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Timing a House Sale and Setting the Price
Before you sell your house, you must prepare the property and set the right price.

What's Below:

::   What are the best and worst times to sell a house?
::   What's the best way to price a house for sale?

    What are the best and worst times to sell a house?

What are the best and worst times to sell a house?

Too many people sell their house at the wrong time or are in too much of a hurry. Basically, you want to sell when there's the largest potential pool of buyers -- causing prices to go up -- something that occurs in the following situations:

  • Your area is considered especially attractive -- because of the schools, low crime rate, weather, proximity to a major city or other factors such as employment opportunities. Mortgage interest rates are low.
  • The economic climate of your region is healthy and people feel confident about the future.

There's a jump in housebuying activity, as often occurs in the spring. Of course, if you have to move immediately -- because of financial reasons, a divorce, a job move or imperative health concern -- and you don't have any of the advantages listed above -- you may have to settle for a lower price, or help the buyer with financing, in order to make a quick sale.

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    What's the best way to price a house for sale?

The key thing is determining how much your property is actually worth on the market -- called "appraising" a house's value. The most important factors that determine a house's value are recent sales prices of similar properties in the neighborhood ("comps").

Real estate agents have access to local sales data and can give you a good estimate of what your house should sell for. Many real estate agents will offer this service free, in hopes that you will list your house with them.

To get a ballpark figure on your own, use websites such as http://www.domania.com. By entering your address, you'll be able to pull up sales prices for recently sold homes of the same size as yours in your neighborhood. See Comparing Sales Prices Online in Real Estate Offers and Contracts for information on private companies that offer useful comparable sales data.

Other options include hiring a professional real estate appraiser and visiting public record offices, such as county clerk or recorder's office. Finally, asking prices of houses still on the market can also provide guidance. However, you'll need to adjust these prices for local market conditions. In some areas, asking prices are typically 10% or more over the market -- while in others, houses may be underpriced in order to fuel a bidding war. To find out asking prices, go to open houses, check newspaper real estate classified ads and search the Internet. See Househunting Online for details.

Find It on the Web
The Internet has useful information for many aspects of the houseselling process -- from checking a buyer's credit report to finding a real estate agent. See Real Estate on the Web for advice. Be sure to see http://www.homegain.com, a website specially geared to homesellers. HomeGain provides several useful features, including an Agent Evaluator service to help you find a real estate agent, a Home Valuation tool to help price your home, calculators for a wide variety of tasks (such as estimating capital gains tax and net proceeds from the sale of your home) and other resources for homesellers.

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      :: Back to Previous Page, "Selling a Home".

   Related Topics:

:: Timing a House Sale and Setting the Price
:: Tax Breaks for Selling Your Home: Read the Fine Print
:: Deeds FAQ
:: Real Estate Offers and Contracts FAQ
:: Househunting Online
:: Do You Need a Real Estate Agent to Sell Your House?
:: Holding an Open House Without a Real Estate Agent
:: Required Disclosures When Selling Real Estate


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