Realtor News

10 Tips for Holding a Safe Open House

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Sep 10, 2019, 16:00 PM
10 Tips for Holding a Safe Open House Open houses can be a great sales tool—but hosting one also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time. Take these steps to stay safe: 1. If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house. 2. Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial. 3. Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
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56 Safety Tips for REALTORS®

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Sep 4, 2019, 10:08 AM
In honor of September being REALTOR® Safety Month, we wanted to share these safety tips with our members. All tips are taken from the National Association of REALTORS'® Safety Resource Kit. Please visit www.nar.realtor/Safety for more information on the important topic of REALTOR® safety.
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How to Make the Best Purchase Offer in a Seller's Market?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Aug 23, 2019, 12:54 PM
You’ve worked with a Realtor® to scour the listings, toured what feels like a million houses and finally found it: the house you want to call home. The next step is to make your purchase offer, and if you are like most people, the prospect can be quite intimidating. In a seller’s market, there can be even more pressure on the buyer to submit an impressive bid. So how can you make sure that the offer you submit is the one that is accepted? ​ “In a seller’s market, home prices are a bit higher and inventory is lower,” said Glenda Krull, President of the Snohomish County Camano Association of Realtors®. “This means you are more likely competing with multiple bidders. In a competitive market like this, sellers need every advantage they can get, and working with a Realtor® to make the best purchase offer is a smart move.” And, believe it or not, the bid with the highest price is not always the one that wins.
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Trying to Find a Home in This Low Inventory Market?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Jul 22, 2019, 08:43 AM
The start of the busy buying season means a growing number of Americans are on the hunt to purchase a home, but many could have trouble finding a home to buy. A new survey by the National Association of Realtors® reveals for the first time that difficulties finding the right property have surpassed challenges obtaining financing as the most cited reason clients are not purchasing homes. ​ This finding speaks to the tightened inventory conditions seen in many areas of the country. There simply aren’t enough homes available to purchase — predominantly at the low end of the market, where first-time buyers are most likely to shop. ​ “There’s more demand than inventory, which has pushed up home prices to levels above what many first-time buyers are comfortable spending,” said Glenda Krull, President of the Snohomish County Camano Association of Realtors®. “People spend countless hours going through the process of obtaining a loan and locating their perfect home only to find themselves competing in a bidding war.”
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Does Homeownership Matter?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Jun 28, 2019, 16:15 PM
From city hall to the U.S. Capitol, REALTORS® are actively involved in a wide range of issues related to the health and well-being of the communities where they work and live. Through their membership in the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), they are a powerful voice in support of the dream of homeownership and work to build strong communities and a vibrant business environment that benefits everyone. REALTORS® are committed to protecting the dream of homeownership, so we are celebrating the month of June as National Homeownership Month!
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Spring 2019 Government Affairs Newsletter

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Jun 5, 2019, 15:50 PM
Federal Legislative Update May 13th through May 17th, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) hosted their annual REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. A small group of representatives from Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® (SCCAR) traveled to D.C. to meet with our federal legislators and talk to them about our legislative priorities. Authority for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was set to expire on May 31st, 2019, but NAR was able to get a temporary extension until June 14th, while they continue to work towards a permanent extension. We urged our legislators to pursue infrastructure policies which reflect our areas needs. We continued to advocate for a level playing field for both highway and public transit funding, to enhance property values and create desirable communities. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act included many changes which affect homeownership and the real estate industry. As we close the first tax season under the new rules, REALTORS® are working to protect or support the following policies: extending expired Mortgage Debt Cancellation Tax Relief; fixing the marriage penalty on the state and local tax (SALT) deduction cap; and indexing to inflation the $750,000 cap on mortgage interest deduction, and capital gains exclusion on the sale of a principal residence. Fair housing is integral to our ability to buy, purchase, lease, and occupy real estate in America, having protected our nation's essential right to property for more than half a century. Earlier this spring, NAR was pleased to support H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which adds fair housing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. State Legislative Update The 2019 session adjourned for the year on Sunday, April 28th. Washington REALTORS® was able to work with both parties to protect the real estate industry and also proactively address our state’s affordable housing crisis. We ended a successful 2019 session by (1) protecting our members, (2) protecting real estate transactions, (3) providing opportunities to increase both commercial and residential real estate transactions, and (4) protecting our clients.
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What Obstacles do First-Time Buyers Face on the Path to Homeownership?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • May 30, 2019, 08:55 AM
For people with good jobs and strong credit, today’s real estate market is an attractive one. However, some buyers, especially first-time buyers, are struggling to enter the market and don’t always find the home buying process easy. ​ According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), the share of sales to first-time home buyers inched backward to 34 percent (35 percent in 2016), which is the fourth lowest share since 1981. In the 36-year history of NAR's survey, the long-term average of first-time buyer transactions is 39 percent.
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When is the Best Time to Visit an Open House?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • May 24, 2019, 12:42 PM
The spring buying season has begun! This spring, Realtors®, members of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), across the country will hold thousands of open houses from coast to coast, aiming to focus attention on the benefits of homeownership for individuals, families, communities, and our nation’s economy.
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Homeowners More Likely to take on D.I.Y. Remodels?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • May 24, 2019, 12:39 PM
Homeowners looking to add personality and individuality to their home are more likely to undertake a “do-it-yourself” remodel than hire a professional, according to the National Association of Realtors’ 2019 Remodeling Impact Report: DIY. The report also shows cash-strapped millennials are the most likely of any generation to take on a DIY project.
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Do You Know Who We R? What's the Difference Between a Realtor & Other Real Estate Agents?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Mar 29, 2019, 13:36 PM
While many people know a Realtor helps buy and sell homes, what they may not know is only a Realtor s a member of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribes to its Code of Ethics. It's the Realtor Code of Ethics which inspired the association's powerful new "That's Who We R" campaign. The Realtor Code of Ethics isn’t just words on a page, but is a pledge of honesty, integrity, professionalism, and community service. Partnering with a Realtor delivers the peace of mind which comes from working with a real person, a real advocate, and real and trusted professional who is committed to their clients’ futures and neighborhoods just as much as they are. It’s the Code of Ethics which helped to inspire our new campaign, “That’s Who We R”. The campaign will demonstrate the value of a Realtor, distinguish Realtors from the rest, and deliver a sense of pride in being a Realtor. The campaign aims to reinforce the value of Realtors as advocates for property owners, engaged community members and trusted advisors with in-depth knowledge of the industry. “‘That's Who We R" serves as a reminder of what NAR has always stood for, while signaling where the organization is heading. For Realtors, the campaign is a rallying cry that instills pride in their everyday actions. For consumers, it's an education about the Realtor difference,” said Glenda Krull, President of Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors.
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2019 Legislative "Hill" Day Update

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Mar 5, 2019, 09:56 AM
Over 500 REALTORS® adorned with “Unlock the Door for Affordable Homeownership” scarves converged on Olympia for the Washington REALTORS® Legislative Day event. Over the course of two days, REALTORS® participated in governance meetings, installed our 2019 Leadership, networked and met with legislators to discuss solutions for the acute housing affordability crisis in Washington State. Our event keynote speaker, Dr. James Young with the Washington Center for Real Estate Research, presented valuable information on real estate trends affecting REALTORS® and consumers alike. The statistics and data he presented highlighted the extreme difficulty for first-time buyers to find affordable housing and for “empty nesters” to trade down, creating a ripple effect in the housing market. Dr. Young also points out that the most efficient means of providing opportunities for first-time home buyers (affordable condominium development) has not taken place in this market due to supply constraints. These supply constraints are having a significant impact on the overall housing market which is why Washington REALTORS® have identified several legislative priorities to address them. Over the course of over 140 different scheduled meetings with legislators on Thursday, January 24, 2019, REALTORS® received encouraging and positive response to the following Legislative Priorities:
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Do Most Americans See Homeownership as a Good Investment?

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Mar 5, 2019, 09:54 AM
Eighty-four percent of Americans believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision, the highest number in ten years. Yet six in ten said that they are concerned about affordability and the rising cost of buying a home or renting in their area. Nationally, forty-four percent of respondents categorized the lack of available affordable housing as a very big or big problem. “Most American’s still believe in homeownership and aspire to own a home of their own. Building equity, wanting a stable and safe environment, and having the freedom to choose their neighborhood remain the top reasons to own a home. Yet, Americans consider the lack of affordability as a big obstacle to ownership,” said Glenda Krull, President of Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®. Specifically, in Washington State, there is a housing affordability crisis impacting buyers, sellers, and renters. Growing pressure and demand for housing lead to skyrocketing prices and low housing supply. Families in all income groups are struggling to find homeownership opportunities. This impacts every part of the housing and rental markets in Washington. According to the University of Washington’s Center for Real Estate Research, first-time buyers in Snohomish County face home prices that are nearly double what they can afford. That is why Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® has partner with Washington REALTORS®, and other organizations, to address the housing affordability crisis in Washington State by launching “Unlock the Door” campaign. “Unlock the Door” is a coalition which seeks to bring affordable housing to Washington by reaching out to our local, state, and federal legislators. Washington will benefit from affordable ownership opportunities and, among other things, we need to encourage condo, townhome, and small lot building and zoning – especially near our transit lines. However, accessible and affordable housing cannot be solved by the private sector alone. This is a statewide problem that requires action by the state legislature, as well as local officials and even the federal government. For starters, we need to educate our elected officials about how the lack of affordable housing impacts the residents of our state. You can contact your legislators by visiting the “Unlock the Door” website: https://unlockthedoorwa.com/take-action/. You can let your elected officials know how important the issue of housing affordability is to communities across Washington. You can also read about the 2019 Legislative Agenda: https://unlockthedoorwa.com/2019-legislative-agenda/. These agenda points are what would create an environment of housing affordability. For more information about buying or selling a home, be sure to work with a REALTOR®, a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Snohomish County. If you have questions for The Expert about Real Estate email us at info@sccar.org, or by visiting https://www.sccar.org/.
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Why Homeownership Matters

  • by Cami Morrill
  • Mar 5, 2019, 09:53 AM
The beginning of the year is a good time to celebrate and promote the American Dream of homeownership and identify the many benefits of owning that roof over your head. “Most consumers know that homeownership is among the soundest investments an individual can make to begin building their personal wealth. However, owning a home is not just in the best interest of the homeowner. Homeownership provides social stability, builds communities and is a driving force for the national economy,” said Glenda Krull, President of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors®. Below are some of the benefits of reaching the American Dream: Social stability: Improved educational performance, lower crime rates and improved health are a few social benefits linked to homeownership. “Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth, which opens doors to more engagement in communities through volunteer work, involvement in social activities and electoral participation,” Krull stated. Strong communities: Homeowners tend to stay in their homes longer than renters, dedicate more money to improve their home and are more engaged in enhancing their community. “Homeowners are often more invested in their home and their surroundings, which leads to stronger neighborhoods and communities and increased interaction between neighbors,” said Krull. Economic force: Being a homeowner also has a positive local and national economic impact. That is because homeownership creates jobs through remodeling, landscaping, lawn service, furniture and appliances, home improvement and real estate services. “When a home is sold in the United States, the income generated from real estate-related industries is over $20,000 and additional expenditures on consumer items is about $4,500 – a boom to the economy,” Krull mentioned. Brings families together: Along with being more involved in their communities, homeowners are often active and connected to their own families. Family dinners and game nights at home could mean a more-connected, happier family. “Home is where people make memories and feel comfortable and secure. Homeownership Month is an opportunity to reiterate that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream and enjoy the many benefits that come along with it,” Krull said. Consumers can learn more about homeownership and keep up with housing-related tips, news, stories and policy issues through Homeownership Matters: https://homeownershipmatters.realtor/ and HouseLogic: https://www.houselogic.com/. For more information about buying or selling a home, contact Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors® or visit www.sccar.org to speak with a RealtorÒ, a member of the National Association of Realtors®. The Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors® is, “the voice for real estate in Snohomish County.” If you have questions for The Expert about Real Estate email us at info@sccar.org.
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How important is neighborhood walkability to potential homebuyers?

  • by Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®
  • Feb 17, 2018, 09:51 AM
Identifying their preferences for the type of home and neighborhood to live in are typically among the first things potential homebuyers do. Debating between the convenience of a short commute versus the spaciousness of suburban living can be challenging when deciding upon the right home. “In the home buying process, understanding the preferred characteristics of a neighborhood can be as important as those of a home. Whether it’s a suburban single-family home with more schooling options for children or a townhouse in the city with better access to public transit, Realtors® - members of the National Association of Realtors® - can help homebuyers identify the communities that best serve their preferences and needs,” said Bob Wold, President of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors® The National Association of Realtors® 2017 National Community and Transportation Preferences Survey polled adults from across the U.S. about what they are looking for in a community and found that young buyers continue to view their dream neighborhood as a walkable, mixed-use community. In fact, according to the survey, six out of 10 millennials prefer walkable communities and short commutes, even if it means sacrificing living in a larger home with space to stretch their legs. “It is not surprising that younger buyers prefer the convenience of a neighborhood close to work and enjoy living near amenities like restaurants and retail,” said Wold. “Real estate professionals continue to see a trend in millennials moving to areas where they don’t have to be in bumper-to-bumper traffic and can get around during their free time with little stress.” Millennials are not the only generation of homebuyers, however, that prefer walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. Members of the silent generation, those born before 1944, also prefer smaller homes in neighborhoods with easy walks to shops and restaurants. Over 50 percent of the silent generation prefer walkable communities and short commutes, even if it means living in an apartment or townhouse. Gen-Xers and baby boomers show a preference toward suburban living, with 55 percent of both groups saying that they are comfortable with a longer commute and driving to amenities if it means living in a single-family, detached home. Homebuyers with children tend to shift their priorities when their kids get older. According to the report, six out of 10 millennials with kids in school characterize the ideal neighborhood as more of a conventional suburban area with homes containing more square feet and larger backyards. “As ever-changing preferences distinguish where consumers want to live, Realtors® provide insights on local market conditions and amenities for every generation to help find the most suitable and desirable home for themselves and their family,” said Wold. For information and advice about buying or selling a home in 2018, speak with a local RealtorÒ in your area today. The Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors® is “the voice for real estate in Snohomish County.” If you have questions for The Expert about Real Estate email us at info@sccar.org.
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What can we expect in the housing market in 2018?

  • by Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®
  • Jan 20, 2018, 16:44 PM
The start of the new year is a time when many people reflect on their goals and pledge personal resolutions for the next 365 days. Whether optimistic about or hoping for changes in the year to come, switching over the calendar also allows an opportunity to reassess one’s housing situation. This time of year has potential buyers and sellers reflecting on last year’s housing market data and examining the outlook for the next 12 months to better prepare themselves for entering the market and buying or selling a home. Home sales and prices both increased in 2017. In 2018, existing-home sales are projected to be unchanged from 2017, at about 5.5 million sales, after rising the past three years, and the median home price will edge up only about 2 percent. One of the biggest challenges in 2018 will continue to be the low levels of homes available for sale. The National Association of Realtor’s® Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) survey tracks topical real estate trends and renters and homeowners’ views and aspirations regarding homeownership. Released in December, the quarterly survey showed that at the end of 2017 a smaller share of homeowners believed that now is a good time to buy or sell a home, even with strong job creation and faster economic growth in the last months of 2017. “Since rising to 62 percent in the third quarter of last year, optimism that now is a good time to buy slipped to 60 percent, from 57 percent a year ago,” said Bob Wold, President of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors®. The report also found that 76 percent of homeowners think now is a good time to list their home for sale, which is down from last quarter (80 percent) but up from a year ago (67 percent). This data should help potential buyers and sellers better understand the market environment and know what to expect in 2018. “The takeaways from this survey should help buyers and sellers who are heading into the market, and working with a real estate professional they can apply the lessons learned from the past year and expectations for the year ahead to achieve their home buying and selling goals,” said Wold. For information and advice about buying or selling a home in 2018, speak with a local Realtor® in your area today.
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How have low supply and price growth affected first-time buyers?

  • by Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®
  • Dec 23, 2017, 16:50 PM
The National Association of Realtors® 2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that despite strong interest in owning a home, a continued drought in housing supply has led to price growth over the past year. This accelerated price growth has kept many first-time home buyers out of the market, even when the economy has experienced steady job gains and mortgage rates at record lows. “The share of sales to first-time home buyers went backward to 34 percent, from 35 percent in 2016, which is the fourth lowest share since 1981. Individuals who wanted to buy their first home faced roadblocks last year through a rise in home prices and inventory shortages – with the lower end of the market witnessing the worst of the supply crunch,” said Natasha Zieroth-Chaumont, President of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors® The Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers identified numerous current consumer housing trends that affect first-time buyers, including mounting student debt balances and smaller down payments. Characteristics of first-time buyers The median age of first-time buyers was 32 years old, and first-time buyers saw their household income grow from $72,000 a year ago to $75,000 in 2017. First-time buyers purchased a slightly smaller home (1,640 square feet compared to 1,650 square feet in 2016) that was also more expensive ($190,000 versus $182,500 in 2016). Fewer first-time buyers purchased a home in an urban area (17 percent compared to 20 percent in 2016). Student debt Student debt balances continue to grow, making it more difficult for first-time house hunters to break into the market. The report found that over 40 percent of first-time buyers had student debt, and the typical debt balance increased in the last year from $26,000 to $29,000. “The homeownership rate has fallen, and fallen more steeply among younger generations, in a large part because of student debt delaying their ability to buy a home, typically by seven years,” said Zieroth-Chaumont. Down payments The increase in home prices pulled the typical down payment for first-time home buyers to 5 percent, compared to 6 percent in 2016. The primary source of funding for a down payment among first-time buyers was personal savings, followed by a gift from a friend or relative. “More than 50 percent of first-time buyers said it took a year or more to save for a down payment, and 25 percent said saving was the most difficult task in the entire buying process,” said Zieroth-Chaumont. The report also found that nearly 90 percent of all buyers ended up purchasing their home through a real estate agent. Finding the right property to buy and help negotiating the terms of the sale were the most common benefits that buyers wanted from their agent. For more up to date and accurate information about buying or selling a home, speak with a local Realtor® in your area today.
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What are the top reasons to work with a Realtor®?

  • by Ryan McIrvin
  • Nov 18, 2017, 09:57 AM
Realtors® aren’t just brokers. They’re professional members of the National Association of Realtors® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the Realtor® difference for home buyers: Ethical treatment. Every Realtor® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As the client of a Realtor®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. The first obligation is to you, the client. An expert guide. Buying a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language. Objective information and opinions. Realtors® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. Realtors® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need. By understanding both your needs and search area, they can also point out neighborhoods you don’t know much about but that might suit your needs better than you’d thought. Expanded search power. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor® can help you find opportunities not listed on home search sites and can help you avoid out-of-date listings that might be showing up as available online but are no longer on the market. Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A Realtor® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows enough time for you to complete inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Up-to-date experience. Most people buy only a few homes in their lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. Realtors® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career. “A home is so much more than four walls and a roof and for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make,” said Natasha Zieroth-Chaumont, President of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors®. “Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.” The Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors® is “the voice for real estate in Snohomish County.” If you have questions for The Expert about Real Estate email us at info@sccar.org.
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Call for Action Launched!

  • by Ryan McIrvin
  • May 1, 2017, 12:24 PM
Below is information for a REALTORS® Call to Action on SB 5239, which addresses the impacts of the Supreme Court’s Hirst water rights decision, and SB 5254, which improves the Growth Management Act’s Buildable Lands Review process and provides funding for low-income and homeless housing programs.
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Are more and more buyers looking for greener and smarter homes?

  • by Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®
  • Apr 29, 2017, 10:58 AM
Growing consumer interest and demand for greener, more sustainable properties is driving a dialogue between Realtors® and homebuyers and sellers. In April 2017, the National Association of Realtors® introduced the REALTORS® and Sustainability report, which surveyed Realtors® about sustainability issues facing consumers in the real estate market and ways Realtors® are setting their own goals to reduce energy usage. According to the report, over half of Realtors® find that consumers have an interest in real estate sustainability issues and practices.
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Should I Consider Downsizing?

  • by Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS®
  • Aug 31, 2016, 09:40 AM
People buy and sell homes for many reasons. Perhaps they need to relocate for a job, or maybe they simply want a change of scenery. However, according to the National Association of Realtors®, if you are 50 years old or older chances are you are selling your home to downsize.
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