What's Your Home Worth?
The Most Important Factor in Buying and Selling

(ARA) - From home makeover shows to Do-It-Yourself stores and countless design and remodeling magazines, Americans are equipped with the latest information and trends in home improvement. While these resources provide valuable advice when remodeling your house, homeowners should be just as knowledgeable about their options when buying and selling a home.

There are a number of variables to consider when putting your house on the market or purchasing a new home. For consumers, there are several tools to help you make the right decision. Equifax Home Valuator is a tool designed to give consumers easy access to information such as high and low property value ranges, neighborhood comparables and property record information, when available.

You may think that overpricing and letting interested buyers make an offer is an effective strategy, but this approach can backfire. If the home is overpriced, potential buyers looking in a lower price range may never see it. Furthermore, stagnant houses in the market take much longer to sell. On the other hand, when purchasing a new home, how do you know if you're getting a good deal? Is it a bargain? Is the home over-priced for the neighborhood?

Knowing the factors that can impact the buying and selling process and understanding the value of your home can eliminate any guesswork and help you negotiate an optimal price.

Here are a few tips to consider when you are ready to buy or sell.

* Be prepared for your purchase.

Spend time analyzing your budget and finances to determine how much home you can comfortably afford. Once you've made your decision, try to be conservative with your spending a few months before entering into the home buying or selling process to accommodate unexpected initial expenses. Also, be mindful of your credit score. Make a conscious effort to monitor it and take the appropriate steps improve it, if necessary, in order to take full advantage of better interest rates afforded to those with good credit.

* Research your agent.

The relationship between a home buyer/seller and a real estate agent requires the same give and take as needed in a marriage. To succeed, the relationship must be based on trust and an understanding of mutual goals. Before you hire an agent, home buyers and sellers should learn as much as possible about the process. For example, asking the right questions can help ensure that the agent is familiar with the target area. It's also helpful to confirm the agent's average sales volume and whether they typically work with buyers or sellers. Taking the time to do your research can save you money down the road.

* Use your head, not your heart.

Whether buying or selling, don't let emotions cloud your judgment. Assess any emotional ties you might have to a current or prospective home and ensure that personal feelings are not guiding your decisions. For example, even if you've found your dream home, does it suit your needs, can you afford it, and is it worth the asking price?

* Be precise.

Whether you're a first-time home buyer or a seasoned home owner, you can strengthen your negotiating power with an accurate and unbiased assessment of your home's value. Tools such as Equifax Home Valuator can improve your knowledge when negotiating an optimal buying or selling price. Using comprehensive automated valuation models, Home Valuator provides the high and low value of your current or potential home based on comparable residences sold in the neighborhood.

For more information about Equifax Home Valuator, visit www.equifax.com.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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