The Top 10 Reasons to List A Home During the Holidays!

Christmas Listing Blog Graphic Features Image

The holidays are upon us! I am sure most of you are thinking that the real estate market comes to a screeching halt during the holiday season. The truth is, it never really stops. In fact last year during the holidays the Capital Region saw 812 new listings, 2,621 showing appointments, and 618 closings. That is a lot for an already busy holiday season, but it also shows that the real estate market stays active and healthy during the early winter months. Buyers that are still out in the market during this time are usually serious and are trying to find the right house; will yours be the one?

The Top 10 Reasons to List A Home During the Holidays

  1. People who look for a home during the Holidays are serious buyers.
  2. Serious buyer have fewer houses to look at and choose from during the holidays. Less competition may mean more money for you.
  3. The supply of listings will dramatically increase in January. A higher supply of available homes in the market will mean there will be less demand for your particular home. This may impact your sale price.
  4. Houses show better when they are decorated for the holidays.
  5. Buyers are more emotional during the holiday season, so they are more likely to pay a higher price for a home.
  6. Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays than they do during a typical work week.
  7. Some people must buy before the end of the year for tax reasons.
  8. January is traditionally a month for employees relocating to the area to begin new jobs. Since transferees cannot wait until spring to buy, your home must be on the market now to capture those buyers.
  9. Your home can be on the market during the holiday season, yet, you have the option to restrict showings during inconvenient or undesirable times.
  10. You may sell your home now for more money and we can negotiate a delayed closing or extended occupancy until early next year.

Many homeowners may be hesitant to list around the holidays, but the list above and the general market conditions suggest that the holidays really don’t hinder buyers. The question is, are you ready to sell?

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Clifton Park, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website and find her on Zillow.

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Thinking About Listing Your House?

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Deciding to sell your home can be a daunting one. There are so many things to take into consideration.

  • Is now the right time to move?
  • How are the finances?
  • When is the best time to sell?
  • What should be done to ensure a home sells and sells quickly?

Truthfully there is no best time to list your home. We have fast and slow times in the real estate world. Winter and the dead of summer have stuck out in my experience. But there are still listings and buyers all the time. So what makes spring so popular? Well, spring is a renewal time and the weather breaks, making moving a simpler task.

The good news is we are entering the cusp of when our busiest season starts and buyers are out in full force. The bad news is the busy season can be very competitive. Not just for buyers, but also for sellers, who are all hoping the plethora of buyers are interested in their home. With more homes competing for traffic it can be easy for a listing to get lost in the shuffle. On the flipside, if your listing is eye catching and has the proper marketing, you home can sell quickly and at top dollar.

Bringing your home to market in the early spring gets you in front of buyers who have been looking at slow cycling inventory for many weeks. Presenting buyers with a new and attractive listing can bring you selling success. If you choose to list in later spring that is still a good time. You just don’t have the advantage of catching the season at the very beginning.

Creating a listing plan can really help layout whether you are ready, willing and able to make a move. If you decide you are ready for that change start with looking at your finances. What will you do after you move; buy or rent? Do you have to sell before you can buy? If after reviewing your situation you find it is not the right time, take the steps you need to until you get to where you need to be to comfortably make your transition.

Remember that listing a home isn’t just about preparing yourself for a change, it’s also about getting your house prepared. Finish up and half-completed projects. Address any areas of major concern. Have an agent look at your home and offer advice on what can make your home sell quickly. Take your time preparing your home. A first impression is important and could be all it takes to sell your home.

Spring is coming, so if you are thinking of listing this year start preparing now. Make your plan, take care of business, and reach out to a licensed real estate professional. There will be lots of competition in the spring market and the assistance of an agent can mean more exposure for your listing. The more exposure your listing has, the more eyes will see it. The more eyes that see, the more likely it is the right eyes see it.

Stay warm & cozy! See you this spring!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Clifton Park, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website and find her on Zillow.

 

Saratoga Area Fun – Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival

Hot Air Balloon Blog

There are many things that I love about being a real estate agent based in Saratoga County. The county is full of lifestyle choices from rural areas, suburban neighborhoods, villages, hamlets and cities. There is pretty much an area for everyone, I chose a rural area. Additionally, there is tons to do within the limits and summer events are very popular.

One of the area’s most popular events is coming up – one that myself and many of my friends enjoy. The Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival is a wonderful family-friendly event held annually at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds in Ballston Spa. Each year the festival brings many beautiful and unique balloons.

Balloon launches occur daily, weather permitting of course for everyone’s safety. You can take a tethered balloon ride or experience a true hot air balloon ride. The Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival also is host to the “best balloon glow in the U.S.”

In addition to all of the balloons, there are many amazing artisans that exhibit during the festival. From paintings to jewelry, home decor, specialty foods and many other one-of-a-kind items you can find all sorts of neat stuff that make great gifts for a friend or yourself. There will also be demonstrations by select exhibitors – see how they make their creations!

As mentioned it is a family-friendly event. There is tons for kids to do at the Stewart’s Shops Kid Zone. Check out the Walk-About Balloon, Petting Zoo, or have your face painted! There is live music and food vendors making this a great all-day activity.

So if you are looking for something to do in the Saratoga area this summer, this is one event you don’t want to miss. You can purchase tickets and learn more about the fair on the Saratoga Balloon and Craft Festival website. Even purchase a ticket for a hot air balloon ride! Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and I hope I see you there.

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

Why Sell A Home In Spring?

For Sale

It’s spring! This time of year can be an excellent one to put your home on the market. If you have been thinking about selling now is the time to seriously consider making the move – in more ways than one.

Why?

Spring and summer are historically the most active time in real estate, our busy season if you will. There are many reasons for this but, as a human being living in New York I have to believe that many people do not want to move through the snow and slush winter brings. Seriously, who wants to move all of their worldly possessions during one of the most miserable seasons of the year. Clearly I am not a winter lover, but I have gotten off track. My point is buyers want to move when it is easier and warmer. Even the simple, and very fun, activity of house tours is less daunting in nice weather.

When spring comes buyers who have spent all winter long combing through real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, or even my agent website are actively perusing buying a home now. Houses in the Capital Region are in low inventory, meaning new listings are seeing a lot of action and offers, quickly. Houses are being scooped off the market and new listings, ones that are popping up daily, are seeing great attention.

Whatever your reasons may be for listing, if you an place your home for sale in the early hustle & bustle of the spring season your listing has an edge simply because it is new and fresh – just like the season. Make some small cosmetic changes to your home before listing (ie. declutter and stage, fresh paint, clean carpets) and you can easily grab a buyer’s attention quickly.

The bonus – if you sell your home in spring/summer you also get to move in spring/summer! A win win! And if you need any help selling your home in the Capital Region I am always here to help.

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

Latest Listing – 2613 Campbell Ave, Schenectady, NY

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2613 Campbell Avenue, Schenectady, NY 

I recently got this amazing listing in Schenectady that I wanted to share with you readers. This beautiful older home is huge,classy and amazingly maintained.

2613 Campbell Ave is a short drive to 890, Rotterdam Square Mall, and Downtown Schenectady where you can catch a show at the historic Proctor’s Theater and dine at one of the many amazing restaurants.

This home has been tastefully updated. It is a wonderful blend of modern conveniences with the charm of yesteryear. The master suite his huge with a great amount of closet space. The master bath isn’t too shabby either. 3 additional bedrooms join the master on the second floor.

On the first floor is great living space. While not quite open concept, it has an excellent flow that brings the open concept illusion. A dual sided gas fireplace can be enjoyed in the living area or during a family dinner in the formal dining room. The kitchen is huge, lots of cabinet space and upgraded kitchen appliances.

Porches grace the front and back of the home. The back porch features a sunk in hot tub and covered sitting area for fun summer parties or a relaxed night at home. The backyard also plays host to the 2 stall garage which features a studio on the upper level, just in case you need more space.

Check out this home on my website and schedule your tour today! This isn’t one to be missed!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

 

Spring Home Maintenance 101

Home Maintenance Blog

Spring has sprung! Longer days are here, warmer weather and sunshine. Even after a mild winter, by Northeast standards, it’s time to start those spring home upkeep projects.

After any winter, no matter how mild or harsh, you should check over your home’s exterior and address any damages that may have occurred over the cold winter months. Spring is also a great time to update curb appeal and give your home a face lift.

Suggested maintenance to-do’s:

  • Inspect your roof – make sure all shingles are in place and in good condition. Check for damage left from ice dams and correct those issues as they can cause major leaking. Also address mold or bacteria growth in shady spots.
  • Clean out your gutters – remove debris from gutters and downspouts to encourage proper drainage. Also address where the water exits the downspout and guide it away from the home.
  • Check caulk on windows and reseal any imperfections. This will help with heating and cooling efficiency; especially during the hot summer months when air conditioning is running.
  • Trim trees, bushes and shrubs – not only will your lawn look fresh and cleaned up, removing branches and stems near your home’s exterior will decrease the risk of damage.
  • Up your curb appeal – add new landscaping or refresh existing gardens with new flowering plants. Adding color to green space can really make a yard pop!
  • Take care of your deck and porches – reseal or paint wooden decks and porches to help protect them from the elements.
  • Paint it pretty – maintain the home’s exterior woodwork with a new coat of paint. If you have a wooden clapboard or shingled home consider giving it a real face lift with a whole new color scheme! Spring is a great time to change up the exterior of your home, so if you have been considering vinyl siding now is a great time to look into it.

Spring home maintenance is a great way to get out of the gloom of winter. By working on these projects you are maintaining the integrity of your home, giving your body the exercise it has missed all winter, and take in some wonderful fresh air. Plus by paying regular attention to these items you can save yourself a lot of money by preventing big problems. Being proactive can really pay off when you are a home owner!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

It’s Vacation Time! Will Your Home Be Safe While You Are Away?

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It’s that time of year, when we all need a break from winter and going stir crazy in our homes, on vacation we go. With all of the preparations that are made to go on a vacation, it is easy to forget what you are leaving behind. Your home is your greatest asset. It holds all of your belongings, important documents, valuables and more. But it is truly the last thing you think about when you head out for great adventures.

So you may not want to go all out and hire a house sitter, or perhaps you have no one close you trust. If you own pets you may have no choice but to hire someone, unless they are traveling with you. Assuming you don’t want to have someone sit around your home for the duration of your trip, you leave your home exposed to unfortunate events.

Your home doesn’t have to be a fortress in order for you to leave to go on vacation, but it shouldn’t scream “lived in but currently vacant home” either. Below are some basic tips to help give you peace of mind while you are away.

  1. Make sure to lock all entries to your home – doors, windows, and any operable skylights.
  2. Remove or store any objects that may allow access to upper areas of your home like ladders.
  3. Outbuildings and garages should be secured as well. Many items we store in these areas are costly to replace.
  4. Use multiple timers for lights in your home. Set them at a variety of times, so if someone is watching your home they don’t pick up a scheduled pattern.
  5. Alert the post office and put a hold on mail. A build up of mail is a sure sign to a potential burglar that they have free reign to tour your home.
  6. Even if you don’t want a full time house sitter, see if someone you trust would stop by a few times during your absence; someone you know well and feel comfortable handing a key to. Chose wisely.
  7. If you have a safe that will fit them, place any valuables into it and lock it up. Just because you lock your doors doesn’t mean and intruder won’t get in. So keep your stuff safe.
  8. Install cameras. Many cameras these days are compatible with smartphone apps so you can see live what is happening in your home. Or place cameras to record, if someone does enter your home you have it all on video.
  9. Considering vacations are costly, you might not be able swing this, but have a security system installed. This way an automated system can notify you and the local police that a break in has occurred. It will also help monitor and report any incident of fire.
  10. Watch how much you are posting on social media. If you post to Facebook, tweet, or Instagram your every move, you may be sending out too much information to unwanted individuals. Check your security settings and know your friends list. Are these people you should be sharing your current out-of-town location to or should you hold off on posts until you get back?

Save yourself the heartache of a break-in and even worse the feeling of violation that comes with it. Be proactive in securing your home before taking any vacation. While you may not be able to do everything possible, at least you can feel comfortable that you did something.

Enjoy your stay!

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients in the Capital Region. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

Meet My Latest Listing

OK, it has been a long few months since I last updated this blog. My apologies, but I promise it has been for good reason and I have been very busy. Plus the holidays, I am sure you can all understand how easy it is to get sidetracked during that season. Speaking of which, I hope you all enjoyed yours and have been having a most excellent New Year!

I’ve been working with many buyers but was fortunate enough to be brought in on a listing in the wonderful city of Glens Falls. I did my college internship in this beautiful, historic upstate NY city and I was elated to be brought in on a listing in that area.

I would like to introduce all of you the Condos at 93 Maple Street! These luxury condo units are move in ready and are perfect for the first time homebuyer, empty nesters looking to downsize, or as vacation property. After all they are just a short drive away to Lake George, Saratoga Springs and the Adirondack Park.

Building 93 Maple

The Condos at 93 Maple Street – Glens Falls, NY

One of my favorite things about the units is that each one is different. Layouts may be similar but each unit has been professionally designed by Paula McCormick Interiors and all have their very own personalities. The high-end finishes really bring life to each space and the unique individual feel allow buyers to pick from tastefully done units rather than accepting a standard cookie cutter build.

But don’t just take my work for it. Here are a few photos:

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I encourage you to check out the condos for yourself. If you are fortunate enough to be in the Glens Falls area, around the Capital Region or traveling to Upstate New York stop by on Sundays between 11 and 1. We hold a weekly open house. Of course you can always make an appointment, just submit an inquiry on the contact page of our website. You can visit The Condos at 93 Maple Street here.

I can’t wait to find these units the perfect homeowners they have been waiting for, maybe it will be you….

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her websitehttp://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

 

Holiday Safety Tips For Your Home

Holiday Safety Tips Blog

The holidays are here! Decorating the home is a favorite of many people during the holiday season, some have even turned the tradition into a contest – literally! The dazzle of lights, a variety of yard ornaments, and animated displays all bring a luster enjoyed by kids and adults.

While this fun and festive activity bring much joy to the season it can also bring dangers that many homeowners are unaware of. By tweaking some of your holiday decorating habits you can have all of the feels of the holidays while making home fire safety a priority.

Your Christmas Tree:

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Every year Christmas trees are involved in hundreds of home fires, unfortunately with some being fatal. By taking simple precautions you can easily avoid this tragic outcome. Keeping in mind that both natural trees and artificial trees are susceptible to catching on fire, though many artificial trees are available with flame retardant materials, see the safety suggestions below to decide which best fits your lifestyle.

  • Always choose natural trees with lots of green, fresh needles.
  • Trim the trunk before placing your Christmas tree into the tree stand. This will help to absorb more water, keeping the tree from becoming dry.
  • Whether your tree is natural or artificial, always use the proper rated lights to decorate with. Unless you have a pre-lit artificial tree, then you are all set.
  • Set your tree up away from any heating units. These units include (but are not limited to) radiators and space heaters. Never place any tree in close proximity to a fireplace.

 

Holiday Lights:

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What are the holidays without lights? For decades neighborhoods have been filled with beautiful displays. Today homeowners actually compete for title of the most elaborate light displays, even tracking down decorations and lights of yesteryear.

  • Examine light strands for broken and/or blown bulbs. Replace all necessary bulbs before hanging. If you find issues with the cord itself, frayed wiring and casing or broken sockets, discard immediately and replace.
  • Make sure lights and cords, including extension cords are away from fabrics including curtains, carpeting and blankets. Also, do your best to keep them away from children and pets.
  • Always turn off lights when not at home or when you go to sleep. Using a timer can help with this during the busy holiday season.
  • Use lights and extensions cords as they are recommended. Sets should be identified as either indoor or outdoor lights, the same for extension cords. Use extension cords that are suitable for the electrical capacity they will be running.

 

Candles:

Candles Blog Image

Candles are popular at all times of the year. These home fire safety tips also apply to candle usage at all times. The holidays are just a great time for a refresher.

  • Keep candles away from flammable items. Added holiday home decor may make space tight and accidentally it ends up near a candle. Be vigilant about what items you are placing around your candles.
  • Candles should always sit on a sturdy surface. They should not be easily tipped over or move around. Keeping candles up high and pushed back is best for homes with kids and pets.
  • Never leave lit candles unattended and always extinguish them before calling it a night.

 

Holiday Fire Safety:

Like with the candle tips, these fire safety tips should be observed all year long. It is the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that sometimes catches us off our game and a reminder is always good.

  • Check your smoke alarms and make sure they are in good working condition. Replace any broken units and have one in each room in your home.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher handy and know how to use it. Make it easily accessible or keep multiples on hand for large homes.
  • Make sure to have and practice an evacuation plan. Establish a meeting place outside of the home so everyone can regroup when they are safe.

 

These safety precautions can save your home and your holiday. No one wants to experience tragedy during the holiday season and so many people do. Keep these home fire safety tips in mind as your decorate and spend time with family and friends. Knowing you have done your due-diligence can give your great peace of mind for the safety of your home and your loved one.

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her website http://www.homeswitherinmiller.com

 

TLC Properties: Renovation or Rehab – Smart Investment For A Must-Have Home

Renovations and Rehab Blog

Wow! It’s been a while since I was able to sit down and write. It has definitely been a busy few weeks. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family.

My weekend before Thanksgiving was filled with home showings and my very first open house. Ok, so it wasn’t really MY open house, but I got some very valuable real estate experience by helping one of my contemporaries.

For today’s post though I really want to speak about my experience working with some great buyers who have entered my world. Like I did a few years ago, my buyers are looking to make a long-distance move and get back to their family, who are located here in the Capital District. This particular couple really knows what they are looking for, which to my surprise were serious fixer-upper properties.

I love fixer-upper properties. You have a chance to make something your own, you can help preserve the original nature of a historic home, you can save lots of money. My buyer has built & redesigned homes before and enjoys the process. Because of this we looked at some really fabulous homes, though many of them weren’t in what one might call fabulous shape. Actually there were some that no one would call fabulous shape. However, with my buyer’s ability to see what could be, I quickly found myself ready to get a hammer and nails and start the work myself.

All too often many beautiful homes go overlooked because they require work. Not every home is salvageable but, when you find a gem that has weathered decades or even centuries and still maintains it’s structural integrity, in lies an opportunity.

An opportunity to make a home your own. Seriously, you don’t need a brand new build to get what you want in a home. In fact, sometimes people invest in new builds and the homes still don’t necessarily meet all of your wants and/or needs. Not saying buying new is a bad thing, for some people it makes all of the sense in the world, but with a little ambition and creativity you can bring a relic into the current time. The best part, you can increase your equity rather quickly by choosing a distressed property and making the proper, cost effective, renovations to it. Always think about resale and market value when doing renovations. Spending money you don’t need to or you will never see a return on is silly, unless you have a generous budget and feel like spending.

I know, I know – renovations? Nobody has time for that. It’s true, renovations can seriously cramp your everyday style. But! Getting exactly what you want in a home, building equity, and having that feeling of pride with every project completion can be very rewarding for home buyers and owners.

My buyer’s and I stumbled upon a Craftsman, out of the original area we were looking but very close to their family. It had fallen into foreclosure and was in sad shape for how pretty you could see it had once been. It was dirty, had a top to bottom red kitchen, and the furnace was totally broken but the bones were in good shape. The “ah-ha!” feature was that none of the traditional Craftsman touches had been messed with. The original woodworking and structural elements were intact. The only exception was the peculiar red kitchen. The icing on the cake? The home was priced way below budget. When adding the estimated total cost of renovations to the listing price the figure was still way under budget – granted most of the labor cost would be offset by my buyer’s hard work. I will have to wait and see as no decisions have been made yet, but it left a lasting impression on me about distressed properties. Not only can they be a place you really feel is your home, with your personal must haves, they can also be a really solid investment for both you and the property.

Renovations and rehabs are certainly not for everyone. They are time consuming, they can end up costing a fortune, and they can make you regret ever thinking one was a good idea. But when that work is done and your home is exactly how you want it, with extra money in your pocket, that run down, dirty, red kitchen property will be a home again. There are countless tv shows out now with famous faces that feature these types of projects –  Nicole Curtis on Rehab Addict, Jonathan and Drew on Property Brothers, Flipping Virgins with Egypt Sherrod…the list can go on and on. There is tons of inspiration and education out there. Just look at Pinterest! Make sure you have a few hours if you go on Pinterest for DIY ideas, you may be on there for hours – I know from experience.

If you are ambitious enough and not scared away by homes in desperate need of a family to love them then you may find great pride in the challenge. It can really be a great investment and you just might learn a thing or two about yourself. 🙂

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. In the past Erin has worked in the field of marketing, focusing in social media and internet marketing. She also holds excellent customer service skills and enjoys working in the community. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her websitehttp://www.homeswitherinmiller.com