Selling a house takes planning, preparation, and timing. Extensive market research can provide valuable insight on the right time to place your home on the market, but you may not be willing or able to wait months for the perfect “buyer’s market.” Instead, as you prepare to sell your home for the first time, there are three elements to remember.

1. Use a Listing Agent

Listing agents offer specialized knowledge and experience with home-selling that will ensure your house is listed at the fairest and accurate price. A standard real estate agent (or your best guess) will not be enough to choose the right sales price for your home. There are many factors to consider, including closing costs, how much you still owe on your mortgage and your desired profit, which will most likely be used to place an offer on your next home and cover moving expenses.

2. Make Sure You Stage Your Home

Houses do better when at least half their furniture is removed, the walls are a neutral color and potential buyers can easily envision themselves in the space. Talk to your agent about the best ways to prepare your home for sale, including any small updates and design changes that will make your property more enticing on the market.

Many of the most effective home-staging tips are affordable and easy; painting will immediately get rid of any unseemly marks, scratches or digs that

3. Accommodate Buyers’ Schedules for Showings

One or two open houses every weekend may not be enough to sell your home. Although it may feel intrusive and somewhat inconvenient, be flexible with your showing hours and allow interested parties to tour your home when they are available. This may mean you free-up a few hours in the evening during the week or allow your agent to show the property on a Saturday morning.

Closing Thoughts

The most important thing you can do during your home-selling journey is being open to change. Your real estate agent should be someone you can communicate comfortably and freely with, whose opinion you respect and who you are willing to listen to. As you prepare to move, make sure you set aside time to focus solely on your own new home hunt and give yourself a much-needed break from worrying about the final sale.