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DENVER- Whether you're thinking about buying or selling a home, realtor Wade Perry says the time is now. Don't wait until the traditional summer selling season.

The main reason for this is due to interest rates.

"Right now, we are looking at about 4.38 percent on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage. Those rates are going to go up. Your cost of ownership a year from now is going to be significantly different . I am going to go out on a limb and say that the market will likely appreciate by five to seven percent over the coming year," said Perry. "We will likely see 5, 5.1 or even 5.25 percent a year from now. What that really means is: You'll pay more in purchase price and you'll pay more in a mortgage."

Sellers also have more equity in their homes than they did two years ago. According to Perry, in January of 2012, one out of every three home sold was distressed, meaning it sold for less than what the homeowner owed. In November of 2013, one out of every 10 home sold was distressed. More equity means more money that you can put towards a down payment on your next property.

"The idea that you have more value in your property than you had two years ago is something that most people are not aware of. You can utilize that to move up, down or across town, " said Perry.

However, Perry admits deciding whether or not to sell your home should be about more than just money. He says you first need to ask yourself, "Why do I want to sell?"

"A home is not just an investment. It should contribute to your lifestyle. Your home should make your life fun. You shouldn't have to work for your house. Your house should fit in to what you like to do every day," said Perry.

If you decide to sell, Perry advises looking at your finances and meeting with a realtor to get an accurate estimate of what your home could sell for.

Pricing your current home is also key. "You don't have to be the least expensive, but you do have to be the best value," said Perry. "The vast majority of sellers over-value their properties. When pricing your home look through the eyes of a buyer, not seller."

Bottomline: Beware of over-pricing. It can really cost you in the long run. Perry says potential buyers are smart and will be able to tell right away if your home is over-priced.

If you don't already own a home, you're most likely paying rent. "It's no mystery here in Denver that right now, we're looking at a 98 percent occupancy rate. Finding a place to rent is very difficult and the landlords know this. They're raising their rents every single year," said Perry.

Whether you're a first-time home buyer or not, Perry says interview mortgage brokers and realtors. Don't just get pre-qualified, get pre-approved. That means someone has examined all your financial information. When it comes to hiring a realtor, Perry has this advice:

Find someone who works in the industry full-time, not part-time

Ask the following questions:

How long have you been doing this?How many homes did you sell in a year?

Do you have a geographic area of expertise?

Your realtor also should be someone you like. You are going to spend a lot of time, possibly several days a week, several hours at a time with him/her

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