Selling a home is a serious business and one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. There are many things that could go wrong, but if you approach the process with a well-thought-out plan, you can overcome five of the biggest obstacles.

Obstacle #1: Pre-Sale Preparation

How to overcome it: Having your home ready to be placed on the market is one of the biggest hurdles. Disconnecting from the house, the moment you make the decision to sell, and realizing it is no longer your home, will help you to objectively look at what needs to be done. Remove all items that personalize the space such as family photos, trinkets and clutter. While it is important for furniture to be in the home to help the buyers visualize their furniture in the space, it needs to be open and airy.

Obstacle #2: Home Repairs

How to overcome it: Unless you are selling “as is,” perform a pre-inspection of your house. Complete repair projects that have been put on the back burner. Walk through and look for things that would be important to you as a home buyer as you look for a new home and fix it. Paying a professional home inspector to come in and point out fixes (that will more than likely be caught by the buyers home inspector anyway) will help to avoid a delay at closing or a potential lost deal.

Obstacle #3: Inexperienced Agent

How to overcome it: Experience comes from learned successes and failures − but make it someone else’s failures and your success! Be sure to ask all the right questions during your agent interview. Should your agent be green, it’s okay to hire them, but ensure there is support from a mentor or branch office to ensure your sale is a success.

Obstacle #4: Accepting a Bid or Not

How to overcome it: Depending on the buyer, even accepting a bid doesn’t mean the house is sold. There are several deal breakers that you need to think about before accepting the bid. Sale on contingency, when a buyer has to sell their home to close the deal, is a risky option. Is their home already on the market and for how long? This is your first question before accepting their bid. Depending on your own needs, sometimes not accepting a bid is the best option.

Obstacle #5: After the Acceptance

How to overcome it: Congratulations, you accepted a bid! You’re still not out of the clearing; the home inspection is the next hurdle. Many deals have been canceled at this point due to mold or a major repair. Do your homework before putting your house on the market to avoid this deal breaker.

Selling a home can be overwhelming, but if you break it down into simple steps you can overcome any hurdles that could potentially derail a smooth home sale.