Selling your house for the first time? Make no mistake: It can be stressful, and quite emotional, particularly if your house holds many great memories—and even more so if you’re selling because you have to rather than want to.

So how do you sell your home successfully?

We’ve put together 12 pro tips to help you sell your house without losing your mind. Here’s the first 6.

Keep emotions in check.

Buying and selling your home is emotional. This could be one of the most difficult tips. Make sure you’ve got this part covered. This helps ensure you go through the process of selling your home with the level of clear-headedness that allows you make the right calls that will reasonably maximize your profit. This is where choosing a partner (next tip) can be critical, that you choose an agent that’s chill, and helps you keep an even keel.

Get the RIGHT agent.

Don’t go it alone. This is not one of those undertakings that lend themselves well to a DIY approach. You want to make the sale happen quick and for the right price, and you need a professional for it. An unnecessarily high price will leave your house on the market too long. As we shared previously, look for a professional with experience, and someone that helps you feel calm and in control. Also, look for someone who is experienced in the area where you are selling.

Price accurately.

Accuracy is key to you being able to hand over the keys to your house to its next residents at the soonest time and on the best terms possible. Avoid starting out with a steep price only to bring it down, and don’t do the opposite either. To ensure your house is accurately priced, enlist the help of a reputable listing agent, not the friend of a friend who sells real estate on the side.

You need someone who will (1) analyze comparable sales and (2) prepare an estimate of value—often called a CMA (comparative market analysis). Once you have this CMA, you can compare the value to a site like Zillow. CAUTION: Zillow is not the gold standard for home valuation. We have seen Zillow be off by two to twenty percent when it comes to valuation. If you want a deeper dive into Zillow valuation, we recommend this post from Sacramento Appraisal expert, Ryan Lundquist.

Understand ALL of Your Transaction Costs.

As you prepare to buy your next home, it is critical that you understand all of your sales cost, so you don’t end up with bills or a shortage. Discuss with your agent their fees, mortgage and title costs, additional staging and marketing costs. Discussing these in advance will help alleviate any unwelcome surprises later in the transaction.

Stage it.

Give your house’s aesthetic appeal and selling power a boost by hiring a professional home stager. Or, if you possess that great mix of DIY spirit and instinct for interior design and decoration, and you have the time, go for it.

If your house is ready for showing, save for a few dull bits and stains and scrapes here and there, and you prefer to keep your expenses to a minimum, some paint or wallpaper can go a long way to freshen and brighten things up. However, see to it that you keep things neutral, to allow a potential buyer to engage their own ideas of their use for and experience of the house.

Refer to a few expert staging tips to help you along.

Shoot it.

Professional photography goes hand in hand with staging to help get your house off the market quicker.

High-quality listing photos can do wonders for your house. And if a couple of them are particularly evocative, they can engage your potential buyers emotionally. Remember, you want them to emotionally connect to your house (while you disconnect).

Read the rest of our real estate listing and closing tips in the second part of our 2-part guide coming soon!

We at Team Clancy are here to offer our expert service to ensure you get the best offers and close within the shortest time. Contact us for a free home evaluation.