The key to selling your home is effective presentation. Like a person, first impressions and "curb appeal" are critical.
Curb Appeal. A home should be attractive as soon as visitors drive up and walk to the front door. There are ways to enhance curb appeal: keep your lawn cut, trim the edges, plant flowers and shrubs, and keep the flower beds weed-free. To make the house itself better looking, wash the windows, paint the eaves troughs and trim, keep the yard litter and leaf-free. If you are out of town while the home is listed, hire a service to maintain the garden and plants (indoor as well as out).
Keep it uncluttered. Inside the home, there are simple things that enhance a buyer's interest. "Job One" is keeping it tidy: this makes the house look more spacious and better-maintained. Clean the carpets, and wash the light fixtures, ceilings and walls (especially if you have pets). A fresh paint job will make the house feel new, especially in a smoker's home. Store any seasonal items or extra toys to reduce clutter. If you need help with repairs or renovations, your real estate agent can recommend good but affordable professionals for the tasks.
Focus on the Bathroom and kitchen. Buyers, especially women, will take a close look at the bathroom and the kitchen. These are the two rooms where women at home spend most of the time. Fix up the grout or caulking in the bathroom beforehand. Consider painting cupboards and re-tiling floors, counters, and walls in the kitchen.
Before the visit. When someone is scheduled to visit your home, turning on all the lights. Try to keep the home reasonably vacant, so the home buyer is free to comfortably look around. Bake a loaf of bread or a cake, light candles, or dab vanilla extract on light fixtures to create a pleasant scent in your home. Most buyers only take three minutes to look at a home. If you make a good first impression, and show a neat and well-maintained home, your odds for a sale improve dramatically. While some improvements may cost money up front, they may dramatically improve your selling price. Your realtor will provide you with recommendations to help improve your net selling price.