1. I feel one of the most important tasks you need to do is spruce up the outside of your home. Buyers see the outside of your home first when riding by and if it is not presentable they will bypass your home. Some suggestions would be to cut the grass, rake, trim the bushes, add some colorful flowers, pick up trash, organize your tools and toys, trim any limbs off trees that hang too low or that are hitting the house and clean out the gutters. The porch will look very nice if you can put a fresh coat of stain or paint, make sure the front door looks nice and paint it if needed, place a couple of planters on both sides of the door and fill them with vibrant flowers or my favorite....ferns. Pressure wash your deck and home.
2. Declutter your home. Throw out old newspapers and magazines, store away almost all knicknacks - leave only a few here and there, downsize your furniture meaning only leave a few pieces out and store the rest. With too much furniture, books and decorative items buyers feel clostaphobic and overwhelmed. Think spacious! you want buyers to envision their furniture in your home and by decluttering they will be able to see how large the rooms really are, the majority of buyers are moving because they need more space. Do not forget those closets, if your closet is packed then they will think it will not be big enough for them.
3. Eliminate Odors. Hire a professional company to clean your carpets and rid of cat, dog or food odors, wash your curtains, vacuum your couches and chairs, wash all laundry and comforters, scrub kitchen and bathroom floors and wipe down walls. I like to use glade oil plug ins and febreeze. Move litter boxes and dog crates elsewhere while your home is on the market. A bad smelling home is a definate deal breaker. Open a couple of windows to let fresh air in prior to having prospective buyers visit your home. Try to stay away from potpourri - its very strong. Candles are nice too but for safety issues I would not recommend you use them while you are not home.
4. Keep the house spotless at all times. Before you go to work, make your bed, pick up your laundry, wipe down your bathroom, leave no dishes in the sink and nothing on your counters. Counters should be clutter free by removing all kitchen gadgets, papers and food. Buyers want to see lots of counter space. Paint your walls a neutral color if needed this will give the walls a clean fresh look and don't forget to keep the house dusted and windows cleaned.
5. Add some personal touches for example fresh flowers, open curtains to let light in - buyers like natural light which brightens a room, use vignettes in a room because this makes it more interested to a buyer - vignettes are a grouping of threes like a tall, medium and small candlesticks grouped together or three pieces of art on a wall.
By following these 5 simple tips you will be able to yield more for your home than if you did none of the above. You will be glad you did and so will your realtor. Now get to work and happy selling.