1. Go through your home and decide what you can throw away or put into storage. Pay extra attention to closets, bookcases, shelves and counters. Less clutter lets the buyer see the home, not your stuff.
2. Buyers are very interested in the space your home can provide them, so organize accordingly. Bedroom closets should be cleaned so that hanging clothes are aligned and have lots of space. Don't have anything on the floors! Also, line up your dishes and glassware and make sure all drawers are neatly organized.
3. Clean, clean, clean!! Give your home a deep clean, including windows, carpets and appliances.
4. Paint your walls a neutral color. A fresh coat of paint is the least expensive, but most effective way to enhance the appearance of your home.
5. Light it up! Light gives the impression of space, so make sure you have tons of light in every room. Wash the windows, raise the blinds and turn on the lights. Higher wattage light bulbs can brighten dark areas, while dimmers can add a desirable feature to the home.
6. If you live in a single-family home or townhouse, make sure you maintain your lawn and landscape it prior to a showing. During the winter, shovel and de-ice the walkways. Make sure your balcony, deck and/or patio is inviting, with potted plants and flowers.
7. Make small home repairs as seen fit. This can include touching up your spackling and painting, replacing a cracked window or town screen, fixing a leaky faucet or even just changing burned our light bulbs. Every detail makes a difference!
8. If you do not plan on including personal property such as window treatments or light fixtures as part of a sale, remove them prior to your first showing and replace them with attractive alternatives. Use light, airy window treatments, like simple sheers.
9. Keep your pets out of the home during showings. If pet odors are present, have the home professionally cleaned and make sure you conceal food bowls and litter boxes.
10. A professional, licensed home inspector can spot the potential problems prior to your first showing. You may want to invest in one so that you can be sure you fixed all the problems before any potential buyers make them an issue.