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In a piece for GOBankingRates, staffer Daria Uhlig highlights some of the best practices for investing in and selling real estate.

Although some may make a great investment in purchasing a home, they could still make a mistake by making a poor sale.

When buying a home, Uhlig says it’s wise to do so in the late summer when prices are lower, but sellers do best in the spring when there’s more competition for available homes.

Also, she writes, use your agent’s market analysis when coming up with your sale or offer price. Real estate portals like Zillow and Trulia can serve as a good starting point for learning your local real estate market, but their value estimates aren't always very accurate. Zillow's median error rate is 4.6% overall, according to its website. But the number of "Zestimates" that fall within 5% of the actual sale price range from 80% for Manassas, Va. to just 3.8 % for Chambers County, Ala. Don't make an unforced real-estate investing mistake by starting with a price that's too high or too low.

And in some cases, auctioning you home might be a smart play. "The most compelling reason for an auction is that a seller can decide when their property will be sold, instead of leaving it to the vagaries of the market, and specifically what date," said Rick Levin, president of Rick Levin & Associates, a Chicago-based real estate auction firm.

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