A recent article suggested that young home buyers do not want an old house. The focus of item #5 was that young buyers don't want to buy a fixer upper - that you should make improvements before you sell. And they prefer not to have dated
I do occasionally find a buyer (age doesn't matter much here) who says they prefer a fixer upper so they can get more house for less money. These buyers are really hoping to find a bargain. Often once they see what work AND expense a 'fixer upper' would entail, they shift their search to more move-in ready homes. In my experience, considering the majority of buyers, it is true they do not want a home that needs repairs and doesn't show well. Real estate agents often encourage their seller's to do improvements. Those who don't may be afraid of offending or alienating a potential client, losing a listing. Still, if they don't have this potentially tough conversation, they are doing their client a disservice.
Seller's should make improvements on their homes before listing. The amount of this 'fix-up' will vary depending on the market, time & funds available to the buyer. Most seller's won't do a kitchen remodel, install a whirlpool tub in the master bath but it might make sense to paint, do minor repairs, even re-carpet if needed. Some sellers will have a home inspection done and make repairs and improvements based on the report. It takes a some time and money but a pre-inspected home with freshly painted rooms may sell more quickly.