How to Score Top Dollar for Your Home Sale

home sale
home sale

After unsuccessfully trying to sell her Chicago condo "For Sale by Owner" for a few months, Sarah Kadlic brought in a real estate agent to help price and market her property.

For many homeowners like Sarah, pricing a piece of real estate is a moving target. There's no magic number for a home sale, real estate experts say, but instead, a price range where your home has a good chance of selling quickly.

The definition of quick, or the length of time it should take for a home sale, depends mostly on the region, says Brendon DeSimone, a broker with Paragon Realty Group. In urban hot spots like New York and San Francisco, the norm is as fast as a couple of weeks, while 30 to 60 days is a healthy selling cycle in smaller cities or more rural areas.

So, before you put your house on the chopping block with a broker, or attempt a home sale on your own, here are five ways to get closer to your spot-on price -- and one that will help your home sell in a timely fashion.