The Ultimate Guide to FSBO: 100 Tools and Resources

According to the National Association of Realtors, the typical FSBO (For Sale By Owner) home sold for $187,200 compared to $247,000 for agent-assisted home sales this past year. And, almost half of those sales were made through yard signs and through friends and family. But, not all home sales are that simple. Almost sixteen percent of home owners stated that the paperwork was the worst part of the selling experience, and a full eleven percent couldn’t get the right price.

The worst part of the home selling experience, according to eighteen percent of the home sellers, was preparing and fixing up the home for sale. Staging, open houses, curb appeal and more can be trials filled with tons of errors when home owners don’t know what they’re doing. So, we figured that a good list of contractors, home improvement ideas, thoughts on how to sell a home and more was needed. This list provides those tools and more.

The topics listed below are in alphabetical order, and the sites listed within those categories also are listed in alphabetical order. So, please don’t take the numbers as a ranking.

Topics Covered In This List

Advice | Appraisers | Auctioneers | Blogs | Contractors | For Rent by Owner | Home Improvement | Inspection | Investing | Land & Condos | Listings | News


If you’ve never sold property before, you’ll need to do a bit of research to learn how to be successful in your endeavor. Even if you’re a seasoned pro, you know that others may have a solution for various problems that arise. The sites listed below cover everything you can possibly imagine about FSBO topics. And, they undoubtedly cover topics that may not have crossed your mind…

  1. AOL Real Estate: Research local or distant markets, learn about valuations, and utilize real estate tools and more at this site. This site also includes listings.
  2. Get-Ready-Sell-First-House-Smart: Despite this site’s silly name, the author has compiled some sane advice for selling your home. All the topics are categorized, and tips range from DIY staging to success stories.
  3. Home Buying/Selling: Elizabeth Weintraub at can tell you all about buying or selling a home, from checking a sewer before you buy to using dual agents when you sell. You’ll find hundreds of pages filled with solid information at this site.
  4. Home Sellers Information Center: You will find everything related to selling a house here, from the preparation of your home, choosing whether or not to use an agent, how to set the price for your house, to how to best show your house when it is on the market and more.
  5. HUD: The U.S. Deparment of Housing and Urban Development provides tons of information for homeowners, sellers, and buyers. You don’t need to use their services to take advantage of the news and advice that they offer.
  6. MSN Real Estate: This link will take you to the “Selling Your Home” section, where MSN provides news, updates, and advice on selling your home with or without an agent.
  7. Real Estate ABC: was started in March 1998 with the goal of providing a site that candidly informs homebuyers and home sellers about the real world of real estate, without puff, hype or sensationalism. You can find an extensive list of how-to articles here that will help you brave the world of home selling.
  8. Sell My Home 101: This Web site is packed with timely and useful information for home sellers about real estate. You’ll learn about real estate, the process of selling a home, what to look for in a realtor, pricing your home to sell, and much, more.
  9. SmartMoney: This link will take you to SmartMoney’s real estate section, where you can find advice on everything from buying to mortgages, along with worksheets to help you stay ahead of the game.
  10. Yahoo! Real Estate: You can list your home for sale, check the value of a home in any given community and more at this real estate news and self-service portal.

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You may believe your property is worth a zillion dollars, but an appraiser could help you land softly in the real world. It would be impossible to list every appraiser here, so this list is about the best of appraiser directories and tools.

  1. AppraisalEdge: prides itself on not only being a national real estate appraisal directory but an information resource for real estate appraisers, consumers and loan originators alike.
  2. This is the oldest existing appraiser listing service on the Internet. This service is designed to help consumers and financial institutions quickly find real estate appraisers serving any county in the USA.
  3. e-Appraise: This site is filled with tools for the appraiser as well as for the homeowner. You can find appraisers through their directory, but you might want to snoop around to use the calculators, read the classifieds, and more.
  4. was developed by real estate appraisers, professional database managers and website designers to provide those who hire appraisers a quick and easy way to find fee real estate appraisers (appraisers directly available for hire) in every area of the United States and the 4 territories licensed under the Appraisal Foundation.
  5. HomePrice: This program operates on a national level with two types of reports, the Property Value Estimator and the HomePrice Report. Both products are designed for existing residential properties from single-family homes to high-rise condominiums. Reports will not be available for new construction, multi-family or mobile homes.

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You might think you’ll never need an auctioneer to sell property; but these folks come in handy when you want to finalize a will or probate for a family member or when you need to sell property quickly. The following auctioneers were chosen simply for the amount of territory that they cover within the U.S.

  1. A. J. Billig & Co.: Established in 1918, this is a family business with a professional reputation.They produce hundreds of auctions every year, and they’re known as a dynamic business participant throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
  2. Christenson-Elms: This company specializes exclusively in the sale of distinctive real estate for premier developers and builders. Located in Florida, they handle estate sales and auctions nationwide, and have sold in excess of 24,000 properties.
  3. Deiro & Associates: Deiro & Associates has been one of America’s premier family owned real estate, auction and liquidation companies for 30 years. They advertise as a national company, but they seem to focus on Western properties.
  4. Fuchs Auction and Realty: This company provides all the brokerage services as if the property were sold using the private traditional negotiated method. And in addition they provide packaging, promoting, showing and conducting the auction from the sale to the closing. You set the date and time of the sale, as well as the terms and conditions.
  5. Grand Estates Auction Co.: This company specializes in the marketing and sale by auction of luxury real estate throughout North America and the Caribbean. By offering only the finest luxury properties at auction they can create a more concentrated marketing effort to maximize interest and expedite the selling cycle, allowing for both buyers and sellers to take part in a swift and seamless transaction.
  6. Higgenbotham Auctioneers International: Since 1959, Higgenbotham Auctioneers International has had tremendous success marketing real estate and other assets using the auction method throughout the U.S. Their president, Martin Higgenbotham, is a member of the National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame.
  7. has been doing business in the State of California since 1990 with a goal of becoming the largest auctioneer of raw land for sale in North America. purchases the property before they put it up for sale at auction.

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Unfortunately, there’s a real dearth of FSBO-specific blogs that are both useful and up-to-date. However, we did find some FSBO blogs and included them here, along with great blogs that focus on real estate investments, home staging, and other topics within the FSBO realm.

  1. Best Home Selling Tips: John Wen is a licensed real estate agent in Georgia who shares his home selling secretes, ideas, strategies, and effective marketing methods.
  2. A blog about the real estate market and the for sale by owner process, sponsored by, Canada’s popular private sale website.
  3. Building an Empire: Trisha Allen is 32-year-old full-time real estate investor and realtor has been investing in real estate for over four years. She brings her personal insights into the ups and downs of building a personal real estate empire.
  4. For Sale By Locals (A New Real Estate Approach): A blog that is an offshoot of the “For Sale by Locals” Web site. Entries include business information, tips, and advice on how to work with online real estate services.
  5. For Sale By Owner – FSBO – Law Blog: Craig Blackmon, a Seattle, Washington attorney whose practice is centered on residential real estate, authors this blog. He handles both transactions (including FSBO) and litigation.
  6. Get Happy Home: This FSBO blog is sponsored by the Get Happy Home listings. Although the blog hasn’t been recently updated, you can find some useful information here, especially on remodeling.
  7. Home Staging Blog: Nickie Rothwell provides homeowners with news and ideas about home staging so you can sell your home as quickly as possible and at the best possible price.
  8. Home Staging, Rants & Ravings: Craig Schiller, a professional home stager and founder of Real Estaging (Chicago), is behind this property merchandising and home staging blog.
  9. Landlord Shmandlord: This is a blog about being a landlord and investing in real estate.
  10. The FSBO Blog: This is the best and most up-to-date FSBO blog around. The authors of this blog work at or own multiple real estate companies, including some “For Sale By Owner” service companies. Everything written at this blog, however, is their personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. You’ll gain insight into the news, tools, and issues of the FSBO “real estate revolution.”

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Before you sell you may need to make some major alterations to your property. If you don’t have the time to do those repairs or changes yourself, you can contact any one of the nationwide companies listed below. They will put you in touch with a local contractor(s) who will do the job, no matter if it’s large or small.

  1. ANDY OnCall: This company will send a handyman out to your home for a free estimate on small jobs, repairs and maintenance. Whether to fix a fence, caulk a tub, or hang a blind, ANDY OnCall® has a craftsman for your job.
  2. Handyman Connection: From painting and electrical work to basement, bath and kitchen remodeling, this company will get your project done right. They’ll match your large or small project with the skills of a talented craftsman who has at least 10 years of professional experience.
  3. Handyman Matters: Choose among over 1,000 services provided by this company. They have a “preferred price” option, where you only pay for the time spent on your project.
  4. Home Improvement Hub: Tell this company about your home improvement project and they’ll match you up with up to four price quotes. These are free estimates with no obligation.
  5. ImproveNet: ImproveNet has been matching homeowners with contractors for home improvement, remodeling, .maintenance and repairs since 1996. Improvenet is a free service with no obligation, and is powered by a nationwide, screened network of home improvement contractors.
  6. My Handyman: Also known as Mr. Handyman, you can hire this company for small jobs like hanging curtains or larger jobs like installing tile in the bathroom. All technicians are insured.
  7. NARI: The National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI) helps homeowners find the right professional partner to do their remodeling. Whether it is updating a kitchen to make it more efficient, turning an ordinary bathroom into a haven of rest and relaxation, or adding a room to meet the needs of a growing family, NARI wants each homeowner to get the maximum value or enjoyment for the dollars they invest in their remodeling.
  8. ServiceMagic: Click on a category, describe your needs, and ServiceMagic will match you with a screened contractor that will fit the bill.
  9. ServiceMaster: You probably know this company by their leading brands, like TruGreen, Terminix, Merry Maids, and more. All you need to do is schedule the service and they do the work.

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For Rent by Owner

Have you toyed with the idea of renting rather than selling your home? For rent by owner (FRBO) sites have proliferated over the past few years. Some homes can be considered vacation rentals, while others are more serviceable. Either way, you will become a landlord! Some of these sites include listings, but they also include other features such as articles, tips, and links to other sites that will help you manage your rental properties.

  1. HomeAway: HomeAway is a community for vacation rental owners. Although the site represents more than 95,000 vacation rental homes, condos, guesthouses, cottages, and cabins in more than 90 countries, it also provides information for home owners who want to rent their property.
  2. HotPads: HotPads is a nationwide map-based rental housing search engine. Whether you are a property manager with hundreds of units or just want to rent out your basement, listing your property on HotPads is free.
  3. How to Rent by Owner: Christine Karpinski has written the book on how to rent by owner. Although this site promotes her book, the advice she offers online is well worth the visit.
  4. iVacationOnline: Joe Godar created this community so like minded vacation rental owners may share ideas and techniques for everyone’s benefit.
  5. Lay My Hat: Lay My Hat is a unique resource for holiday rental home-owners, by holiday rental owners – it’s full of free advice, ideas and discussions focused on the goal of more bookings.
  6. Premier Properties Only: Advertise your luxury home, estate home and luxury real estate properties on this site for a flat annual fee.
  7. This site lists rental properties, but it also provides a forum for addressing issues affecting the industry, and the resources for promoting the highest professional standards for vacation home landlords. Landlords can find useful tools here, including a universal availability calendar and more.
  8. Vacation Home Advisors: With financial, technology and real estate credentials in one firm, Vacation Home Advisors (VHA) provides guidance for owners of seasonal resort rental homes and condominiums, vacation home website development and hosting, and real estate seminars to the investing public.
  9. VacationsFRBO: List as many vacation homes as you wish for no charge, and upload as many photos as you want. A vacation rental property may not be listed in more than one city, and a property must be listed as a vacation rental only during the time that the property is open to rent.
  10. VRBO: Find or list vacation rentals by owner, listed by state. A flat fee includes up to three photos, community support, and – if you already have a Web site – a free link to that site.

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Home Improvement

So you purchased a fixer-upper and you want to make a profit? Learn how to improve that property without damaging the bottom line. The Web sites below focus on all areas of a property, but some – like the DIY landscaping – are included to focus on curb appeal. If you’d rather hire a handyman, use the list under ‘Contractors’ above and use the following sites for ideas.

  1. DIY Home Improvement: From interior to exterior, this site covers everything you’d want to know about DIY basics and more.
  2. Energy Star: You can’t go wrong with an Energy Star compliant home. The mere mention of these energy-efficient practices will increase a home’s value.
  3. HGTV: From curb appeal to wallpaper, this site has it all. The site runs in conjunction with the popular Home and Garden Television programming.
  4. HomeTime: Like HGTV, this site leans on a televised program, but it’s not as extensive. HomeTime is, after all, just one show, and it’s focused on heavy-duty changes that can alter your curb appeal or change your floor from tile to wood.
  5. The SideRoad: Jeanette Fisher is a design psychology professor who has expanded her expertise into real estate. She maintains several sites on interior design along with a focus on homemakers and real estate investors.
  6. This Old House: If you can’t get your hands on the magazine or watch the show on television, then this Web site is the next best thing to learn how to improve that old house. Top notch tips from experts on everything to improve the inside and outside of that property.
  7. DIY Landscape Design: You’ll be exposed to professional knowledge, advice, tips, recommendations, and do-it-yourself landscape resources and pictures at this site.
  8. Landscape Ideas: The authors have spent thousands of hours developing useful content, taking thousands of landscaping pictures and getting advice from expert landscaping contractors to put this site together for you. Peruse information on everything from decks to tropical designs.

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As with appraisers, we cannot possibly bring you all the inspectors listed in the U.S. However, we can point you to some national businesses that will provide food for thought on home inspections, and some organizations that your inspector should belong to in order to be certified or just downright reliable.

  1. Allstate Home Inspection: This home inspection franchise features a directory of affiliate offices in the U.S. plus information on training and franchise opportunities. Their local franchises will conduct home inspections as well as household environmental testing.
  2. AmeriSpec: Over 350 independently owned and operated businesses within this company conduct in excess of 150,000 AmeriSpec inspections annually in the U.S. and Canada.
  3. ASHI: American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is the largest and most respected professional association for home inspectors in North America, with 6,000 members. ASHI’s Standards of Practice, covering all of a home’s major systems, are specifically noted in state and federal legislation and recognized by consumers as the definitive standard for professional home inspection.
  4. Building Specs Inc.: National network of home inspectors provides standards-based home inspections and hands-on home inspector training programs. Includes online search for US inspectors.
  5. Criterium Engineers: You’ll find a directory of licensed professional engineers offering home inspections and other building related engineering services in the US and Canada. Includes services, pricing, company overview, office locator, FAQs.
  6. HomeTeam Inspection Service: This franchise utilizes a team approach to home inspections and offers a directory of inspectors across the US and Canada.
  7. HouseMaster: Ordering a home inspection before you list a home for sale is a great idea for people who are interested in getting to a closing quickly and with fewer surprises. HouseMaster home inspectors have collectively performed almost 2 million inspections.
  8. NACHI: The National Association of Certified Home Inspectors (NACHI) is an international non-profit organization helping home inspectors achieve financial success and maintain inspection excellence. If your inspector belongs to this association, then he/she is certified.
  9. NAHI: The National Association of Home Inspectors, Inc. (NAHI) was established in 1987 as a nonprofit association to promote and develop the home inspection industry. NAHI now has over 1300 members in 49 U.S. states, Cayman Islands and Singapore.
  10. Pillar to Post: All Pillar To Post home inspectors are members of regional, national, state and provincial associations, and are fully trained, certified and E&O insured. These franchises are located throughout the U.S. and Canada. They also were named #1 in the Home Inspections category by Entrepreneur Magazine’s 28th Annual Franchise 500® issue.

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When you sell a home, you’re selling perhaps the largest investment vehicle in your portfolio. No matter if you’re rushing into purchasing a new home, settling back to purchase a second home, or looking at real estate as an addition to a diverse portfolio – the following sites can help you discover whether these types of investments are right for you.

  1. American Investors in Real Estate Online: This organization is committed to providing the highest quality information, services and products for Real Estate Investors of all experience levels from novice to experienced pro alike.
  2. Free and Low Cost Real Estate Forms: Find a plethora of forms here for buying and selling real estate. You will have the option to fill-out your form online and print it or you may save it to your own computer for later editing and printing. You can also alter the forms to fit your particular situation.
  3. National REIA: National REIA’s mission is to develop, support and promote local real estate investor organizations while serving the interests of the real estate investment industry through networking, education, leadership on legislative issues, and promoting professionalism and standards of excellence in the industry.
  4. Property Investing: You’ll find free property investment advice, information, insights, ideas and support for people interested in making money from investment property. They also include the latest property news and special reports on property hotspots.
  5. Real Estate Investment Alliance: This group’s research methodology targets rapidly growing real estate markets with strong demographics in Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and the Caribbean. They focus on turnkey and hassle free products.
  6. REI Club: This Real Estate Investment Club can educate you on creative real estate, wholesaling, 1031 exchanges, asset protection, commercial real estate, hard money lenders, IRA investing, landlording, lease options, mobile homes, no money down, owner financing, rehabbing, tax liens, and more. Much of the material is free, and you can also search for an investment club near you.
  7. Tax Rules for Second Homes: Brought to you by This is a great article to read over before you make that ‘second home jump’ and especially before you rent that home out on weekends.
  8. Yaerd: If you want to invest in some development, you might spend a little time at this site first. Yaerd provides preconstruction investment, new construction investment, residential investment, and commercial investment advice, information, resources, and listings. They also provide property listings for the most promising real estate investment opportunities to help you make the best decision on where and how to invest in real estate (so consider this a great place to list your investment property as well).

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Land & Condos

The following Web sites focus entireley on either condo or land marketing and sales. In all cases you can list the land or condos for sale yourself if you’re the seller.

  1. condoDomain: The reader will find topics that include architecture, new condo developments, mortgage and financing, condo-hotel, design and other categories that deal with urban metropolitan markets around the US & Canada. This blog attempts to connect condominium buyers, brokers and developers.
  2. This company has over 300,000 condos listed on the site from the U.S. and 70 countries around the world valued at over $100 billion. provides a low-cost, high impact marketing channel for condo sellers.
  3. Land FSBO: Advertise vacant land, lots, acreage, commercial property and rural farm land. All land listings are listed by owner so you are in direct contact with the buyer.
  4. This site the global marketplace for rural property, and the flagship of RPB Media. RPB Media was established in 2004 through the merger of and Rural Property Bulletin, a quarter-century print leader in rural property advertising. Now headquartered near Boston, Massachusetts, RPB Media offers a variety of print and electronic advertising vehicles for sellers of land of all kinds, and a safe, effective way for buyers to find their target purchase.
  5. LandFlip: Single to unlimited land listings for a monthly fee and no contracts, comissions or referral fees.
  6. LandsofAmerica: is the largest rural land listing service in the nation. They advertise farms, ranches, timberland, mountain and waterfront properties for a monthly fee.
  7. New Condos Online: This blog is quickly becoming a relevant resource on the Internet for buyers to find and compare new condos, pre-construction condos, condo conversions, town homes, and lofts across the country.

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Urbanism is the architectural topic for the early twenty-first century. These blogs deconstruct, analyze, critic, discuss, and practice urban architecture, even when that architecture consists of homeless landscapes.

  1. 1-800-by-Owner: This company specializes in residential property, real estate and new homes for sale. They also offer high-end homes and real estate for sale or for rent. For a flat fee, this service guarantees to advertise your property until it is sold. Rates vary depending upon size of package and area in which the property is located.
  2. America’s Choice: America’s Choice® and Canada’s Choice® empower sellers and buyers of residential real estate to find each other and to easily work through the steps of real estate transaction. This company provides marketing, prescreens potential buyers and provides full services at a flat fee. All you need to do is show the home, and they even provide training for that process.
  3. Assist-2-Sell: Assist-2-Sell has over 620 offices in 46 states and Canada with more joining monthly. Each office is independently owned and operated. Each office offers sellers a “menu” of services from a paperwork-only low “flat fee” to a full-blown Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) marketing program.
  4. FSBO: FSBO charges a one-time advertising fee for a nine-month listing. Use images or videos to sell your property.
  5. For Sale by Owner: Advertise your home to nearly 2 million monthly visitors. If you can’t sell your home through this site, they offer a guarantee where they will work with you to find a real estate agent in your area. Once you have sold your home through an agent referred to you by us, you are entitled to a refund of the money you spent with or other options, depending on the value of your home sale.
  6. Help-U-Sell: Help-U-Sell is a fee-for-service real estate franchise with nearly 1,000 offices in 46 states and 12 offices in South Africa. Help-U-Sell is a full-service set-fee organization and the company’s licensed professionals manage the entire home sale process from start to finish, including handling all negotiations, providing referrals, showing the seller’s home, and providing expert advice and representation.
  7. HomesByOwner: Serving FSBO’s since 1994 with 1000’s of homes for sale across the US and Canada. The company is operated by Wayne Strobel and his partner, Ken Hamric, and now serves more than half of the nation’s For Sale By Owner magazine publishers and numerous other affiliates – offering clients national exposure coupled with local experts.
  8. International Listings: This is the premier listing service for luxury homes worldwide, where you can list your home for a flat fee. You also can use up to 12 high-resolution photographs of interior and exterior of property on your own Web page.
  9. With you skip the realtor’s fee and restrictive contracts, and you can list your home for free. makes their profit through advertising, not through their listings.
  10. Zillow: Zillow helps consumers make smarter real estate decisions by providing them with access to the same information and tools agents use to value homes. Additionally, homeowners can take advantage of the Zestimate™ home valuation as a starting point for anyone to see – for free – for most homes in the U.S. Advertise homes for sale for free.

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If you’re about to sell a home, you might read some real estate news first. Headlines and analyses can help you time your sale to your advantage.

  1. CNN Money Real Estate News: This site falls between real estate advice and vanilla real estate news, as you can find calculators and other tools here that can ease your paperwork.
  2. Forbes Real Estate: If you’re searching for DIY here, you might be in the wrong place. Forbes focuses on luxury real estate, from the mansion of the week to how to own a second (or third or fourth) home. But you can find plenty of practical advice here as well.
  3. Inman News: Inman Real Estate News provides brokers, agents, consumers and industry insiders with the latest news from the Real Estate Industry. As a seller, it would be good to know what these folks know so you can feel both efficient and confident.
  4. MSNBC Real Estate: This link will take you to the top real estate news story and dozens of links for other headlines under this topic.
  5. Real Estate Journal: This Wall Street Journal guide to real estate helps home sellers arm themselves with the information they need to get the most for their money. Readers can browse entries on everything from mortgage rates and residential market trends to relocation and economic issues, home improvement ideas and advice on buying, selling and enjoying a home.
  6. Realty Times: Daily articles covering topics of interest to buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals.

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  1. Craig Schiller
    November 08, 2007

    WOW… I am impressed. You have done a MASTERFUL job at compiling and preparing this information.

    I hope you enter this into the Carnival of Real Estate.


  2. John
    November 10, 2007

    It is a wonderful article! Thanks for your great efforts you put this together. It indeed will help a lot of home sellers.

    I have republished this in my site at


  3. Luke Hoppel
    November 11, 2007

    I’ve also found that using a personal property website like is extremely powerful!

    Thanks for the other great tips!

  4. Tim Harris
    January 14, 2008

    Many times we forget how important it is to keep our fingers on the pulse of the times. Knowing others are advertising, the new technologies, and where the flow of money is headed gives you an advantage over others who are oblivious to such things. Can you think of at least 5 other ways to stay market-savvy?

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    April 03, 2008

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    January 08, 2019

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