You don't need an agent to sell your house, you just need the right direction and mindset.

Working with a real estate agent definitely has its pluses, but that's not the only way to sell a house. A For Sale by Owner (FSBO) transaction is one where you handle all of the agent's work and save a bundle on commissions. There's more to it, of course, but freedom and spending less are the two biggest driving forces behind a FSBO.

It's not easy. But if you study up before sticking a sign in your yard, you'll stand a great chance of a successful home sale. Here's what you should know up front:

Learn Your Market

Before you list your house, one of the most important things that you can do is learn your market. How many houses are listed in your area right now? Are they selling fast, or not? How does your house compare.

You'll need a discerning eye to settle on the right value for your house. A free service such as eppraisal can really help with that. Compare square footage of your house to others on the market, and also compare ager, condition and amenities.

If the asking price is too high, it might sit for a long time before selling. If it's too low, buyers might think there's something wrong with it and avoid it for that reason. Somewhere in the range of other comparable property is the best bet.

Jump on the new trend and add a video tour to your listing.

Get Lots of Good Photos

Photos can't be overestimated. You'll want detailed images of every room in the house, plus all of the exterior, and they should be of exceptional quality. A good digital camera is perfect for the job. If you're not the best photographer, hand that task off to someone else who is.

Photos are the first thing that buyers see, and they can make or break your listing. If they're blurry, dark, or don't show your house in its most positive light, fewer buyers will be interested enough to even schedule an appointment, suggests U.S. News and World Report Money.

If they're clear, bright and detailed, you'll have much better luck.And if you add video as well, you'll really get attention.

Write a Comprehensive Listing

Photos are what most buyers notice first, but the details of your listing can really convince prospective buyers to come take a look. Include as many details as you can, and highlight any features, especially those that are trending and popular.

For example, granite countertops are becoming expected. If you have them, let the buyers know. If you're in a great school district, that's important to buyers with kids.

If you're not really sure how to write a real estate listing, that's easy enough to remedy. Look through current listings and find a few that stand out. You'll spot consistencies, such as how rooms and amenities are described, and can adapt and recreate those in your own.

Stay ready, because you'll never know when that important call will come in.

Stay on Call

When working with a real estate agent, he always fields the phone calls and schedules the showings. But in a FSBO, you are your own agent. That means day or night, 7 days a week, you could get a call from someone who wants to view your house.

Every agent has a story about getting a call in the middle of the night from a buyer who was only in town for a day, that day happened to be Thanksgiving (or another holiday), and they wanted to view the house before leaving town.

You don't have to open your doors to strangers in the middle of the night. But you should expect calls about your property any day and at any time.

Learn about the Closing Process

The trickiest part of selling a house, aside from negotiations, is the closing process. Before you ever list your house, you should learn all that you can and get your documentation in order.

You probably don't know where to start, but there are lots of FSBO websites and other helpful tools that explain in detail what you'll need. The paperwork can be exhaustive, and it all has to be exactly right.

You can also hire some real estate agents and attorneys for the closing only. That might give you the best of both worlds. You'd have the freedom to sell your house on your own terms. And for a much smaller fee than you'd otherwise pay, you'd get professional assistance only when you need it.

A FSBO isn't the easy way to sell a house. You'll take on all of the responsibility as well as all of the work. But it does let you handle the sale the way you want, and it keeps a lot more money in your pocket.

An important part of listing a house is learning what it's worth. But that's not as difficult as it might sound. Through eppraisal, you can learn the estimated value of your house and others in the area. You'll also see the final sale prices of nearby homes, and how many homes are actively on the market right now. When you're ready, click here for free property valuation