Tips for preparing your home for the market:
Remove clutter. Clear off counters and pack unnecessary decorative items. Put extra furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season items.
Let it shine. Cleaning windows and screens will help bring more light into your home. Replace burnt bulbs, and consider higher wattage in low-light areas.
Keept it clean. A deep clean before listing your home will make upkeep easier.
Perform a sniff test. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate odors. Open the windows to air out the house. Boil lemon juice in your microwave, then add it to your dishwasher to eliminate odors.
Take care of minor repairs. Sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they'll give buyers the impression that the house isn't well-maintained.
Tidy up outdoors. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, add new mulch, trim the bushes, edge the walkways, and clean the gutters. A pot of bright flowers near the entryway adds great curb appeal.
Set the scene. Pretty dishes or a simple centerpiece on the tables can help buyers picture themselves living there. Remove personal photographs.
Make the bath luxurious. Make sure your personal toiletry items are out of sight, along with old towels and toothbrushes. Put out fresh towels on the towel bars. Cover any laundry in hampers. Put toiletries away in vanities. Put down toilet lids. Collect prescription medicines and throw in go-bag to take to car. Check shower and tub for toys, stray hairs, and facecloths. Wipe counters, sinks and faucets with microfiber cloth.
Quick pick up before showings: Walk through house and throw any stray, embarrasing, personal or small items into designated clean laundry basket. Put laundry basket in car and take it with you in a rush.
Send the pets to family members house. If that's not possible, crate or confine them to one room, and let the realtor know where they'll be to eliminate surprises.
Lock up valuables and medication. Agents can't watch everyone all the time.
Head out. It can be awkward for everyone if you're home at the time of a showing.
Relocate anything in sink to dishwasher. Quickly once-over sink, faucet, counter, and stovetop with microfiber cloth.
Empty kitchen garbage, and take outside.
Swipe the floor.
Stash small rugs under beds.
Put magazines, etc, under bed.
Fluff pillows, pull bedspreads tight.
Living Room, Family Room, Dining Room
Swipe/vaccum floors, check carpet for bits of debris.
Plump pillows and seat cushions.
Gather all toys and toss into storage/ baskets.
Double check desktop, refrigerator front and all tables to be sure all personal stuff like credit cards, mail, calendars and valuables are securely out of sight. When in doubt, stuff into go-bag.
Turn on ceiling fans and lights.
Open all blinds, drapes and curtains.
Check for cobwebs near entrance. Hit them with broom.
Move bikes, toys garden house, etc. to side of house.