for your immediate needs. Then depending on the terms of the sale you can receive up to full market value for your house. This would be better than selling your house now and maybe having to come to the closing with extra money that you might not have. With this type of sale you will get your price over time instead of all at once.

The benefits of selling your house this way are
1) you will get top dollar for your home in today's market.
2) You don't have to deal with realtors and waiting 6-8 months for you home to sell.
3) There are no costs or commissions to you at all.
4) If you sold it through the traditional way of a realtor, by the time you pay the realtors commissions, sellers concessions and the discount that the buyer will want in today's real estate market. You will be lucky to net 85-88% of the Selling Price of Your Home.
5) You can deal directly with a local Professional Real Estate Investor that will listen to your needs and help structure a sale of your home that will work perfectly for you.

Many home sellers in today's market find these methods of selling their house to be the best option to fit their goals. As you have seen there are many benefits of selling to a local real estate investor VS selling their house FSBO or through a Realtor. The choice is ultimately up to the homeseller to make.

A local real estate investor will also be able to make you an all cash offer on your home if you prefer. You would not have to make any repairs because they would by it "as-is". Your local real estate investor will give you a quick and fair all cash offer for your house. They should also be able to close on your home in under 30 days and in some cases as fast as 7 days! It is just a simple hassle free sale of your home. You will be able to walk away from your house with cash in hand. It doesn't matter the condition of your house or what your situation is, they can buy it fast for cash. Your local real estate investor will take care of all of the repairs, leins, back taxes, judgments, or whatever else you might be dealing with. You will just be relived of all that stress that has been building up about your house and, you will walk away with cash being done with your house.

Your local Real Estate Investor will provide you with fast, friendly, professional service. Not all real estate investors are friendly and have the experience you are looking for. Be careful to work only with a company who knows what they are doing. Good luck and I hope you are able to sell your house fast.

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Source by David Wilkison

Tips for Selling Your Year-Old RV

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Buying an RV often involves painstaking research, and despite all those hard done investigations, you may want to sell it after a while. How to sell your RV without taking a hit due to steep depreciation in the second-hand RV market? The question is enough to give you sleepless nights, but you are not alone in this. Many want to sell their perfectly tuned year old RV for a variety of reasons .. People often lose interests in RV-ing and want to liquidate their hardly used rolling homes. Some want to sell their RVs to meet their needs for cash due to unforeseen circumstances. It's also quite common for travel enthusiasts to buy a vehicle but with time and experience, they realize that they may need a coach of different size and specs. If you want to sell your RV for any of these reasons or the other, proceed with caution, as depreciation rate of second-hand RVs is quite high. You can expect to get 10 to 20 percent less of your buying price; you must aim to get the best deal possible. How to go about it? Here are a few tips:

Locate Your Ideal Buyers

The people who know you and trust your upkeep of the rig could be your ideal customers. Local RV-enthusiasts will also be interested in your unit, as it will be extremely convenient for them to make the transaction with a local seller .. You can meet many other prospective buyers, at local RV events. Often these events attract people who want to dabble into RV-ing and are trying to gain the inside knowledge. Your year-old vehicle may attract some first time RV-ers.

Approach a Dealer

If you fall into the group of RV-ers who want to upgrade and are on the lookout for buyers for their year-old vehicle, contact a renowned dealer in the vicinity. These dealers may assist you to get an excellent compensation for your young rig. And why would they want to help you? They expect you to purchase the upgraded model from their showrooms.

Assess the Value of Your RV

Dedicated sites which provide valuation quote for new and used cars offer insight of your vehicle's resale value. Always check with them. Your zip code, year and make of the rig, and mileage will be some of the determining factors for your RV's appraisal.

Dash for Some Quick Fixes

To command greater value for your RV, you must make sure that every part functions smoothly and that should include wheels, engines, GPS, batteries, cruise control, power mirrors, heating and AC units et al. Also, check if exterior paints, rubber seal of the skylight, the surface of the skylight, windows are intact. Service compartment should be in good condition, and it should look clean and smell nice. Interior walls, ceiling, floor, plumbing should also be in top order. The clean furnishings and serviced equipment will add to the value. How to sell your year-old RV in the right price bracket? The question might have given you many sleepless nights; but not anymore. Just follow the above blueprint and you will surely clinch the deal quickly.

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Source by John Bell Carey

Find Out All About For Sale By Owner Home Sales

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For Sale By Owner or FSBO is a word that has been floating around in increasing popularity among the real estate community. In the past, the only way that you could sell your home is by using a real estate professional such as a broker, Realtor, or other real estate professional. However, with a realtor costing a sizable portion of the sales price, more and more people are thinking about putting in the time and work into selling the home themselves. This article will talk about what FSBO means, its advantages and disadvantages, and whether it is right for you.

What is FSBO?

For Sale By Owner is a term that means that someone is selling their house without using a real estate professional. In the US there is nothing that requires you to use a real estate agent when you are buying or selling your home. However some states do require that a real estate lawyer read over the contract and that there is one at the closing table when all of the paperwork is signed. Because of this many people have started to turn towards this method and that number has been increasing in recent years. For many people a FSBO sale means that they put a yard sign up, put some online listings out there, and then conduct all of the showings themselves until someone finally buys their home. However this route can include other things like selling your home at an auction, selling directly to an investor, or even something as unusual as a house swap.

Why, And Why Not, To Use FSBO?

The savings is the biggest reason people usually decide to sell by themselves. Most real estate agents take anywhere from 5-8% of the total price that the home sells for. If you sell your home for $ 100,000, and even using the 5% fee, you will be paying $ 5,000 just to the real estate agent in the form of commissions. This is a huge chunk of money that could be used for something like a trip, college, paying off other bills, or even adding to your nest egg. Sometimes sellers think that the best person to market their home is the person that knows it best, which is themselves. Most of the good agents will usually be juggling at least a dozen listings all at one time so the agent might not be able to devote the time and attention to your sale in order for your home to sell quickly.

The biggest disadvantage of selling your home is that it takes a lot of work to accomplish. Even though it is not required it does make the process of selling a home a lot easier to use one. They have all of the contacts that are needed for the various professionals that you need involved with a home sale, plus they will usually do all of the showings. If you don't have an agent you will have to read about all of the state and local laws to ensure that you are proceeding in the best manner, and you will also have to study what type of marketing is working right now. You will have to list the home yourself and you will have to speak directly with the buyers when it comes time to have showings and for the negotiations.

Who should use FSBO?

If you have full time job and other full time commitments, then FSBO is probably not the right route for you. If you are going through a major life change, the extra work from an FSBO may only lead to more stress. If you are selling a home that is extremely unique or would yield a smaller audience of buyers, then having a real estate professional will help you find the right buyers.

On the other hand if you have the time, and are willing to put in the work, you can save yourself thousands of dollars in the home sale process.

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Source by Melissa Gifford

Ten Top Fails For Sale by Owner

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1. Over ambitious pricing- An owner’s home is unique and special to him or her. They chose this home above all others, made it their own, lovingly maintained and updated it tirelessly. It’s only natural that they above all others overvalue the property as a competitive product on the real estate market. A quick tour of Zillow.com For Sale by Owner listings highlights this issue where the vast majority of owners price their listing significantly above the Zillow Zestimate. While the Zestimate is not the last word in market analysis it tends to be very close. In addition, the data used for a Zestimate reflects homes sold by Realtors since they sell the majority of homes in the US. These sales are typically 10% to 18% higher than homes sold by owner.

2. Failure to update- Often a home’s décor is picture perfect for the present owner–even if it was last done years before. Unfortunately, buyers usually expect up to date décor, appliances, mechanicals, and exterior. Otherwise, they devalue the home by the amount they estimate it would cost to bring the home up to today’s appearance and efficiencies. This amount tends to be larger than the update would actually cost so it makes sense to do the work before the home is marketed. If this is not possible, the cost should be factored into the asking price. ‘For the price we’re asking they should take it as it is.’ thinking doesn’t fly–they won’t.

3. Failure to market- A sign on the lawn and a Craigslist listing is not enough in today’s highly competitive market. Marketing is successful if a buyer would have to be living under a rock to be unaware of the listing. Presentation is equally important. A home must look wonderfully appealing to compete with professionally staged and photographed listings typical of today’s Realtor presentations.

4. The imaginary buyer- A home’s salability can be determined by the size of the buyers’ pool present for a particular home in a given location for a price range–how many buyers are looking for a home like this. Sellers often imagine a buyer who would be interested in their listing at the price they want. It’s likely this phantom buyer does not exist or if they do would probably buy something more competitively priced.

5. Inflexibility Every situation is different. What appears to be the best course to the sale is often thwarted or unsuccessful. When this happens failure to reevaluate and redirect often dead ends the process. The real estate environment changes slowly and often not in the desired direction.

6. Creative financing- Owners typically receive “creative” offers from prospective buyers that have an unfortunate tendency to either fall through or cause serious financial harm to the seller. These prospects have often been refused by owners represented by Realtors who know better than to engage in suspect deals with unsubstantiated buyers.

7. Failure to Qualify- Owners often accept contracts from buyers who are not credit worthy. The result is typically a fall through–back to square one–or litigation. A buyer should be qualified before they even see the home.

8. Availability- Owners should be available 24/7 on phone or email to answer questions about the home and to schedule showings at qualified buyers’ convenience. If they have to wait they will usually see something else.

9. Negotiations- Lack of negotiation skills costs sellers millions of dollars every year in the US. Owners attract buyers ready, willing, and able to argue them down. These same prospects would have little luck low-balling sellers represented by Realtor who are highly trained and experienced in negotiations and can spot a wheeler-dealer a mile away.

10. Not consulting a Pro- Even if there is some pressing reason not to use a Realtor to handle the sale professionally, not having one on tap to avoid devastating situations that can often destroy an otherwise viable sale. The next best person to consult is a real estate attorney–no transaction should be without either; there’s too much riding on the outcome.

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Source by Dennis Maier

Homes For Sell By Owner – FSBOs and Buyer Brokers

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You're selling your home as a FSBO (for sale by owner) and you get annoyed when real estate brokers call you, right? That's a reasonable response when you're doing all the work to market your property to save thousands of dollars in broker commissions. However, when a "buyer broker" calls, you might want to listen.

Why Listen

To understand why I say that, we need to understand the functions of "listing brokers" and "buyer brokers." Real estate brokers can and do serve both functions, though some specialize.

Some brokers who call you are interested in listing your home. They want to market your home for you. The amount of commission charged for this service varies, but where I live, most brokers list homes for a commission of 6 percent of the sales price. When the home sells, if another brokerage firm has brought the buyer to the deal, the listing broker pays the selling broker half or 3 percent.

When you're successfully operating as a FSBO, you're getting folks to come and look at your house, or condo, or whatever, and you don't need a listing agent. However, what if you've been doing this for a while and none of the lookers has been converted to a buyer? What then?

Well, if a broker calls you and says he or she is working with buyers and they'd like to be able to show your home, maybe you should consider it. They probably only expect about half the typical listing commission. That still allows you to save serious money. Perhaps you can even negotiate down a bit from half. This is especially true if your home is appropriately priced above the average price for a home in your area. In my area where 3 percent to a selling broker is frequently acceptable, I've seen brokers accept 2.5 or even 2 percent. It doesn't hurt to ask.

As a bonus in that situation, you get someone who is knowledgeable about the process with an interest in getting the deal to settlement. True, they don't represent you. They represent the buyer, but the buyer wants your home and the broker wants a payday. In short, the buyer broker has incentive to put an oar in when problems arise.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not for one second suggesting that you pay more than is necessary to sell your home. At first, take names and phone numbers of "buyer brokers" who call you. Then, if you find you need to, call back the ones who impressed you.

There is a middle ground between going it alone and listing with a broker. If you find you need to, this middle ground can be worth exploring through buyer brokers.

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Source by Raynor James

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