Impressions that matter…
Too much Clutter
When your home is cluttered, and full of too much "stuff" it will make your home feel to small and distracting. When you clear away all the unnecessary items it will make your home more spacious, and allow buyers to focus on the home, and not the stuff.
You want to take down as many of your personal items as you can. Wedding photos, religious items, children's artwork, etc. can distract buyers when they are looking at your home. When I buyer walks into your home, you want them to envision themselves living in the house, not you and your family living there.
Open all the windows and turn on all your lights/lamps. This will open up your house; make it feel warm and inviting. Window treatments should be opened evenly whether in height or by angle. You want the sun to shine in evenly so it doesn’t create unflattering shadows.
Define the space
Every room should have a specific purpose. A bedroom should be staged as a bedroom not a storage room, a den should be staged as a den, not a toy room. If you have several bedrooms and you don’t need them all, use one as a guest room, or a toy room, but make sure at least two rooms are bedrooms. Awkward spaces especially need to be defined. Even if you didn’t use it that way, give it a purpose that makes the most sense for your house. You don’t want potential buyers to spend time wondering what the space is supposed to be.
If there are dishes in the sink or sticky floors potential buyers think that your home is unmaintained. If a buyer can see things undone not only does it look like “work” but it makes them suspicious of what other, more major, things are left unmaintained. If you can afford it, I recommend hiring a cleaning service to come in right before you put your home on the market to make sure no corner is untouched. This will also make it easier to maintain after the major cleaning is complete.