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If you’re trying to sell your house during the winter months, the number of interested buyers is almost sure to be lower than the number of interested buyers in May.

In order to get the best price for your home and pique the interest and bidding power of buyers, you need to take time so that your home looks and smells terrific, inviting, and worth every dollar of your asking price. Your home never gets a second chance to make a good first impression to eligible buyers.

Nothing turns off home buyers faster than a musty, moldy, smoky or undesirable scent. Even the cleanest home can benefit from the addition of a nice aroma. Place 8 sliced green apples, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence in a sauce pan on the stove, and let them simmer. The delicious scent may tempt potential buyers to spend more time—and hopefully money—on your home.

The more attractive and intriguing the total package, the more likely you are to sell quickly.

Highlights of Core Logic Report as of Q3 2013:

Nevada had the highest percentage of mortgaged properties in negative equity at 32.2 percent, followed by Florida (28.8 percent), Arizona (22.5 percent), Ohio (18.0 percent) and Georgia (17.8 percent). These top five states combined accounted for 36.4 percent of negative equity in the U.S.

When you offer your house for sale...

• gauge your local real estate market
• set a realistic price
make sure you can afford to sell, and
• consider alternatives if selling is undesirable.

If you have financial pressure pushing you to make the move—perhaps you’ve lost your job, relocated, or you're struggling to keep current on your mortgage payments, or your adjustable rate mortgage is about to reset and you can’t afford the higher payment, if you're stuck and you need to move — look into a short sale.

Due to rapid price appreciation in Vegas and Arizona, keep an eye on real estate investors turning their investment-purchasing power to markets such as Atlanta, Georgia, and Charlotte, North Carolina....

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