Aspen Updates from Sally Shiekman

I am regularly espousing the deep value of the Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley, and it is clear that I am not alone. 

It's time to dig out those skis and if you are ready to move closer to the lifts, give me a call. 

The National Association of Realtors Settlement

March 27, 2024
As a realtor with Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's International Realty, I'm here to break down the recent developments concerning the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) settlement. This agreement, addressing nationwide claims on broker commissions, signifies a pivotal moment for our industry.

Firstly, it's crucial to note that myself and other Sotheby’s affiliated agents and franchisees are protected against current and future litigation related to these claims, thanks to a prior settlement by our parent company, Anywhere. This means we can continue our operations without the immediate need for action.

The NAR's settlement introduces several changes, especially around commission structures. Offers of compensation will no longer be mandated on the MLS, granting us more flexibility to negotiate directly. This aligns with Anywhere's stance on the matter, advocating for choice and negotiation freedom in compensation matters.

Moreover, the agreement mandates buyer representation agreements for MLS participants, ensuring that buyer agents are appropriately Quick read more or view full article compensated for their efforts. We fully support this move towards greater transparency and fairness in the industry.

While the full details of the NAR settlement will be clearer once the agreement is publicly filed, these changes are in sync with the industry's direction towards more openness and client-focused services.

Our priority at Sotheby’s International Realty remains to offer exceptional service and support to our clients, navigating these changes with professionalism and care. If you have any concerns or need more information, please contact me. We're here to ensure a smooth transition and continue delivering the high-quality service you expect from us.

If you or anyone you know is looking for real estate anywhere on the globe, I hope you will put my “Mountains of Experience” to work for you.  Read Less

Spring is in the air, it’s time to prepare

March 5, 2024
The days are getting longer and warmer. As we embrace the vibrant energy of spring in Aspen, the real estate market is buzzing with anticipation, especially with the expected future decrease in interest rates. I'm Sally Shiekman, your Aspen Snowmass Sotheby's real estate advisor with 32 years experience, and a five-time recipient of the Aspen Times' Best of Aspen, Best Female Realtor award. Today, I'm here to share essential guidance for both buyers and sellers to navigate the upcoming spring market effectively.

For Buyers:

The spring season often brings a renewed sense of opportunity in the real estate market. For those looking to purchase in Aspen, here are three strategic tips:

1. Pre-Approval Is Crucial: If you require a loan in order to purchase a property, begin with securing your financing. A pre-approval not only speeds up the buying process but also solidifies your credibility in the eyes of sellers, giving you a Quick read more or view full article competitive edge in negotiations.
2. Balance Your Wishlist with Flexibility: While knowing what you're looking for in a home is important, remaining adaptable can open up possibilities. Sometimes, a property with great potential might require a bit of personalization to truly feel like home.
3. Act with Conviction: The Aspen and Roaring Fork Valley market can be highly competitive. When you find a property that aligns with your criteria, being prepared to move quickly can make all the difference in securing your ideal home.

For Sellers:

Selling in Aspen's sought-after market means leveraging strategy and insight. Here are three key considerations for a successful sale:

1. Realistic Pricing: Setting an accurate price from the outset is fundamental. A well-priced property attracts serious interest and can lead to a more efficient sale process.
Invest in Presentation: The visual appeal of your property cannot be overstated. Professional staging or minor improvements such as a fresh coat of paint, can highlight your home's best features, making it stand out to potential buyers and likely even increasing its value.
2. Prepare for Swift Action: The right buyer might come along sooner than you anticipate. Being prepared for prompt decision-making can facilitate a smoother transaction and capitalize on the momentum of the market.
3. Whether you're aiming to buy or sell this spring, the key to success lies in informed, strategic action. With a nuanced understanding of Aspen's real estate dynamics and a commitment to my clients' goals, I'm here to provide the expertise and support you need.

Considering a move in the Aspen market? Reach out to me, Sally Shiekman, at 970.948.7530 or explore for more information. Together, we can put my “Mountains of Experience” to work for you as we navigate the opportunities this spring season has to offer. Read Less

The Impact of Hero's Terrain Closure on Access and Local Real Estate

February 26, 2024
As a realtor with over 32 years of experience in the Aspen area, I've seen the ebb and flow of real estate trends, particularly how they intertwine with our beloved outdoor lifestyle. A recent development at Aspen Mountain has sparked conversation in both the skiing and real estate communities: the closure of certain backcountry access points around the new Hero's terrain.

Aspen Skiing Company, in response to both safety concerns and requests from adjacent landowners, has altered its traditionally open-boundary policy for this area. This decision impacts backcountry enthusiasts who cherish the freedom to explore beyond the ski area's boundaries but also highlights the complex relationship between private land rights, public access, and recreational use in our unique mountain setting.

For skiers, this means a change in how they can access and return from the backcountry areas surrounding Hero's terrain. While there is still a gate for reentry beneath runs marked as part of Hero's Chutes #1, the closure underscores the need for Quick read more or view full article awareness and respect for both the natural environment and private property rights.

From a real estate perspective, this development is noteworthy. The adjacent parcels, one of which is being marketed as a multimillion-dollar investment, illustrate the high value and desirability of land in this area. The closure may enhance the exclusivity and appeal of these properties, potentially affecting their marketability.

This situation serves as a reminder of the delicate balance we must maintain in our mountain communities. As we strive to enjoy and develop the beautiful Aspen area, we must also consider the implications for safety, environmental preservation, and the rights of all stakeholders involved.

For those of us who live, work, and play in Aspen, these developments are more than just news items; they're changes in the fabric of our daily lives. Whether you're hitting the slopes, considering a real estate investment, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of our area, staying informed about these changes is crucial.

As we move forward, let's continue the conversation about how we can collectively ensure that Aspen remains a place where outdoor enthusiasts, residents, and investors alike can thrive.
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High-End Aspen Real Estate: A Closer Look

January 25, 2024
As a seasoned real estate professional in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, I've spent 32 years navigating the unique challenges and opportunities of the high-end property market. Here's an insight into what sets this market apart and how I approach it:

Limited inventory
The single most relevant driver to our high-end real estate market is the limited inventory of the specialized, spectacular dwellings that cater to the most refined pallet. 

Luxury homes often come with stellar views, ideal locations, and square footage that could be described as Rubenesque.  Some municipalities have limited the size of new construction, further driving the demand for existing larger dwellings. Should you wish to build your own masterpiece, you can wait years for the engineering, permitting and approvals. Aspen only grants six demolition permits per year. If you are number seven, you must wait to tear down the old house to build your new one. 

Some of Quick read more or view full article these homes rarely come on the market, and some sell before being publically listed. When these homes do become available, the right buyer can snatch it up quickly. My largest single transaction, $32.5MM, was placed under contract in 24 hours.

Properly representing these gorgeous testaments to luxury requires some special tools and techniques. 

Advanced Marketing Techniques for Luxury Properties
  • Aerial Videography: Utilizing drones for aerial videography has become essential in showcasing these magnificent properties. This perspective captures not only the scale and beauty of the estates but also the breathtaking surroundings, which are a significant selling point.
  • Matterport Virtual Tours: In the digital age, offering a Matterport virtual tour is no longer a luxury but a necessity. This technology allows potential buyers to navigate each room and floor, offering an immersive experience crucial for high-end listings.
Targeted Advertising
  • Reaching the Right Audience: Advertising in prestigious publications like The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times may be a strategic choice. These platforms are frequented by a demographic not only interested in luxury real estate but also with the means to invest in such properties.
Understanding and Marketing Unique Features
  • Specialized Amenities: High-end properties often have unique features like geothermal heating systems, private bowling alleys, elevators, and sophisticated mechanical and audio-video systems. Each has its value, which I try to understand and effectively market.
  • Customized Marketing Approach: Understanding and highlighting these special amenities in marketing materials is crucial as they often are significant selling points for high-end buyers.
Niche Marketing Strategies
  • Off-Market Listings: High-end buyers often prefer a more exclusive approach to property hunting. Off-market listings, or pocket listings, provide a level of discretion and exclusivity. This method ensures that only the most serious and qualified buyers are touring the property, maintaining privacy and exclusivity.
My Approach and Dedication
As an expert in this niche market, my approach has always been to blend in-depth knowledge of these unique features with a personalized marketing strategy. Understanding the intricacies of high-end properties and the preferences of luxury buyers allows me to provide a service that goes beyond the conventional.

If you, or someone you know, is interested in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley, allow me to put my Mountains of Experience to work for you. 
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Cheers! To the best ski season ever!

December 22, 2023
As the snow begins to blanket Aspen and Snowmass, excitement and nostalgia fill the air. This isn't just any ski season; it's the beginning of an exhilarating new chapter in my beloved mountain ski areas.

This year, Aspen Mountain proudly unveils its Hero's terrain, marking the first significant expansion since the introduction of the Silver Queen Gondola in 1985. This addition brings a vast 153 acres of fresh terrain, including nineteen chutes, three gladed areas, and four new trails. It's a mix that caters to all skiing levels, offering breathtaking views from Independence Pass to the Roaring Fork River. As someone who has skied these slopes since childhood, I can hardly wait to explore every inch of this new terrain.

The excitement continues with Aspen's return to the International Skiing Federation World Cup stage in March 2024. This season, the focus is on the men’s giant slalom and slalom, promising a thrilling showcase of Quick read more or view full article athletic prowess on our legendary slopes. The energy and anticipation around this event are palpable, and it's a privilege to see Aspen play host to such a prestigious global competition again.

Meanwhile, Snowmass has earned its own spotlight, being voted the No. 1 ski resort in the U.S. and Canada in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2023 Reader’s Choice Awards. This recurring accolade (voted #2 in 2022) reflects the area's evolution into a ski destination that perfectly combines delightful terrain with a lively après-ski atmosphere. It's a testament to the charm and character of a place that holds so many cherished memories for me.

Beyond the slopes, there are new restaurants, live music, and endless events to enrich your ski experience.

I am filled with a sense of pride and anticipation. Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands provide endless varieties of terrain, experiences, and memories. This year, more than ever, the region will sparkle in the snow. 

If you or someone you know is interested in Aspen, Snowmass and the Roaring Fork Valley real estate, please reach out at 970-948-7530 or
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Homeowner Tax Relief is Coming

December 8, 2023
In the wake of Colorado's recent legislative session, Aspen homeowners and everyone in Pitkin County face a landscape of changing property taxes. This is a direct response to the significant increase in property values in the state, with Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley experiencing some of the steepest rises following the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the defeat of Proposition HH, a tax measure aimed at reducing property taxes, Governor Jared Polis convened a special session that led to the creation of Senate Bill 1. This bill offers temporary relief from the surge in property taxes due in 2023. It’s a notable shift from Proposition HH, providing similar relief but funded from the general state fund rather than the TABOR (Taxpayer Bill of Rights) surplus money.

The specifics of Senate Bill 1 are particularly relevant to the Roaring Fork Valley. The bill has lowered the state assessment rate and increased the home value deduction when Quick read more or view full article calculating taxes. While this translates to an average saving of about $200 for Colorado homeowners, the impact on Aspen homeowners and the rest of Pitkin County might be more pronounced due to the area's higher property values and unique real estate market dynamics.

Property taxes in Aspen are calculated by considering a home’s valuation, the state assessment rate, and local mill levies, which are taxes set by local districts, including schools and fire departments. The state-level changes mean that the current year's local mill levies are yet to be finalized. The county has promised to release them by January 10, 2024, and also promised that they will not increase by more than 5.5%. This creates some uncertainty in the exact figures for property taxes.

Using previous years' data and projections for the current year, estimates suggest that homeowners in Aspen and wider Pitkin County could see significant savings under Senate Bill 1. The savings could be substantial when considering the adjustments in the state assessment rate and the increase in deductible value.

Local mill levies have not been released, so it is impossible to be precise. But to estimate the potential tax savings, homeowners can start by assessing their property’s valuation minus the new $55,000 state deduction, then apply the new state assessment rate of 6.7%, and finally multiply by the total mill levies for their property. Comparing this with the calculations under the previous assessment rate and lower deduction rate can reveal the extent of savings attributable to Senate Bill 1.

These changes are critical for the real estate market in Aspen and Pitkin County. They provide short-term relief from the rising property taxes accompanying the area's booming real estate market. Homeowners and potential buyers should consider these changes in their financial planning and investment strategies, as they represent a significant factor in the overall cost of owning property in this high-demand area.

As the situation evolves with the certification of new mill levies and further market developments, staying informed and understanding the implications of these legislative changes will be crucial for Aspen, Snowmass, and Roaring Fork Valley homeowners in navigating the real estate markets and managing their property investments effectively.

If you or someone you know would like to put my Mountains of Experience to work for you, please call me at 970-948-7530 or email at  Read Less

Unstoppable Aspen

November 11, 2023
A million dollars here and a million dollars there, and before long, we are talking real money! Is now the time to sell?

The luxury real estate market in Aspen is defying gravity. While the rest of the world grapples with economic uncertainties, Aspen’s elite property scene continues flourishing. It's a question on many homeowners' minds: In this current sellers' market, driven by low inventory, is now the opportune moment to put your property on the market?

Since 2020, Aspen has witnessed a seismic shift in its real estate dynamics. With the influence of the pandemic, the wealthy sought refuge in the mountainous enclave, escalating demand in an already exclusive market. Homes priced at $30 million and above have become hot commodities, with sales skyrocketing from a mere two in 2020, one of which I represented, to 17 the following year, as reported in a recent Wall Street Journal Quick read more or view full article analysis.

Take Michael Klein's story, for example. His 9,000-square-foot home, a property he had just finished building and was renting out for over $300,000 a month, caught the eye of a buyer willing to pay a staggering $60 million. This transaction isn't an outlier; it reflects a new norm in Aspen's real estate echelon.

But what fuels this unprecedented spike in property values? A cocktail of tight inventory, building restrictions, and the city’s limitations on new construction has created an environment where existing properties, especially large and newly built homes, are seeing their prices balloon. Pitkin County, where Aspen, Snowmass, and much of the region presides, has also enacted new limits on new large home construction, driving the price up on existing limited inventory.

Real estate in Aspen has always been a hot commodity. Still, with new proposals that could slash the maximum buildable square footage, the current stock of expansive homes has become even more precious. Buyers are rushing to secure these grand properties, knowing full well that the opportunity to build something similar in the future may be limited or impossible.

The seller’s advantage is palpable. More than half of the transactions exceeding $20 million are happening off-market, often fetching even higher prices because, as it turns out, people will pay a premium for what isn’t readily available.

The allure of Aspen extends beyond the slopes. Its vibrant restaurant and retail scene cements its status as a year-round haven. This, combined with its natural beauty, has solidified its appeal to high-net-worth individuals seeking more than just a seasonal retreat.

Sellers like fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger, who flipped a slopeside home for a $19 million profit just three months after the acquisition, exemplify the gains to be made in this market. And then there's the Lemkins, who, after acquiring a downtown mansion for $60 million, listed it a year later for $70 million.

Despite the obvious profit potential, it’s important to remember that these luxury homes are not just buildings; they're investments of time, millions in construction, and sometimes, a fair share of headaches given Valley’s unique building challenges.

As you ponder the possibilities, remember that the market is ever-changing, but as of now, in Aspen, the numbers speak for themselves. A deep dive into this phenomenon is available in a detailed article by E.B. Solomont in the Wall Street Journal titled "Record Sales and Off-Market Trades: Why Aspen’s Luxury Market Seems Unstoppable."

For those considering whether to 'sell or hold,' Aspen's market presents a compelling argument. With such a lucrative market, the question isn't whether you could sell but whether you can afford not to.

Whether you’re a potential buyer, seller, or just an observer, the Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley market's current enthusiam is certainly worth your attention.

Call me at 970-948-7530, and let me put my 30-plus years of “Mountains of Experience” to work for you. 
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Aspen Real Estate: A Pinnacle of Luxury Living & Investment

October 30, 2023
Aspen, Colorado, renowned for its pristine ski slopes and breathtaking landscapes, is witnessing an unprecedented demand for luxury homes, positioning it as a top-tier market for real estate investment. Let’s delve into why Aspen is captivating the attention of affluent buyers and why it stands out as a wise investment choice.

A Market of Opulence: Aspen’s luxury real estate is not just about price tags; it’s about providing grandeur and exclusivity in one of the most sought-after ski destinations in the United States. The market has seen a consistent influx of luxury buyers, a trend anticipated to flourish, reflecting Aspen's robust appreciation of real estate value.

Seller’s Paradise: With a notable 18.2% decrease in new listings and a significant 300% increase in sold listings from the previous year (according to the September 2023 housing report), Aspen's market dynamics favor sellers, indicating a sustained demand and limited supply scenario. This tight Quick read more or view full article market is poised to escalate property values further.

Beyond the Slopes: Aspen's allure extends beyond the winter, offering a plethora of activities and a vibrant lifestyle throughout the year. The town’s summer season outperforms winter in sales tax revenue, debunking the myth of it being just a winter wonderland.

Rental Income Opportunities: Many developments do not allow short-term rentals, which makes available rental properties increasingly more valuable. For those times when you might choose to be elsewhere, Aspen’s high demand ensures that your property won’t sit idle. Rental prices range impressively, providing a lucrative avenue for additional income.

Development Prospects: While finding undeveloped land can be challenging due to 83% of the county land being federally protected, it presents a unique investment opportunity, especially considering the rising trajectory of home values in Aspen.

Condominium Culture: For those leaning towards a more urban lifestyle, Aspen’s luxury condominiums offer a blend of convenience and comfort, located just steps away from both nature’s splendor and the town’s bustling downtown.

Community and Culture: Aspen’s vibrant community is complemented by a plethora of events and cultural activities, ensuring there’s always something happening to engage residents and visitors alike.

Downtown Delights: With an array of exquisite dining options and unique shopping experiences, Aspen’s downtown is a treasure trove of delights, contributing to its reputation as a premium living destination.

Key Market Insights: The latest housing report reflects significant shifts in the Aspen real estate landscape. Despite a slight decrease in new listings and a reduction in the average sales price, the median sales price for single-family homes has seen a substantial 10.9% increase. However, the townhouse/condo market has experienced a slight dip in median sales price but an impressive 15.3% rise in the average sales price. These nuances highlight the market's complexity and potential for discerning investors.

Aspen is not just a destination; it’s a lifestyle and a promising investment opportunity. Over 80% of the county is located on federal public land and will never be developed, making developable land more valuable. With its unparalleled beauty, robust community, and thriving real estate market, it stands out as a pinnacle of luxury living. Whether you seek a lavish retreat or a smart investment, Aspen’s real estate market beckons with open arms and promises of prosperity.

If you or someone you know is interested in Aspen, Snowmass, and the Roaring Fork Valley real estate, please call me, Sally Shiekman, at 970-948-7530 or visit me at Read Less


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I want to thank you for all the work you did to sell my Aspen condo. Now that I have worked with you as a buyer and a seller, I am definitely impressed with your professionalism. I know that you are busy, but you are very organized and thorough so that your clients get excellent service. I think the hardest part of any real estate deal is negotiating a contract and getting that contract to closing. I appreciate you helping me get a full price contract with only minor contingencies, and then following each deadline so that nothing fell through the cracks.
Betty Hoye
I received your gift card, and want to express my appreciation. Quite a nice surprise! Also to acknowledge all your help with our transactions and rentals over the past few years. It turns out that, directly and including the new Tahoe home, you were involved with five different properties we have had owned over the years. (And you have seen Owl Meadows as well, making six.) Which is quite a few for small time investors. You got us out of the properties we needed to get out of, and into one that was just fine for as long as we needed it. Then out again, as we moved on. We hope to see you on our next Aspen visit. And we will toast you at Valenti’s!
Tom & Jan Restaino
Sally and her team were such a pleasure to work with. When deciding to sell our home, she gave some excellent advice on what we could do to improve how it shows without any pressure to do so. She’s a realist who tells it as it is and we very much appreciated that. She gave great advice when we asked for it, and led us to a surprise free closing on a timeline that worked best for us. If we are back in the roaring fork valley again, Sally will be our first call!
Josh Meyer
The most important thing that Sally did for us was to make us comfortable with the experience. She answered all of our novice questions and understood that we were truly starting from the beginning. She showed us a wide range of property so that we had a full view of the valley real estate market.
Jenny & Simon Elliot
Sally Shiekman has acted as my real estate broker in 4 different transactions. Her professional manner, close attention to the market and new additions to it, attention to detail, and willingness to do what it takes to find the perfect buyer and/or property make her an exceptional broker.
Margo Chisholm
Sally recently helped my wife and I to purchase a building site in the Missouri Heights area. Sally made the purchase a great experience; she showed us much of what the valley had to offer over a several days time frame. Sally presented us with information on what was currently on the market. We have since purchase a property and are already projecting an increase in value. Sally has kept in touch since the purchase providing valuable information.
Donald Russell
Sally brokered both sides of our first home purchase this last fall. We felt that Sally always had our best interest in mind, carefully and thoughtfully explained the unknown to us (as novices) and took the time to help make this monumental life moment easy for us. Furthermore, her services didn't stop after we closed, she still checks in to ensure we are comfortable and settled in. She is a wonderful resource to connect with regardless of your home purchase needs. We are forever thankful the Sally Shiekman was our real estate agent and in our corner, thank you!!!
Brooke Benton
Sally is a true professional. Her open manner, honesty and knowledge of the real estate market are outstanding. I would highly recommend her to any potential buyer or seller in the valley.
Nancy Albert
Sally is a consummate professional who knows her market and takes great pride in being thorough, direct, and positive. I was particularly impressed with her ability to balance patience with execution, given the property we were selling was quite old. I also appreciated the frankness around expectations, and I am sure that pace of closure for our sale agreement in a matter of days, was due to her. If you want to best, she is it.
Buck Byrum
Sally was so good to work with during our entire home buying process. We know we took a lot of her time getting to know the market and what was available. I can't say enough good things about her and her interactions with us. Her communication was so very helpful, and she always followed up. She either responded immediately to calls, texts, and emails or let us know when she could get back to us. We highly recommend using Sally.
Dave Shinneman
Sally was very professional, persistent without pressuring, and handled all details necessary to complete the sale. When it came time to sell that property and purchase another, although both my husband and I had become good friends with many other local realtors, we both felt strongly that Sally should be our listing and buying agent.
Anne & Mark Grice
I wanted to express my sincere appreciation for the fantastic job you did in helping me find a home. I had been through the process several times before, and my experiences have been mixed. However, after working with Sally, I believe I have truly seen someone who wants to consistently provide the absolute best service for their client. Sally’s professionalism, concern for my specific needs, and consistency in following-up on every detail went beyond my expectations.
Scott Crawford
Sally went above and beyond to at first find us a home to suit our needs and finally to sell our home in a timely manner… Sally guided us through all of the details of our sale and was a terrific advocate for us in the process. We wouldn’t consider using anyone else in the future.
Ericka & Joseph Meade
Sally always carefully explained each part of the selling/buying process, answered every question patiently, and was completely honest about the possible outcome(s) of the entire event. Buying/selling a home is an emotional and exciting time; Sally has the ability to keep things calm while retaining that important sense of excitement.
Wally & Kris Graham
We feel that Sally is always looking out for our best interests. She has a great knowledge of the market, is diligent, honest and has integrity. We would not consider making another move with out Sally’s help. She is the best!
Gigi & Tim Durand
Sally was there with guidance throughout the process of purchasing our home in Snowmass Village. She is knowledgeable about the markets from Aspen to down-valley. We definitely recommend Sally for anyone who is looking for a real estate professional.
Dan & Judi Smith
I highly recommend Sally Shiekman as a realtor. She was always available to answer any questions I had and was on top of every deadline in the contract. I am a busy mortgage lender and so I appreciate Sally’s attention to detail, integrity and genuine concern.
Karen E. Crepps
Sally worked with us to understand our needs, out architectural preferences, and our financial capabilities. She patiently showed us properties from Aspen to Glenwood Springs, and we fell in love with our house in Carbondale.
Randi Lowenthal
Through Sally’s efforts our transactions went through without any problems and we received the highest sales price for a unit of our size in the complex. Sally is a true professional in all respects and provided us with top quality service. She made the process easy and painless. Should we ever require a real estate broker in the future, you can be sure we will call Sally.
Kim Nuzzo and Eileen Kinkelaar
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