A number of economists are forecasting an increase in home sales this year, and some are predicting there will be more first-time buyers. That’s great news, particularly for first-time sellers most likely to have the kind of starter homes these buyers will want. Below are some tips for those selling a home for the first time:

Prepare for your own purchase
Planning ahead will save the time and money of moving multiple times. Your Realtor can help you locate a new home or rental before you close escrow or negotiate a lease back. If you plan to finance the purchase of another home, get mortgage preapproval now.

Get the home move-in ready
That means making cosmetic repairs and updating landscaping. Your house needs to be in showing condition all the time.

Enlist the help of a good real-estate agent
Many people choose real-estate agents based on referrals from family and friends. Make sure you’re working with someone who does business in your area. Ask the agent about their sales statistics.

Price it right
A good real-estate agent will help you price the home right—from the start. “Nothing will attract more buyers than making the right choice when pricing your home and nothing will deter buyers more than overpricing. Overpricing often means a longer stay on the market as well as future price cuts.

Market the home appropriately
In addition to getting on the multiple-listing service and online home listing sites, your realtor might recommend other methods of advertising. Quality photography of the home is important. Those who use professional real-estate photos sell listed homes faster.

Make the house available
Creating restrictions on when your home can be shown can hurt you. Make your home available for all of the daylight hours.

Plan your negotiation
Knowing what outcome you want in advance, from price to closing date, repairs to closing costs, will help you avoid haggling over minor items that could cost you the sale. Don’t focus as much on the final sales price as on the final net price.

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