There are two main routes to choose from when you decide to put your house on the market: selling it privately or going through a Realtor. Which of these will work best for you will depend on your own personal situation, how important it is to you to save on the Realtor fees, and whether you have the time and the inclination to put in the work needed to find a good, reliable buyer by yourself.
A realtor will be able to take a lot of the strain off of you, and will also be able to bring your home to the attention of a wide range of suitable buyers. If you decide to sell the house yourself you will need to pay for and organize adverts, deal with potential buyers and time-wasters yourself, and make sure that you are following all the rules and regulations that apply to property sales. If you are able to do this yourself you may save some money, as you will not have to pay the realtor, but you could also end up paying out just as much or having real difficulty finding a serious buyer if you struggle with the marketing or legal requirements.
If you do decide to use a realtor then it is a good idea to speak to a number of different real estate companies before you choose which one to go with. Get valuations of your property from each, so that you get a clearer idea of what it is worth, but don't tell them that you are approaching a number of different realtors as they may pretend to think your house is worth more than they will actually be able to sell it for in order to get you as a client. Once you have gotten to know the different companies you can discuss their fees. At this point it will be useful to mention what other companies have offered, as you may be able to get a better deal.
You will need to make sure your house is looking at its best for the marketing photos and viewings by potential buyers, but also on a day t0o day basis. Many potential buyers will drive past the house in order to get a glimpse of it and to see the neighborhood before they decide whether to get in touch with you or the realtor. Others may notice the "for sale" sign, which should be displayed prominently outside, and become interested in your house that way.
There are a number of simple ways in which you can impress potential buyers, generating more interest and improving the chances of getting a good offer. Most people who are considering buying a property like to imagine themselves living there. This means that it is a good idea to clear out any clutter, clean the place thoroughly, and take away any hint of your own taste. Offer potential buyers a blank canvas and they will find it much easier to see the house as their new home. You don't want them to be so distracted by your belongings and decoration that they forget to think about the house itself.
If there are any small jobs that you have been meaning to do around the house, then this is the time to finally finish them. This could include fixing any minor damage, repainting anywhere that's gotten a bit shabby or more major repairs that will boost the asking price of the house. It is especially important to keep the outside of the house looking good, as this will be the first thing that visitors see and it will also be what those potential buyers who drive past will see. Clear away any garden clutter, and make sure any plants are looking as good as possible.
When someone arranges for a more thorough viewing of your house then you should make sure everything is neat and tidy, get rid of any children or pets (particularly if you have overly friendly or aggressive ones) for the day and try to keep out of their way as much as possible. Allow them enough space to get a good look at the place and talk it over without having to worry about offending you if they don't like something.
You will need to consider a number of things once someone makes an offer on the house. You should think about how trustworthy the buyer is: have they already been approved for a mortgage, or will you have to wait and see if they can get enough money together? Do they need to sell their current home before they will be able to close with you, or can they move in as soon as possible? If their offer is lower than the asking price, do you want to accept it or try and negotiate for something a bit higher? Are they setting any conditions on their offer, such as wanting you to pay for any repairs- and are you willing to meet these conditions?