We're getting close to the end of the year, which begs the question of whether it's worthwhile trying to sell your home now. Is it a waste of time? Will it sit on the market and become shopworn? Should I take my house off the market for the holidays? Will the home-sale market be better for sellers in 2012? The first question you need to ask yourself is: Are you emotionally prepared to sell? Selling is a challenge for most sellers, although some markets are better than others. Unless you bought more than eight to 10 years ago and preserved your equity, you may not be able to sell for enough to pay off the mortgages secured against the property and the other costs of selling.

For sellers who have no additional assets, a short sale or foreclosure may be the only option. If so, first look into government programs that might help you out financially. Also, talk to your attorney and tax adviser.

Sellers who have the resources to make up the difference between the sale price and the amount they owe need to ask themselves if they are willing to pay the additional cash in order to sell and move on.

Inman News, November 14, 2011, Diane Hymer