Selling your home is a big step and requires some planning to make the process go smoothly. However, if you use your time wisely, it doesn't have to be an overwhelming, stressful experience. When getting started, keep in mind the following six tips for selling your home:

1. Make Your House Sale-Ready

Just like an interview for a job, you want your home to make a great first impression when potential buyers arrive. This means touching up paint or even repainting rooms a more neutral color, decluttering, staging your furnishings, and putting away personal photos and items that make it hard for potential buyers to imagine the home becoming theirs.

2. Familiarize Yourself With the Selling Process

If this is the first time you've sold a home, there's quite a bit of information to learn. Fortunately, a lot of it is readily available if you put in the right effort. Research all aspects of the selling process, including disclosures and closing costs. Understanding the home inspection process ahead of time and what may be expected of you as a seller is important as well.

3. Find a Real Estate Agent

Your agent can share tips for selling your home and assist you with the entire process. He or she will be the liaison between you and your home's potential buyers and guide you while you're in the midst of selling.

4. Establish Your Price

You may have an amount in mind you'd like to get for your home, but it's important to be realistic when setting a price. Your real estate agent will provide you with information such as comparable homes and current market trends to help you make an educated decision about pricing. Be sure to listen to your agent's advice when pricing your home. Choosing a fair price from the start can set you up for a quicker sale and less negotiation between you and the buyer.

5. Prepare for Home Showings

Once your home is officially on the market, you'll need an established schedule for home showings. It's best to leave your home when potential buyers visit to create a more comfortable experience. While you should be as flexible as possible to make home showings more convenient for buyers, you can set certain time guidelines. For example, if you have young children, you may need to end showings by a certain time so your kids can go home and get ready for bed. Weekends are a popular time for interested buyers to visit, so try to plan weekend activities ahead of time that will take you out of your home. Also, establish a quick cleaning routine that will get your home sparkling before each showing.

6. Set Expectations for Next Steps

It's hard to establish an exact timeline once your home goes on the market, but it's still a good idea to consider what may lie around the corner. Set negotiation parameters that determine when you and your real estate agent should work with a potential buyer and when to move on if the buyer doesn't offer your desired price. Also, decide how quickly you can move out once you find an interested buyer and where, whether you're in the process of buying a new home or decide to live in a rental home or an apartment for the time being. Planning ahead will help prevent you from becoming overwhelmed when the process starts to move quickly.

The best thing you can do when selling your home is to educate yourself about the process and prepare as much as possible. Finding a real estate agent early on can simplify the selling process and give you the information you need for a positive home sale.