1. Get rid of your emotional attachment!  Take all your family pictures, no trophies, collectibles or cherished items.  Store them away  Other people are now going to be going through the home and need to view it as theirs.  They need to feel comfortable in "their new home."  The way to do that is by removing your cherished items that say "you".

2. Curb Appeal FRONT AND BACK.. Make buyers want your home from the get go!  Keep it clean and tidy: mowed lawn & edged, no excessive yard ornaments, put away toys and bikes, hoses. Consider planting a few plants or potted plants or schrubs if your home is not landscaped well.  Clean up after pets!  Add a new, neutral door mat. Nothing with initials or names. If you have your name on the mailbox or at the front door remove it.  Remember the home needs to give the buyers the feeling that it's their new home!  Ask a friend or neighbor for their opinion or help. Make the front of your home warm and appealing.

3.Windows,Doors, Electrical Outlets and Light Bulbs... Clean all your windows and glass doors.  If sliding glass doors do not open easily use silicone on sliding glass door tracks and for creaky doors silicone can be used on the hinges.  Make sure all your electrical outlets work and that those needing GFCI are updated by your electrician (check with electrician for local codes).  It's a safety issue if they are not up to code.  Make sure all light & light bulbs work.It won't make a good impression if the light switches do not work.

4.  Declutter..All those things that you have collected over time need to be packed up or disgarded.  Counter tops should be clean and free of items such as a kitchen counter possibly only a clean coffee maker and toaster displayed.  You will have to put other items away during showings.  Sink should be free of dishes, cloths should be put away.  All counter tops should be free of personal items.   Excess furniture should be removed.  Make rooms look larger by getting rid of extra chairs, dressers etc.   Make your home look like a staged model! In order to get Top Dollar you will need to do this.

5. Kitchens and Baths..  Clean clutter free counter tops, clean sinks, toilets, floors, grout, staged clean towels, add fresh flowers or a pretty plant, cloths removed, put your toiletries away including your personal soaps. 

6. Fixing Things.. I have already mentioned about doors, windows, electrical outlets in #3.  There is more!  Get your roof fixed & ceiling stains repaired unless you are prepared to make a concession on your selling price for a leaky roof and stained ceiling.    Fix a leaky toilet & dripping faucet.  Make your home as perfect as possible to get the best price.

7. Your Floors.. All carpet and tile and should be cleaned by a professional company.  You should replace them if stained beyond cleaning or torn. Grout should be cleaned and broken tiles repaired.

8. Odors.. The smell of smoke is a big turnoff for many buyers.  If you smoke you might consider smoking outside away from the entrance way and home.  Litter Boxes should be changed frequently or before a showing as well as out of sight.   To deordorize you home of any type of odor you can have it either professionally done or  if doing yourself then washing walls and removing the source of the odor. Using neutral scents for plugins purchased at your local grocery store or the neutral scents at your air conditioner vents in the home.

9. Pets..Your pets are like your children but when you have a showing you want them to be safe.  You also do not want a buyer to have to stumble over your dog or your cat, pet toys, litter boxes, etc.   Please make arangements for your pet to be out of the home during showings.  Ask your Realtor or neighbor to take your dog out for short walk during the showing.   In the case of cats...well best to put a sign on the door..DO NOT LET THE CAT OUT.    If yours is anything like mine it would hide when strangers are in the home.  Your Realtor should put in the MLS that their are pets in the home and what the arrangement will be for showings.

10.Closets and Storage..  Yes this is where you have been putting all the items I have suggested you move to declutter your home.   Items you want to keep should be stored and stacked neatly.  Discard other items that you don't need or do not want to move with.  Have the garage sale or donate these items before listing your home.  Buyers want to see "Roomy Areas", a clean home and a home in good repair.