Getting your real estate sold for the highest price possible in the least amount of time requires that your property be priced correctly and thoroughly marketed to the public. On any given day there are literally thousands of qualified buyers who are looking for real estate in Oakland, Berkeley, Piedmont, San Leandro, Alameda and surrounding areas. The trick is to expose your property to as many of these potential buyers as possible, while making your home stand out as a good value compared to the rest of the homes in your price range.
Staging your property is one way to acheive this(see "Staging" section for more info). Listing your home in the MLS is just the first step in the marketing process. To expose your home to the greatest poole of buyers, your home needs to be marketed online as well as in local print media in addition to the MLS. Studies show that about 80% of home buyers begin their home search online, so it's imperative that the Realtor you choose is able to effectively utilize the internet to market your property. When I list a property, it goes into the MLS first, then it will be posted on the following websites: Realtor.com, Google, Yahoo, Trullia, MSN.Real Estate, Prurealty, Sfgate in addition to others.
Although print advertising isn't very effective these days, there will be ads placed in the Chronicle as well as the Oakland Tribune and Montclarion, depending on the area. There will also be at least two open houses held, as well as a Prudential office tour of your home as well as a Brokers tour for all the agents in the area to get an exclusive look before the first open house.
In addtion to these methods, I also utilize a flyer delivery service that delivers advertisements of the property to every agent in most major real estate brokerages in the city. This combination approach ensures that your home is exposed to thousands of potential buyers, as well as agents who have clients that are buying.