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TheStreet Open House

Prep Your Home to Sell This Spring

BOSTON ( MainStreet) -- Spring may be the time when a young man's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love -- but home sellers probably just want someone to buy their places before summer arrives.

After all, spring is historically the busiest time of year for home purchases, and the National Association of Realtors expects transactions to rise 7.7% this season after years of flat or declining spring sales.

Spring is well-known as the busiest time of year for homebuying, so home sellers should take steps to stand out.

" Spring is one of the best times of year to sell a home," says Paul Wyman, a NAR vice president who owns Kokomo, Ind.'s Wyman Group Realty firm. "There's no doubt that there are a greater number of buyers in the spring, as evident in the higher number of sales during this time of year."

The nice weather not only attracts more would-be home buyers, though, but also more would-be home sellers -- so it's essential to make your property stand out from the crowd.

"You have to realize that in springtime, you're certainly going to have more competition from other homes," Wyman says. "Not every seller focuses on lighting, cleanliness, first impressions and things like that, but the folks that do are most likely to make lasting impressions and receive offers."

Here's a look at six things Wyman says smart sellers will do this spring to get their properties moving:

Set a realistic asking price
Homeowners who insist on listing properties at prices they could have gotten during the housing boom shouldn't expect offers any time soon.

"If folks overprice their homes in the current marketplace, all they're doing is helping sell other homes in the neighborhood," Wyman says.

He recommends sitting down with an expert who'll suggest an asking price by analyzing how much comparable homes in your neighborhood have sold for in the past year. "For sale by owner" sellers should check local newspapers for recent property sales, hit Web sites such as Zillow.com (Z) for estimated values or pay a few hundred dollars for a professional appraisal.

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