You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression. Before listing, getting your home "market ready" is critical. Begin by putting yourself in a buyer's shoes. Be objective. Contemplate how a buyer may view your home when touring it for the first time.
Conduct Your Own Pre-inspection. There's a good chance that your home has sustained some wear and tear through the years. Conduct a walk-through of your property's interior and exterior and note anything that needs to be fixed or replaced. This might include anything from nicks in the wall to burnt-out lightbulbs. Even freshening up the paint in specific spaces will help tremendously. Addressing such small details will show potential homeowners that the house has been appropriately maintained and loved.
Even Better, Hire a Professional Home Inspector To Prepare a Thorough Inspection of Your Property. Knowing potential deal breakers in advance will help you eliminate possible objections the buyer may have after their inspection. For instance, if an inspection determines that there is some rot in the sill of your home, it would be best to consider having it repaired before you list. A buyer will uncover the issue anyway and, in all likelihood, will want it repaired before closing the deal. A hidden issue could potentially derail a deal, especially if time is of the essence. The fewer objections a buyer encounters, the better.
Declutter Your Home. Research by Consumer Reports has found that decluttering can increase the value by 3-5% when it comes time to sell. The easiest way to approach decluttering is one room at a time, completing one job before moving on to the next. Once you've decluttered, give the house a thorough top-to-bottom cleaning. Please pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathroom to get them looking top-notch.
Consider Staging. This is not as complicated as it may sound. An experienced agent will be to help you tweak your furniture placement and other decorative elements in a way that shows off the space to its best advantage.
Make a Buyer Feel Comfortable In Your Home. A buyer is looking for a home they can visualize themselves living in. If they see an over-abundance of family pictures and mementos, it may be possible they won't be able to imagine themselves living in your house. Some personalization is fine. It just shouldn't dominate the scene!