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FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2011 file photo, an "Open House" sign is displayed in front of a new home being readied for sale in Little Rock, Ark. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)
5 tips for selling your home for the best price
Real estate » Price it right from the get-go, rather than aiming too high and risk turning off would-be buyers.
First Published Aug 01 2014 02:50 pm • Last Updated Aug 01 2014 05:54 pm

The rebound in U.S. home values over the past couple of years has placed many homeowners in a better position to sell their home for a profit.

Still, getting a home sold can be challenging, even in markets where tight supply favors sellers.

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Here are five tips on how to get your home sold for the best price:

STUDY THE MARKET

Most homeowners enlist the services of a real estate agent to market their home and perform a variety of tasks, including reaching out to a network of buyers’ agents, preparing the home for viewing and dealing directly with prospective buyers.

That shouldn’t preclude sellers from being knowledgeable about the process, however.

"The most important thing in pricing and getting your house sold fast is to do your homework," said Michael Corbett, a real estate expert at Trulia, a housing information and listing website.

Trulia and other online real estate sites, such as Redfin.com and Zillow.com feature searchable maps and home sales data.

Look up what similar homes have sold for in the last 30 to 60 days and how long they’ve been on the market. You can also see whether those homes sold for less or more than their initial asking price.

BE PATIENT


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Some sellers may be tempted to press their agent to list their home well above comparable sales. Others may want to briefly test the market with a high price only to relist the home later. This strategy can backfire.

"Ideally your goal is to price it perfectly so that it sells immediately," Corbett said. "The longer a property stays on the market, the more it becomes stale, and it’s very hard to garner momentum once a property is stale."

SET A DEADLINE

One strategy that can help create competing bids among potential buyers is to require that any offers be made within the first week or two that the home is on the market.

The approach, coupled with hosting an open house as soon as the home goes on sale, works best on homes that are priced competitively, said Karen Krupsaw, vice president of real estate operations for Redfin.

"That’s a strategy where you can certainly try to get as many offers as quickly as possible," she said.

STICK WITH LOCAL AGENTS

When it comes to selling your home, the ideal agent should be an expert on your neighborhood. They will be in position to know even which transactions might be in the works but not yet available on public records — key to gauging how to price your home.

When evaluating prospective agents, find out the pricing of their recent sales to see whether the homes sold for less or more than initially priced.

"You want to get their track record, you want to understand their philosophy and what that listing agent has done in the past, because it’s highly likely they’re going to repeat that same success or failure," Krupsaw said.

Also, ask how the agent would handle being approached by an independent buyer looking for the agent to represent them in their bid to buy your home.

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