NEW OLEAR BANNERListing your home for sale? There are several ways to approach the transaction to ensure a happy ending, and over the next several weeks we?ll offer several tips geared toward selling quickly and for the highest price. We call these lessons ?the bottom line on the bottom line.?

One of the very first things you?ll want to do is find a qualified Realtor to help guide you through every stage of the process. Before getting started, ask your friends and family members if they have any recommendations, and then meet with two or three agents to find the one that works best with you. Ask them for listings of homes they have sold in the area, how he or she will market your home, and what they charge for their services. Find a Realtor that will fight to get the best deal for you!

Once you?ve selected a Realtor, it?s time to make a decision on the sale price of your home. With your Realtor, research similar homes in your community that have recently sold so that you can come up with a ballpark price. You may want to drive by the other homes so you can make a better comparison to your home and property. And, don?t forget to factor in agent fees, closing costs, taxes, etc. Your Realtor can help provide those figures.

While you may be set on selling, have you ever considered renting your home? It?s something to consider if you have the knowledge and patience to add ?landlord? to your list of titles. The bottom line is this: If you can ask for rent that is 25 percent or more higher than your mortgage, it may make better financial sense to rent than to sell. Once again, an experience Realtor can offer guidance and advice if you?d like to investigate this option.