Lots of sellers don't have $2,000 to $20,000 to get their homes market ready. Like it or not, in our post HGTV world, only foolish sellers say "AS IS" and do nothng. It doesn't cost anything to tackle the basics. This is the least a seller should do:
#1.Be ruthless about getting rid of 1/3 to 1/2 of your stuff. You've got to get it out when you move anyway. Your house will sell faster and for a higher price if you get rid of your stuff before you go on the market.
#2 Get the house Q-Tip Clean, as staging pioneer Barb Schwartz likes to say. Buyers notice and really respond to a sparkling clean house.
Once your house is relatively empty and deep cleaned, you've finished the hard part. Now think about gilding the lily--just a little: Paint the front door. Get a new shower curtain. Put some plush, fluffy white towels in the bathroom. Get a new welcome mat. Put out a few new plants. Never underestimate how far a few small touches can go to create a good first impression.
I give all my sellers Starr Osbourne's classic Do It Yourself book Home Staging That Works. http://amzn.to/UxRwRH
I tell my sellers: "Starr's book will make you $10,000!" And that is The Truth. Starr gives you specific recommendations on what to do, keep, chuck, fix, paint, replace, avoid, update, show, hide, highlight, and more. The HARD TRUTH HERE: IF YOU DON'T THROW STUFF AWAY, MAKE REPAIRS and DEEP CLEAN, YOU WILL LOSE as much as $40,000. Or EVEN MORE!