Winter sales can score above-asking prices

In high-demand markets, exposure is everything

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In today's challenging home-sale market, it does you no good to have your home on the market if it isn't for sale at market price. You spend a lot of time, energy and money getting your home ready to sell. Then you have to go through the drill of open houses, private showings when you're expected to leave, and anxiety about whether or not your home will sell.

A listing priced above the rest of the market helps to sell the well-priced listings in your neighborhood, but it doesn't help sell your home. If your home is on the market for a price that's unrealistic and you have no flexibility, you should withdraw it from the market. Better yet, research the market before listing your home for sale to see if the price you want is obtainable.

Distressed sales are another matter. If the market value of your home is less than the amount you owe against, you may have to put the house on the market at or above market price to satisfy your lender tha...