Look at your home as though you were seeing it for the first time. This is the hardest thing for most people to do because they are emotionally attached to everything in the house. Start at the front of your house, pretending to be a buyer, and walk through your property and house taking notes along the way of anything that you feel a potential buyer may find undesirable. If you have a friend whose views you can accept without getting defensive, allow them to help by pointing out areas that they may find undesirable too.
After years of living in the same home, clutter collects in a way that may not be evident to the homeowner. Clutter collects on shelves, counter tops, drawers, closets, garages, and attics. Repairs are equally important. Remember that fence you were going to paint two years ago? Think about how much more paint has peeled off! Or that hinge that was never repaired making the gate hard to open. Although you may have learned to live with it because it was not a high priority, it does affect the way buyers view your home. What this does is create objections in a buyers mind. Too many objections and buyers worry about other problems that they can’t see. The fewer objections a buyer has, the easier it will be to get a quicker offer at a higher price.
You may also want to consider having your home inspected prior to placing it on the market. This will give you a better understanding of conditions which may be discovered by the buyer’s inspector, and an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition. If the home had been a rental, this would be a very practical idea since you may not know the true condition of the home.
Ultimately, the process of selling your home starts with an assessment of it’s needs in order to present a home that looks good, maximizes space, and attracts as many buyers – and as much demand – as possible. It’s necessary to look at a home through the eyes of prospective buyer and determine what needs to be cleaned, painted, repaired, and tossed out.