The first impression (curb appeal) is vital. Your lawn and shrubbery should be trimmed, steps, railings, walkways and driveways swept/cleaned. The front door should be clean/freshly painted, with a doorbell that works and a smoothly operating handle/lock. RVs, toys, etc. should be out of sight. Cobwebs, wasp nests, etc. should be removed. Eliminate any pet, smoking, trash, or mildew type smells. Potted plants and flowers attractively displayed present an inviting atmosphere.
Cast aside sentimental attachments and remove items that reflect your personal taste. It is easier for prospective buyers to visualize themselves in your home if the walls, countertops, bookcases, desks, etc. are free of family photos, curios, knickknacks, posters, religious objects, baskets and other similar collections, etc. Remove items that are not part of the sale, e.g. chandeliers, mirrors, shelving, etc.
A minor investment in paint and up-to-date wallpaper will pay bigger dividends to you in the form of a better price and quicker sale. Use white/off-white or pastel color paint. KILZ does an excellent job covering dark paint colors and water stains.
Open the drapes and curtains. Clean the windows so that a prospect can see how bright and cheerful you house is. Make sure all lights and switches are operating properly. Use the brightest bulb allowed in sockets. Maintain a comfortable temperature in you home. Dark and dreary rooms do not appeal to most home-buying prospects.
Fix leaky faucets; dripping water suggests faulty or worn out plumbing. Discolored, rust-stained sinks or fixtures are also warning signs; they should be clean and sparkling. Loose doorknobs or cabinet pulls, sticking doors and drawers, wobbly or squeaking hinges, stuck windows, closet doors off track, loose or missing screens, are all negative factors. Clean the fireplace, carpet, wood and tile floors, etc. Take a few minutes to check, clean, and repair all these seemingly minor flaws.
Keep stairways and corridors clear. Clutter is unattractive. Let buyers see the full value of your pantry, attic, garage, and closets by organizing them and removing junk and cartons. Remove excess furniture. Rent a short-term storage space if necessary to remove the clutter.
Make kitchens and bathrooms sparkle and smell fresh. Clean stained sinks, walls, and bowls, ovens and microwaves, repair any damaged or discolored caulking around sinks, bathtubs, showers, etc. Remove/put away small appliances, remove refrigerator magnets, calendars, etc. Make sure your shower curtain, bathroom rugs, etc. are clean.
Let your REALTOR® talk to the customer about selling price, terms, possession date and other factors. They are specially trained and have the experience to bring the negotiations on your house to a satisfactory conclusion.