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Selling your home? The cards are in your favor

Selling your home? In most parts of the country, you have finally regained the upper hand. So says Beth Braverman, CNN Money on April 8, 2013: 4:33 PM ET.

To get your best price, though, you need to finesse your timing, list competitively and match your marketing strategy to local conditions.

Lower your sights to make more money.

Rising prices breed rising hopes: In a recent poll, brokers complained that 75% of homeowners think their agent’s recommended listing price is too low. Pricing your property above recent sales to cash in on the momentum may slow down deals, and sitting on the market too long can stigmatize a house.

Catch buyers’ attention — and get multiple offers — by pricing your home in line with comparable sales, says Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker San Francisco: “Then let the market take it higher.”

Trading up? Move fast. Downsizing? Go slow.

It’s tempting to postpone selling to hold out for a better price. But if you want to move to a larger place, act sooner rather than later. True, higher-end homes aren’t rising as quickly, but the gap is small. So while you’ll be able to sell your home for more if you wait, the appreciation on the trade-up home will be greater.

When you’re downsizing, the math works the other way, so it pays to wait.

The case for these strategies should strengthen as gains slow for cheaper homes. “Investors are driving the lower end of the market, and there is a point when the investor opportunity becomes less attractive,” says Richard Green, director of the University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate.

Smooth out your home’s rough patches.

Repair that leaky roof and address other obvious structural problems, or you’ll have to subtract the cost of doing so from your price. “In today’s economy, many buyers don’t have as much savings left over after their down payment for improvements,” says Teri Herrera, a broker in Bellevue, Wash.

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