In March 2012, after almost a year on the market, we sold our home of 10 years. It was hard to swallow the reality of the sad, sad state of the real estate market (much of the year was spent coming to grips with how much our home value had declined and figuring out how little we could sell for and still go).
To save money, we didn’t use a listing agent, but paid a few hundred dollars to a flat rate broker to list us on the MLS. If we had used someone, it would have been our friend Morgan, the hardest working agent in the business. But 6% is a sizeable chunk of change that we weren't ready to part with without at least trying on our own. Being on the MLS also got our home onto the major real estate web sites. We created a website with tons of pictures. We built a fancy custom “for sale” sign and refilled the flyers every few days (I swear it was either a competitor or the manager of the local Kinko's swiping those things).
We painted and primped until everything was perfect. We spent an hour or two before every showing to clean and straighten inside and out (that was interesting with two little boys tearing around). We put together a detailed information packet with a list of improvements, a floor plan, room dimensions, utility costs, and a letter to potential buyers about the house and why we were selling. It was a totally flawless marketing plan...that resulted in jack squat due to the worst real estate market the universe has ever seen.