Your agent should first be able to demonstrate she knows the market, and who your target buyer is (investor, primary home purchaser - if it's a move up home or 1st time home buyer home, where the buyer might work, how they might view a home, even what ethnicity and familial make up that household might be). Most of all, you must trust and believe your agent. If you do not feel that she truly has your best interest at heart, that you are another number, then it's the wrong agent. If she can not communicate well with you, if you don't understand every point, then it's the wrong agent. Her job is to coach you.
There are 3 salability factors: People (you, her, the other agent, the buyers, the lenders, appraisers, home inspector, pest inspector, and the general public), Product (your home), and Price.
You must stage your home to be attractive to the target buyer - do repairs, paint, move or remove furniture, remove screens, clean the windows, paint the front door, seal the driveway, plant flowers. Only to the point that it will impact your ability to sell for maximum return. Generally, this does not mean a complete renovation - just maintenance and touch up.
You must price your property right. Generally, this means LOWER than the last property that sold that was comparable to yours... such that it will look like a steal. If it does, you'll sell FAST, maybe with multiple offers, and maybe above (slightly above) your asking price. I recommend an asking price of about 3% below the NET of the last closing most comparable to yours, but that is market specific. It is a declining market in most areas (find out about yours). If you "test" the market with a higher price, or chose the real estate agent that tells you she can sell for higher than the last home without demonstrating an upward trend in the market, then you will end up with longer time on the market, and dropping your price even further to catch up with the comps as they take the right approach and price aggressively.
Then, you make your property available, you don't cook fish or stinky food, you keep the place clean - must look good, feel good, smell good, even sound good. The only sense your buyer might not be using is TASTE to determine if yours is the right place. But, you might even want to feed them... there are lots of variables here. Feeding them might keep them there longer, which is a good thing. Feeding them something that conjures up feelings of home (warm chocolate chip cookies) will make them want to live there.
Then comes your agent.
She will use the MLS and as many effective marketing tools as possible. This is not print (like newspapers) in most markets, it is mostly internet related. Most buyers, with agents or without, are searching on line... just like you go to the internet for information, so do they. Your ads must have as many photos as possible. This means not just virtual tours, not everyone has the same computer abilities, and still pictures are easy for many to load onto their computers.
She should have brochures that attempt to overcome any objections, point out less noticeable features of the home (and their benefits), give information about the community. They should try not to answer every question, but entice the buyer to want more information which means one agent will call the other. Then, your agent can do a personalized selling presentation over the phone to the agent, which is designed to entice the buyer - and that other agent. Promises of quick and easy negotiations mean a great deal to an agent... as does guaranteed commission and maybe even a small bonus. Their client already likes the home or the call would not be made, so now this agent just needs to close it. Help your agent help that agent CLOSE it.
If that stuff goes well... then you'll have an offer. Again, you and your agent must be positive throughout negotiations and appreciative of the offer - even if it sucks. Buyers sometimes are just testing the waters with a low offer. Don't let pride get in the way of selling your home. Sometimes the buyer really can't offer more, but the point is they preferred your home to another, and they thought they'd try. Appreciate that, and respond accordingly. Brainstorm to see if you can help bridge the affordability issue (rate buy downs, paying closing costs, etc.). A spirit of cooperation with the eye on the goal of selling the home is the way to get through this.
Again, if all goes well you'll have a ratified contract. I am running out of room... but if you get to this point, you're probably going to sell. If you need a referral to an agent, please email me.