If you are planning to sell your home, don’t be too surprised if your real estate agent is unwilling to help you set a price. Real estate agents, although more familiar with property values than consumers, do not want to be held responsible for setting the price of a home. If the property either fails to sell or sells too fast, the real estate agent knows that he will be the one blamed for setting the price too high or too low. You can, however, price your home appropriately if you take certain factors into consideration.

Check Comparable Properties in Your Area

Your real estate agent will be more than willing to provide you with a list of comparable properties in your area. Comparable properties are homes that have recently sold nearby. Your agent may also provide you with a list of homes currently for sale that are similar to yours in age and size.

If you do not have a real estate agent, you can pull comparable property listings yourself by visiting websites such as Zillow.com that list recently sold homes within a given search area. When dealing with comparable property listings, it is always best to make sure that the homes you are looking at are not bank foreclosures. Foreclosure properties are more likely to be in bad condition and marketed for much less than standard homes.

Consider the Location

Your home’s location goes a long way toward determining its value. If your home is within walking distance of certain amenities or entertainment, you may use this as a selling point and set a higher price for your home. It is also important to take the surrounding properties into consideration. Although it may be disheartening, the condition of your neighbors’ homes has a direct effect on how much you will be able to ask for yours. If your neighbors have used appliances in the front yard or never cut their grass, you may have trouble finding an individual willing to pay fair market value for your house.

The school district your home is zoned into also has a large impact on your property value. Even if you do not have kids, there is a good chance that your buyers might. A good school district is a strong selling point for any homeowner.

Take Upgrades Into Consideration

The couple down the street may be selling a home with similar square footage to yours that was built in the same year, but that does not mean that you both must sell your homes for similar prices. If you have made significant upgrades to your home, this factor must be taken into consideration when you set the sale price.

You may have installed upgrades and not even realize it. If you have built a deck onto your home, installed new flooring, or replaced the existing counter tops, you have upgrades that must be considered. Depending on the upgrade, you may be able to ask thousands more for your home than you would otherwise.

Sell For More Than You Owe

When attempting to set a price for your home, it is absolutely vital that you sell the home for more than you currently owe your mortgage company. If you do not, you will need to continue making monthly mortgage payments on a home you no longer have possession of. This can prevent you from being able to purchase a new house since any future lender will review your credit report and see that you still owe mortgage payments to your previous lender.

If you fear that you will be unable to sell your home for more than you owe to your mortgage company, you may wish to contact the company and attempt to negotiate a short sale. In a short sale, a lender agrees to accept less than the current balance owed on a mortgage in exchange for the right to set the sale price of the property and accept or deny any offers that come in. Be forewarned, however, that a short sale has a substantial negative effect on your credit score.

Although there are numerous factors to consider, only you can ultimately determine an acceptable price for your home. A good rule to remember is that you can always reduce the price, but you cannot increase the price. Thus, if you are unsure, always price your house slightly higher than you believe it is worth. The offers you get may surprise you.