As the real estate market begins bouncing back, more people are considering selling their homes for a variety of reasons. Whether they are upsizing, downsizing, changing locations, or just want a fresh outlook, selling your house is still a competitive endeavor. Be prepared for the battle.

To determine who and where these competitors are, first the homeowner must decide a few things about their home and how they intend to sell it. Some basic at home research will be involved. For other research, online sources are a great place to start. First, jot down a few reasons why selling your house, at this time is important. Then look at mortgage statements, home equity statements, payment information to determine what, if any, balance will need to be paid to become free and clear of the property. Check out some home sale sites to see if any similar homes in your area are for sale and their asking prices.

Once you have this information you should head over to the FSBO (For Sale By Owner) sites and look at houses in your neighborhood and what type of amenities that offer. Once you have explored many different sites you will start to understand who your first level of competitors that are out there looking for the same type of buyer you are looking for.

Now comes the research. Research will make all the difference! While looking at homes that are similar to the home you want to sell, make sure you really compare what they have to offer and what you have to offer. The next layer of decisions to make is whether you wish to make any improvements to get a competitive edge. You may or may not need to upgrade anything major, but a new coat of paint here and there never hurts anything. Curb appeal is extremely important. What can you do to make your yard stand out in a photograph or to drive bys?

Once you decide whether you are going to sell your house by owner or by using a real estate agent, you will need to have an internet edge. Many shoppers now want to see online photographs, virtual video tours, and descriptions without having to make the driving tour. If your home doesn’t make this first cut, you have lost to most of your potential buyers already. Yard clutter, rumpled fences, decks, or patios, and indoor clutter will ruin the appearance of the photos or video tour. You can’t afford to allow others to wedge their way into the buyer’s heart without including your home on the list.

If you’ve decided to start with the FSBO sale sites, you have cleaned up your house and yard, and are ready for the video tour of the home. Do you think you should stage your home for the video? Simple answer, yes you should. Also ensure that you remove your personal effects to try and help the buyer picture their stuff in the home. Do not strip the home totally bare but try your best to make it look like something you would see in a magazine or on a home show. Most of the time these houses do not have any personal effects in them. An personal collection of plates or salt and pepper shakers might be great for a conversation starter but it should not be part of the photo of video.

If you are going with the FSBO route, you will need to do some pavement pounding since you will not have a realtor to do it for you. If you hired a realtor, make sure it is one that is used to working with the type of home you are offering. They already know a pool of buyers for that type of home, and every little edge gets you that much closer to a sale.

Competition is fierce these days because of the economy but if you do your research and do some networking you will give yourself a competitive advantage over others trying to sell their homes. Selling your house by owner does not have to be as stressful as many make it out to be. If you would like to find more tips and information please visit our blog.