Potential buyers will get the best impression if your home is clean, neat, uncluttered, in good repair, light, airy, fragrant and quiet.
Clean Everything. Cleanliness signals to a buyer that the home has been well cared for and is most likely in good repair. A messy or dirty home will cause prospective buyers to notice every flaw.
Unclutter your home before you show it. Have a garage sale. Empty closets. Throw away what you can't sell. The less "stuff" in and around a home, the roomier it will seem.
Let fresh air in. Get rid of any scent that might be unfamiliar or unpleasant. People are most often offended by odors from tobacco, pets, cooking, and musty or sour laundry. Fresh flowers or oil scenters can be used to your advantage. Other smells that attract positive attention include The Pie and Coffee Realtor of Seattle, Mary Schile's, freshed baked pies and quiches!
Let the light in. Raise the shades. Open the blinds. Pull back the curtains. Pur brighter bulbs in all the lamps (but not bright enough to cause a glare). Bright, open rooms feel larger and more inviting. Dark rooms feel small and gloomy.
Fix anything that is broken. This includes plumbing, electrical systems and switches, windows, TV antennas, screens, doors and fences; if it can't be fixed, replace it or get rid of it (no window screens are better than broken ones). A buyer will make a much lower offer if your house is in disrepair and will probably insist that everything be fixed before taking occupancy. You're better off if you leave potential buyers no reason to offer less than you are asking.
Send Pets Away or secure them away from the house when prospective buyers are coming. You never know if people will be annoyed or intimidated by your pets or even allergic to them. And you never want a prospective buyer to have to navigate a yard full of you know what.
Send the kids to Grandma's or take them on a walk around the block. Children can be noisy and distracting to someone interested in looking at a home.
Paint. There's nothing that improves the value or a home for a lower cost than a fresh coat of paint. And it's so often easier to pain a room than it is to scrub it. Stick to neutral colors-off-white is the safest. Be sure to avoid black, violet and pink.
Keep Noise Down. Silence is a restful sound that offends no one. Turn off the TV and radio. Soft instumental music is fine, but avoid vocals. If necessary, close the windows to eliminate any street noise.
Fix Squeaky Floorboards. Don't run any noisy equiptment like a vaccuum cleaner or table saw while people are looking at you home, and, if possible, ask your neighbors to avoid irksome noises.