Houwzer Review

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By Ashley Simon Updated April 11, 2024


What is Houwzer? | How it works | Houwzer listing fees | Buyer rebate | Houwzer vs. Redfin and other discount brokers | Find Houwzer reviews and complaints

✍️ Editor’s take: Houwzer offers true flat-fee savings — but homes near or below $500k can likely find better rates and fewer trade-offs elsewhere.
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Houwzer Real Estate is a discount brokerage that offers low flat fees to home sellers in select markets on the East Coast. It charges a flat $5,000 listing fee, regardless of your home's final sale price.

If you're selling an expensive home, you could save big. But below the $500,000 mark, you'll find better savings with other discount real estate companies.

Additionally, a common complaint in negative Houwzer reviews is that its business model creates risks — particularly related to customer service and agent selection — that could affect your experience.

If you want to save on commission when you sell your house, Clever Real Estate is your best option. Sellers will pay a low 1.5% listing fee in exchange for full service and support from a top local agent. Interview as many agents as you want from well-known brokerages like Keller Williams and Century 21!

» SAVE: Find top local agents and get a 1.5% listing fee!

What is Houwzer?

Houwzer is a flat-fee real estate brokerage with licensed agents who can help you buy or sell a home. But, unlike many big-name real estate companies (think Century 21 and Keller Williams), Houwzer is a discount broker.

Simply put, this means:

  • Houwzer offers potential real estate commission savings compared with using a traditional real estate agent
  • Those savings may come at the expense of service quality and personalized support

In Houwzer's case, the company offsets its low fees by requiring its agents to manage about three times as many customers as a typical realtor.

This approach works out fine for many sellers, but whenever a company creates savings by asking its employees to do more work than the competition, there's a greater risk you'll encounter mistakes, delays, and other problems that could complicate your sale.

Additionally, some Houwzer complaints warn that the company's salary and bonus structure may incentive some agents to underprice homes.

Houwzer agents earn bonuses based on the number of houses they sell — and some unhappy customers say they felt pressured to sell for less than their home's true value.

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 ✅ Sell your house for only 1.5% in listing fees

 ✅ Work with a local realtor from top brokers, like RE/MAX and Sotheby's

 ✅ Get all the service and support you'd expect from a traditional agent

Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. You can interview as many agents as you like, or walk away at any time. Enter your zip code to find a top local agent today!

Houwzer offers savings for home sellers — and some buyers

If you sell with Houwzer, you'll pay a $5,000 listing fee — as well as a mandatory 2.5% buyer's agent fee — no matter what price your home sells for.

Houwzer's flat-fee pricing model means that the higher your home's sale price, the more you'll save compared with using a traditional realtor or a discount broker that charges percentage-based fees.

But the opposite is also true:

If you're selling a lower-priced home, your savings will be limited. And if your house sells for less than $170,000, you might end up paying more than if you'd hired a conventional realtor.

If you sell and buy with Houwzer, you could save an additional $2,500. The company offers a rebate to qualifying customers who complete both a sale and a purchase with Houwzer agents.

» MORE: Which companies charge the lowest real estate commission?

How does Houwzer work?

Houwzer's main offering is savings for home sellers. But can it really offer discounted rates and still turn a profit?

Yes — but there is a catch.

How Houwzer creates savings

Houwzer "creates" savings by finding ways to lower its operating costs and boost Its margins. It does this primarily by:

  • Using technology and a team-based approach to handle a higher volume of customers per agent
  • Lowering its customer acquisition costs by incentivizing sellers to buy a home with Houwzer too
  • Upselling existing customers on additional Houwzer services

Houwzer agents juggle 3x as many clients as traditional realtors

Houwzer says that its agents close about 3x as many deals as traditional realtors. Since they're serving so many customers at once, they outsource many administrative tasks to a back-office team. The company also relies on a web-based platform to manage some aspects of the sales process.

This high-volume approach allows Houwzer to offer discounted rates, but it also limits the amount of attention and personalized support their agents will be able to provide throughout a sale or purchase.

For many sellers, that's a fair tradeoff. But the degree to which the potential decrease in hands-on service matters really depends on your specific situation and personal preferences.

Houwzer upsells customers on additional services

Houwzer also offsets its discounted rates by upselling existing customers on additional services.

In other words, it uses its $5,000 listing fee and potential home buyer rebate to get you in the door, then tries to get you to take advantage of other Houwzer services — and pad the company's profit margin.

Houwzer currently offers mortgage broker and title agency services, and it plans to begin offering homeowners insurance in the near future.[1]

» MORE: Learn more about Houwzer's add-on services

How much does Houwzer cost?

Service Fee
Listing fee $5,000
Buyer's agent commission 2.5%
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When you sell a home with Houwzer, you'll likely be on the hook for two main fees:

  • Houwzer's flat listing fee: $5,000
  • Buyer's agent commission: 2.5% of the home's final selling price

As with a traditional agent, you pay these fees at closing after your sale is complete.

💡 Why do sellers typically cover the buyer’s agent commission?

When you sell a house with a traditional realtor, the total commission is typically between 5-6%. This fee is actually made up of two fees:

  • 50% goes to your agent, who helps you market and sell your home
  • 50% goes to the buyer’s agent, who brings their client to purchase it

In reality, both fees are wrapped into your home’s price and are taken from the sale proceeds. Of course, as with many aspects of a real estate transaction, commission is negotiable.

»LEARN: How do realtor commissions work?

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Note that although most brokerages allow sellers to set their own buyer's agent commission rate, Houwzer mandates that sellers offer 2.5%. This could put you at a competitive disadvantage in some areas. You want your buyer’s agent fee to be competitive with rates offered on homes in your neighborhood and price range, otherwise your home might get less foot traffic.

Houwzer's rate should be competitive in most locations — the typical rate nationwide 2.5-3%. But be sure to research what's common in your area to make sure you aren’t underpaying or overpaying on buyer’s agent commission!

» MORE: What’s the average commission rate in my area?

How much could you save with Houwzer?

Houwzer’s flat $5,000 listing fee could save you a lot of money — and the higher your home’s value, the more you save compared with a traditional percentage-of-sale realtor fee.

However, with a lower-priced home, Houwzer’s flat fee can actually work against you. If your home costs $170,000 or less, you may actually pay more with Houwzer than with a traditional agent.

Here's how the savings from Houwzer's flat listing fee break down across four different price points:

Of course, there’s a caveat to "higher savings at a higher price": the pricier your home, the more you stand to lose if something goes wrong in the sale. Make sure to choose an agent who can net you the highest price, and not just charge the lowest fee.

» MORE: The best discount real estate brokers

How good are Houwzer agents?

All Houwzer agents are fully licensed realtors who provide the same general range of services as a traditional real estate brokerage. However, there are a few crucial factors that could affect your experience or outcome.

Agent experience — and service quality — will vary

Some Houwzer agents have extensive real estate experience, while others are brand-new to the industry.

Houwzer job listings indicate that the requirements are:

  • A high school diploma
  • 2 years of experience working in an office

Theoretically, your agent could be a 20-year-old who spent two years answering phones in their dad's office!

Surveying Houwzer Real Estate reviews, most sellers and buyers report excellent service with hardworking agents, but a few Houwzer complaints call out agents with lacking responsiveness and communication skills.

Houwzer's salaried agents have less direct incentive

The biggest difference between Houwzer agents and realtors from a traditional brokerage: Houwzer agents earn a salary instead of commission.

💰 Realtor incentives may impact service quality!

Typical realtors collect no salary and are paid commission instead. This means they only make money when they succeed in helping their clients complete transactions.

By offering a salary and benefits, Houwzer hopes to attract agents who want more stability. But they may also be less-aggressive — or less talented — than agents who choose to work on a strictly "pay for performance" model.

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Always compare MULTIPLE agents to find the best fit

When interviewing agents, consider their:

  • Experience in the specific neighborhood and price range where you plan to buy or sell
  • Past customer reviews and testimonials
  • Communication style and responsiveness
  • Estimate of your home’s value
  • And finally, the fees they charge, too!

You’re hiring an agent to handle what may be one of the biggest financial transactions in your life — it pays to take your time and find the right expert.

Houwzer makes it difficult to find the right agent

Unfortunately, that's difficult to do with Houwzer, which doesn't encourage agent-swapping.

When you sign up for Houwzer, the company will connect you with an agent representing your area. You must first meet with that agent and then decide whether you want Houwzer to make another introduction for you.

You can't just look at a website to find out the agent's qualifications or have a brief phone chat with a few different employees before deciding whether or not to use Houwzer.

» SAVE: Compare top local agents, save thousands on commission

Houwzer vs. Redfin and other discount brokers

Houwzer offers legit savings — but not if you're selling an inexpensive home

Unlike Redfin and many other low commission companies, Houwzer charges a flat fee, rather than a percentage, for the listing agent's commission. That's great if you're selling an expensive home. But for lower priced properties, Houwzer might cost MORE than using other discount brokers — or even a traditional real estate agent!

Here's how much you'd pay for listing a home in Philadelphia at various price points with Houwzer compared with several alternatives.

By our calculations, you would need to sell your home for at least $500,000 for Houwzer to be less expensive than Redfin, Prevu, or other discount brokers that charge 1–2%.

And, once you get below $170,000, Houwzer becomes an even worse bargain than hiring a conventional realtor and paying a standard 3% listing fee.

Many sellers find the best overall value with a low commission company, like Clever Real Estate. Clever pre-negotiates 1.5% listing fees with top agents at trusted brokerages like Keller Williams and RE/MAX. With Clever, you'll get all the service and support you expect from a traditional realtor — but pay a fraction of the typical price!

💰 Compare hand-picked agents, get incredible savings

Find top-rated agents from local brokerages and get a pre-negotiated 1.5% listing fee.

Clever's service is 100% free, with zero obligation. Interview as many agents as you like until you find the perfect fit — or walk away at any time.

Service level is in line with most discount brokers

Like many discount brokers, Houwzer offers full service representation. You'll receive one-on-one guidance and help from a dedicated agent (while an in-house team takes care of paperwork and marketing on the back end).

Always hire the agent — NOT the brand

Houwzer's savings really begin to shine the closer you get to the $1 million price point. But remember: experience and service quality will vary a LOT between Houwzer agents.

When considering a listing agent, make sure that the agent's experience matches your price point. You're hiring the agent — not the brand. And you don't want to be anyone's first million-dollar home!

Selling with Houwzer

The experience of selling with Houwzer is similar to that of selling with a traditional agent. However, there are two key differences:

  • Houwzer offers built-in discounts on listing fees.
  • Houwzer's agents don't work on commission; they're full-time, salaried employees.

Your agent may have less incentive to sell your home for top dollar

Houwzer agents receive a salary, as well as bonuses. They don't earn commissions.

That could have important implications for both home sellers and buyers.

Traditionally, real estate agents earn commissions, which means the more money they can sell a home for, the more they'll earn.

Houwzer agents earn the same paycheck no matter how much money their sales have earned.

By hiring salaried employees, Houwzer can ensure its agents are following standardized company procedures — making its operations efficient and cost-effective.

And in theory, salaried agents are less pushy than ones whose livelihoods depend on commission.

But if you're a seller, sometimes you want a pushy agent who'll fight to sell your home for top dollar.

What services do you get when you sell with Houwzer?

When you sell with Houwzer, you'll get the same basic services you'd expect from a traditional agent, as well as several premium options:

  • Professional listing photos
  • Virtual home tour
  • Social media and email marketing
  • Direct mailers sent to local home buyers

Your Houwzer agent will personally take care of most aspects of the sale for you. There is an administrative team that handles paperwork, marketing, and accounting.

If you schedule an open house, a Houwzer buyer's agent will run it. We suspect this is so the buyer's agent can find prospective customers. Regardless of which agent your buyer uses, Houwzer prompts its sellers to offer a buyer's agent commission of 2.5%.

Buying with Houwzer

Buying a house with Houwzer is much like using a traditional brokerage. Your buyer's agent (who works only on the buy-side and doesn't list homes) will help you with house hunting, showings, preparing offers, paperwork, negotiations, and closing. There's no fee to use the agent (typically, the agent will be paid commission by the seller at closing).

The big difference is that Houwzer buyer's agents are salaried, full-time employees.

As a buyer, this could benefit you in two ways:

  • Your agent isn't incentivized to pressure you to pull the trigger and buy a home when you're not comfortable; they get paid either way.
  • Your agent's paycheck doesn't directly correlate to the home's final purchase price, which could motivate them to drive a harder bargain on your behalf.

Although the salaried-agent model might not be ideal for sellers, it may work out to be in buyers' best interests.

Does Houwzer offer a home buyer rebate?

No, Houwzer does not offer a traditional home buyer rebate. However, customers who both buy and sell with Houwzer receive a $2,500 credit toward their closing costs on their second transaction.

Here's how it works:

If you sell your house with Houwzer and then buy another house with a Houwzer agent at any time after that, you'll receive a $2,500 closing cost credit. However, if you buy a home with a Houwzer agent and later decide to sell it (or another property) at any time after that, Houwzer will knock $2,500 (50%) off your listing fee. There's no expiration date on this offer, but your credit may be subject to lender approval and other restrictions.

Although an extra $2,500 discount for those who both buy and sell with the company sounds like a great deal, keep in mind that other discount brokers offer rebates WITHOUT the requirement to sell. Some companies also structure their rebates as a percentage of the purchase price, so you could potentially save a lot more than $2,500, depending on your home's value.

For example, when you buy with Clever, you could get cash back after you close on your home. You'll also get matched with top buyer's agents in your area so you can choose the best fit for your situation!

💰 Buy your dream home, qualify for cash back

Why leave extra money on the table? Clever connects you with top real estate agents in your area, plus puts cash back in your pocket.

With Clever:

 ✅ You'll work with a full-service realtor from a top broker

 ✅ You'll earn cash back on qualifying purchases

 ✅ It's free, with zero obligation — you can walk away at any time

Fill out the form below to get started!

Houwzer's add-on services

Folks looking to buy a new home — or refinance their current one — might be interested in Houwzer's mortgage advisor service. This service can also help you find discounted rates from a variety of lenders and handle the application process for you.

And in 2018, Houwzer launched an in-house title company. The company is also preparing to roll out an insurance business next.

✍️ Editor's note

While the idea of a "one-stop-shop" sounds easy and appealing, it will rarely get you the best service quality or value available.

Your best bet will often be a local company that specializes in the service you’re looking for. If you’re considering using one of Houwzer's "add-on" services, always compare it to several other options in your area.

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Top Houwzer reviews and complaints

For the most part, Houwzer reviews online are mostly positive. Currently, the company has an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 1,464 total reviews. But as with a traditional real estate agency, your experience will depend mainly on which agent you work with.

What positive Houwzer reviews say

My Houwzer Agent went 'above and beyond'

Yelp user Anthony M. said he had an "amazing experience" using Houwzer to sell, buy, and get a mortgage. He specifically called out his Houwzer agent's attention to detail and responsiveness throughout the process.

An amazing experience from start to finish! Working with (my agent) and the Houwer team was refreshing. The above and beyond attention to detail, responsiveness, and client mindset was and is unmatched. I highly recommend the entire team (buying and selling and mortgage)!

'Great firm and great experience'

This seller had a "great" experience selling with Houwzer, thanks to the company's "innovative" flat-fee pricing model and the quality of the team members he worked with.

Super organized firm that leverages technology far better than any of the current

'A great company all around'

This first-time home buyer also had a great experience with Houwzer. They said that getting paired with the right agent made all the difference, even though miscommunication issues involving financial team members caused a few headaches along the way.

My fiancé and I are first time home buyers and we can honestly say that Houwzer provided us with the best agent! (Our agent) was prompt with responses, knowledgeable, and extremely personable! We truly love that guy! The only reason why I am not giving Houwzer 5 stars is due to our financial guy! He was trash! He did not effectively communicate with anyone on our team, but the biggest issue was the fact he made so many costly errors involving the financial aspect that (our agent) luckily caught. This is a great company all around and if (the agent we used) is on your team you are sure to get the house of your dreams!

Common Houwzer complaints

Houwzer's business model didn't incentivize my agent to work hard

On the other hand, this Yelp user in Malvern, PA had a negative experience with Houwzer. They felt that Houwzer’s business model doesn’t incentivize agents to work hard for their clients.

Sellers beware. If you look at the commission model, it is a fixed amount for sellers. The agent I worked with pointed at every little fault in the house for obvious reasons and I believe it is not in the interest of Houwzer business model to put the time and effort to get a good price for sellers. If you look at the commission structure, this business model fits within the range of 250k to 500k houses that fit into the mold. I got another full service agent with 2 percent both sides who was much more timely and co-operative and its a no brainier going that route.

Houwzer underpriced my home (twice!)

Another theme in negative Houwzer reviews is that sellers felt Houwzer pressured them to list their homes for less than their true value. This seller said that if he'd followed Houwzer's pricing advice, he would have walked away from his sale with tens of thousands of dollars less than what his home eventually sold for.

I tried twice to list with Houwzer. Both agents were adamant that my house was worth only $379,000 and flat out REFUSED to list it any higher even during the greatest real estate boom in American history. They didn't even come to the house and look at it. They used old comps for houses that were older and outdated whereas mine was just one year old with beautiful high end finishes. I found this behavior both lazy and arrogant. I hired an agent from Coldwell Banker who was attentive and involved. We listed for $419,000 and settled for $414,000. I will never work with Houwzer nor recommend them.

Agent quality and experience is 'disappointing'

Some Houwzer customers have been disappointed by the quality of the company's agent selection. Since Houwzer only has a handful of agents in each office, you may find it challenging to find a realtor who's an ideal fit for your specific needs and priorities.

I have to say I was very disappointed in Houwzer. I filled out the online contact form and they reached out to me quickly (great). I spoke briefly with the representative and told her my needs, and the type of agent I am looking for, including someone who had experience selling higher priced homes and expert experience in my part of town. She referred me to a person whose highest sale was almost half of what my house is valued at. Also, this person has little experience in my part of town. While I am sure this person is great, I declined based on resume and asked for someone more experience. The representative at Houwzer told me he was the most experienced and Houwzer had nobody else more experienced.

Compare multiple agents before making a decision

One theme that continuously pops up in Houwzer reviews is that the customer's experience is shaped — for better or worse — by the quality of their individual agent.

Unfortunately, Houwzer doesn't let you easily pick an agent from its stable. The company requires you to meet with an assigned agent and then request another introduction if you're not happy.

We recommend reaching out to Houwzer directly — along with a few other services or agents — to discuss your situation and determine which approach or specific option is the best fit for you.

» MORE: How to find a real estate agent that's right for you

Conclusion: is Houwzer right for you?

Houwzer is worth considering if…

  • You're selling a house worth $500,000 or more
  • You're planning to sell a house and buy a new one
  • Your selling situation is straightforward
You may want to avoid Houwzer if…

  • You're selling a less expensive home
  • You only want to buy — not buy and sell
  • You're selling situation is complicated and/or you're selling a distressed property
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Houwzer is a totally legitimate service that has helped many people sell their home successfully. Whether it's a good choice for you really comes down to:

  • Your price range
  • Your personal preferences (and tolerance for risk)
  • Your specific situation
  • The quality of the Houwzer agents in your area.

The important thing to remember is that there’s no obligation to move forward or commit when you’re interviewing different real estate agents or services.

You have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain by shopping around and comparing rates, experience, and personalities to find the best fit.

Clever makes it easier than ever to find the perfect agent AND avoid overpaying on real estate commission. With Clever, you'll get hand-picked agent matches from top local brokerages. You can interview as many agents as you like until you find the right one.

The best part? When you find your agent through Clever, you also get a pre-negotiated listing fee of just 1.5%!

👋 Get free advice from a licensed expert

If you're looking to buy or sell a house and weighing your options, Clever can help!

Our fully licensed Concierge Team is standing by to answer questions and provide free, objective advice on how to get the best outcome with your sale or purchase.

Ready to get started?

Give us a call at 1-833-2-CLEVER or enter your basic info below. Our Concierge Team will be in touch shortly to help.

Remember, this service is 100% free and there’s never any obligation.

FAQs about Houwzer Real Estate

Is Houwzer Real Estate legitimate?

Yes, Houwzer is a licensed real estate brokerage in each of the locations where it operates. Houwzer reviews online are generally positive, with an average customer rating of 4.9 out of 1,464 total reviews. That said, it's worth considering all your options before you pick a realtor. Many companies offer discounted realtor commission, so compare savings, service quality, and overall value to find the right fit for your sale. Check out our rankings of the top low commission companies.

What are the biggest Houwzer complaints?

The biggest Houwzer complaints involve agent quality and experience. Since agents earn a fixed salary instead of commission, some sellers felt their agents weren't motivated to help them negotiate the highest sale price possible. Other sellers said it was difficult to find a Houwzer agent who had much experience selling homes in their neighborhood and price range. Learn more about selling with Houwzer.

Related links

Houwzer locations and contact information

» MORE: Somewhere else? Find discount brokers near you

Houwzer's business hours

Monday-Friday 9–5 ET
Saturday 10–2 ET
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Houwzer's general contact information

Phone (215) 876-2876
Email [email protected]
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Greater Baltimore Office

Contact info
Office Address 101 W. Dickman St
Suite 1000
Baltimore, MD 21230
Phone (410) 559-0155
Email [email protected]
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Service area
Anne Arundel County
Baltimore City
Baltimore County
Calvert County
Carroll County
Cecil County
Frederick County
Harford County
Howard County
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Greater Washington, DC, Office

Contact info
Office Address 3033 Wilson Blvd
Suite 771
Arlington, VA 22201
Phone (202) 866-8787
Email [email protected]
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Service area
Arlington County (VA) Manassas Park (VA)
Alexandria (VA) Montgomery County (MD)
Fairfax County (VA) Prince George’s County (MD)
Falls Church (VA) Prince William County (VA)
Loudoun County (VA) DC Metro Area
Manassas (VA)
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Greater Jacksonville Office

Contact info
Office Address 25 N. Market Street
1st Floor
Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone (904) 643-4045
Email [email protected]
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Service area
St. Johns
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Greater Orlando Office

Contact info
Office Address 20 N. Pine Street
11th Floor
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone (321) 441-1440
Email [email protected]
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Service area
Orange County
Osceola County
Polk County
Seminole County
Volusia County
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Greater Tampa Office

Contact info
Office Address 400 N. Tampa Street
15th Floor
Tampa, FL 32602
Phone (813) 644-3610
Email [email protected]
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Service area
Hillsborough County
Pinellas County
Polk County
Manatee County
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Greater Philadelphia Office

Contact info
Office Address 1435 Walnut St.
3rd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Phone (215) 607-8942
Email [email protected]
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Service area
Bucks County
Chester County
Delaware County
Montgomery County
Northampton County
City of Philadelphia
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South Jersey Office

Contact info
Office Address 2 Kings Highway W.
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
Phone (215) 607-8926
Email [email protected]
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Service area
Most of Burlington County
Most of Camden County
Some of Gloucester County
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