4 ‘Real Money’ Tips to Follow Before You Put Your House Up for Sale

By ABC News

May 28, 2013 7:32pm

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ABC News’ Paula Faris reports:

The country is in the midst of a home-buying frenzy with Americans feeling confident enough to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates, and the 2 million Americans currently selling their homes are looking to cash in big time.

According to the Case-Shiller house price index, home prices across the U.S. are surging — they rose 10.9 percent in the last year to highs last seen at the end of the housing bubble.

“The prices seem to be right in line for where buyers are willing to buy and sellers [looking] to sell,” Phoenix real estate agent Sheri McComb said.

ABC News’ “Real Money” team talked with the McDougalls, whose home is on the market in Phoenix, just one of a handful of cities seeing the biggest bump.

In Phoenix, prices are up more than 22 percent from just a year ago. Scott McDougall said he was optimistic about selling his home and finding a house closer to his daughter’s college.

“The market’s been so good,” he told ABC News today. “We’ve been looking at the market right now. If you’re priced right, I mean, we’ve seen houses go in a matter of days. … We definitely want to act and get into a good home soon.”

Those increased home values are equaling more equity as well — meaning that some homeowners will now be able to refinance, a move they may not have been able to make till now.

But even in a hot market, there are still ways to put more money in your pocket, McComb  said.

Here are four tips from Redfin, an online real estate brokerage company:

1. Listing earlier in the summer is better. May and June are the best months. You’ll get more money compared with listing later in the year.

2. List on a Friday. Studies have shown that a home gets toured nearly 20 percent more, which means you’ll hopefully sell it faster and for slightly more money.

3. Use a professional photographer. Sellers who did had a higher sale-to-list ratio.

4. Don’t forget the details. By cleaning out the clutter — buying a new faucet or new doorknobs as well as replacing an outdated TV — “Real Money” was able to help one family increase the value of their home by nearly $25,000.

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