The following is an article by Billy Rose that appears in the March 2012 issue of L.A. Confidential.

I am often asked how to achieve the highest sales price in today’s market. My answer: It’s all about PresentationPricing and Strategy.

Presentation:  Your home is seen for the first time only once. Make it count. Bring in a painter and/or handyman and make the home look well tended. Eliminate knickknacks and other clutter that can make a home feel cramped and can create dissonance in a buyer’s brain. Remember, most buyers don’t have vision, so if the house is vacant, or the furnishings are a terrible mishmash, consider good staging.

Pricing:  In addition to making your home look good, pricing needs to be consistent with reality in order to keep today’s buyers from sitting on their hands. If you‘re priced too high, you’ll get few showings and little offer activity. Buyers also view your home through the lens of your pricing; if the price is too high, buyers expect a lot from the house. Conversely, if priced attractively, then buyers might overlook the home’s lesser issues. Sometimes my company markets a property as a “pocket” listing so we can test-drive an ambitious price without the dreaded “Days on Market” clock ticking. A pocket listing can also allow us to justify a premium price since the home is not available on the open market and not every Tom, Dick or Harry has seen it.

Strategy:  Lastly, there’s strategy. We live in a digital world, and the globe is now one integrated marketplace; make sure you build your strategy around this reality. Professional photography showcasing the property’s strongest attributes is essential. Good listing agents have a vast sphere of influence and will inform their buyers’ network about available properties; bringing credibility and attention to your home. Savvy representatives attract the right tastemakers to a property and convert them into “ambassadors,” who, with favorable word of mouth, can help make a sale. A few years ago, we hosted an exclusive cocktail party at a listing and invited the director of a prestigious museum. The director loved the house and called her major art collector friend, who flew down in his private jet the next day and ultimately bought the house.

Do you have an example where you’ve applied any of the above to achieve the highest sales price? If so, we’d love to hear it.