The most important step in selling your house is preparing it and getting it "market ready." It should look like a show home when you are ready to put that "for sale" sign out front. Many people overlook this step and it can end up costing you thousands of dollars.
The first thing you want to do is de-personalize the home. Family pictures and heirlooms should come down and be stored. Most buyers can't see past the "clutter" and they will have a more pleasant experience and will be able to see themselves in the house the more plain and simple the home is decorated.
Next is to completely declutter the home. This is a perfect time to purge and get rid of things that you don't need and might not want to take with you to the next home. Those books on the shelf, take them down and either donate, sell or recycle. pack up your knickknacks, clear the kitchen counter, pack up seasonal clothes. The fewer clothes hanging in the closets the better. You want to create the impression that there is a lot of extra space. you may want to rent a storage unit to store some things. Think of it as getting a start on your packing that you will eventually do anyway.
Next, you are going to want to make any minor repairs that need to be addressed. Fix any leaky faucets, patch up any holes in the walls, consider painting if it needs it, or if the walls are all very different bright colours. A neutral paint colour is more desirable. Fix doors and any drawers that aren't working properly, replace light bulbs, fix any cracked tiles, clean any grout and recaulk the bathtub if it needs it.
If you have any bigger issues that need to be addressed, it is best to try and take care of that prior to putting the home on the market, rather than having people try and negotiate the price down because of outstanding issues. If the windows need to be replaced, or roof is leaking, this can be a huge dealbreaker for some people. I recommend calling www.surreyroofing.org in the Vancouver area. They have done work for many of my clients and they are reasonably priced.
Now it is time to make the house sparkle, vacuum and sweep daily, get rid of all the cobwebs, polish all the faucets and chrome, bleach grout, wax the floors and clean the windows both inside and out. The house should be immaculate for all showings. Easier said than done but this can be the difference between a sale and a deal breaker especially in buyers markets which is what the Vancouver area is trending towards in most areas.