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13 Ways to Sell Your Home in 2013

Offer Free Home Maintenance Services

Offering free home maintenance for a period of time can be a good way to sweeten the deal for some prospective buyers.

"Provide free services, where a seller prepays on behalf of the buyers for services," advises Ariana Loucas, a Realtor in Columbia, Md. She said that services could include anything from maid service to pool maintenance, or even snowfall removal.

If You're Underwater, Consider a Short Sale -- and Do it Right

A short sale refers to when a borrower sells a home for less than what the homeowner owes on a mortgage. Homeowners who previously shied away from short sales may want to reconsider them in 2013. Policy changes among banks and investors have made them significantly easier to pull off.

Here are some tips on how to sell your home short:

"Re-think what constitutes a 'hardship' needed for banks to approve a short sale," said Daren Blomquist, vice president of online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac. Looser guidelines are more flexible on what a bank considers a hardship, and lenders are now much more willing to approve short sales for homeowners who are still paying their mortgages, he said.

Use a Realtor who is a short sale specialist. "Look for agents who are Certified Distressed Property Experts or SFR Certified (a short sales and foreclosure resource) through the National Association of Realtors," he said.

Communicate early on in the short sale process with your lender. You may be able to work out a pre-approved short sale price or even take advantage of cash-incentive programs.

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