Typically what real estate agents use when advising their clients which upgrades they should make to their home, they look at past sales that have sold quickly for top dollar. What kind of materials did they use? also contact your local contractor or agent to get their opinion on what is selling fast in your market. Always remember that there is a such thing, as too many upgrades and homeowners end up losing money through the remodeling process because they spend too much money on high-end materials that are not needed in that specific marketplace.
Staging a home always gives the buyer more of a visual when they walk into the door versus leaving it vacant. Virtual Staging online is sometimes better than empty pictures. You want to give your property the highest chance possible, to a multiple offer situation and staging is one of the best marketing strategies to do so.
The industry standard is 6%, but this can be negotiated with the agent. 3% to the listing Agent and 3% to the buyers agent. All of the companies that say they will list your house for "1%" don't tell you that they are also paying the buyers commission as well, So really 4%, with sub-par service and negotiation skills.
An agent can use multiple services. They can let the surrounding neighbors know, in case they know of any families that want to move in. They can do lots of online marketing, including Facebook and Instagram ads. They can also do lots of open houses to generate traction and hopefully multiple offers. These are just a few of the hundreds of ways to generate offers for your home.