Plenty of people find themselves buying and selling a home simultaneously, but knowing that others have gone through the same stress does not make it one bit easier. After all, the stakes are so high: If your buyer backs out, you don’t have any cash to land your next home! Or if your own purchase falls through but your current home sells, you’re homeless!

It’s all like walking across the Grand Canyon on a tightrope: The tiniest thing goes wrong, and you fall.

Breathe in. Don’t panic.

It turns out that most buying-and-selling mistakes are easily avoidable—or at least predictable. Follow these eight tips to enter escrow with eyes wide open.

1. Waiting too long to prep your home for selling

Every home needs a little work before selling. You might need to repaint some scratched walls, fix broken decking, or add grout in a rarely used bathroom. Don’t wait until the last minute to kick-start this process, otherwise you could wind up in a bind.