When it comes to selling your home... there is a premise that should be accepted by the owners once you that decision to sell:
"How your live your life while on the market, has nothing to do with how your life normally".
It is inconvenient to put your home on the market, it takes effort (for most people) to put your home on the market, but it is a necessary step to reach the next point in your life. There are some sellers that really haven't grasped this concept and think it is all about them. The reason it isn't all about them is that they need another person(s) to buy the property.
To get the best possible terms for your property in the shortest amount of time, you probably have to go through the most inconvenience, but it is worth it. For those who create barriers to the sale of their home, these are main ones that I have seen:
- Testing the Market ~ Neither you or your agent set the value of your home, the local market sets the value. You can set the price for your home, but it should be at the market value or slightly below. If you decide to test the market by pricing well above the market, you will dramatically reduce showings as buyers and many agents will consider you unrealistic. If you over price your home, you don't need to worry about the points below.
- Access ~ You need to make the home accessible to buyer agents & for open houses so that your home gets exposure. An electronic lockbox is highly recommended to restrict access to licensed real estate agents in the area, since they can let themselves in when you aren't there. If you have a pet or small child, asking for an hour or two advance notice is not unreasonable. You will definitely reduce the exposure of your home by requiring 24 hr advance notice, requiring your agent must be present during the showing, or by showings by appointment only. I once ran into a seller that was refusing showings for an entire Saturday because of college football, and the home had just come on the market. If the game is that important to you, go to the local sports bar or a friends house... don't lock out potential buyers. If you don't provide ready reasonable access, don't worry about the point below.
- Cleanliness ~ This need to be covered, but it needs to be. Have your home cleaned to within an inch of it's proverbial life, because that matters. Most buyers I have worked with appreciate a dated home that is immaculate over a more recently renovated pig sty. Put down the toilet seat (and flush every time) for showings & photography, every morning scoop the kitty litter, take out the trash, and pick up dirty clothes before leaving for the day. It matters as buyer project a lot into how you maintained the home by the way you keep the home.
Please remember that signing the listing agreement is just the start of the sales process, not the end. You don't want to create barriers that will slow the sale of your home or reduce your proceeds.