When the home is listed, leave the refrigerator, range oven and washer and dryer off the listing contract. When it comes time for the sale, these items can be used as bargaining chips to get a slightly higher price. You would be surprised at the items that people are willing to fight over when it comes down to acutally buying. For instance, in a recent real estate transaction, the buyers almost backed out because the seller refused to include window treatments (Curtains/blinds) in the sale. Be clear with your agent what you ARE willing to part with and what you are NOT willing to part with. If you have a beautiful chandalier and you intend to take it with you, you must list it on your contract. Otherwise, you may find yourself having problems in the end.
Help your agent put together a notebook buyers can browse through while looking at your home. Enclose pages in plastic and have a map of the home's lot, past utility bills and pictures. Include local information such as utility company's names and phone numbers, school district info and whatever else you think a person new in your area would need to know. When the house is sold, this book will be appreciated by the new buyer.
The smell of freshly baked bread or cookies adds ambiance to a home being shown. It transfers the property in the client's mind from the realm of 'house' to 'home'. You want them to start seeing and feeling the property as theirs and the senses play a large part in this.
Don't be there when people look at your home, Why? Because someone may have a completely different style than you and seeing you there may make it difficult for them to see themselves there in Your house.
Most title and abstract companies give a hefty discount for going back through them when it's sale time again. This can keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket by checking it out. Contact the same company that did your services when you purchased the home.
When someone is coming to look at the house:
Before clients arrive go from room to room and turn on as many lights as you can. This gives a warm and welcoming glow. Nothing is more off putting than dark dingy areas. Green pot plants can also add a pleasant touch as can vases of freshly cut flowers, particularly if they come from your own garden.
Nothing is as offensive to any visitor to your home as unpleasant smells. For this reason make sure the house is well aired. Potpourri placed strategically in a bowl in each room can be affective although make sure the scent is light and fresh, not heavy and musky as this is not to everyone's taste. Another helpful tip is to have cookies or bread baking in the oven.
With strangers entering your home it is important to keep it clean and tidy. Although this doesn't seem very important it is vital that kitchen surfaces are kept clear of dishes and wiped down, beds made, carpets and other floor coverings vacuumed, and that toys and clothing are not cluttering the floor. Cupboards and wardrobes should be tidied as many clients do check inside these and don't want to be buried beneath an avalanche of your belongings.
The first impression a vendor has of your property is what they see when they arrive. If you have a front yard make sure the lawns are mown and the flowerbeds are weeded. If you have children make sure that their toys aren't cluttering the entranceway as this does tend to give a bad first impression.

Improvements that can be made Inexpensively.

If there are any water damage lines or spots on the wall or any dirt from fingerprints, paint the walls. To hide water stains, use Kilz, a waterproof sealer that will not let crayons, ink and fingerprints show through paint.

Don't worry about changing all your wallpaper/repainting each room. People will want to paint the rooms themselves with their own odd colors.

Next, make sure your house is not overfilled with furniture. A house that is crowded with furniture will turn off a potential buyer. They will not be able to see where their furniture might fit if they bought the house.

Take some of the furniture and put it in storage for the meantime, or another room where furniture is lacking.

If you are willing to spend the money on paint, apply it to the OUTSIDE of the house if it needs it, touch up the trim. Did you know that 80% of houses are sold based on Curbside appeal??

Get rid of your personal memorobilia (that huge picture of Uncle Victor during the war with his cantancerous pout hannging over that beautiful fireplace), and put in fresh flowers, wicker baskets, fresh decorative soaps, etc. Any easy quick simple home decorating tricks that will make the place look new and inviting.

If you have a rug shampoo'r you can wash the carpets, (I suggest using 1/4 scoop of oxyclean for really nasty rugs, it works great!!). I just did the boys rooms the other day. It removed pee, melted crayons, melted cinnamon hearts (I'm gonna talk to their grammy about those!), and looks and smells brand new now.

-have a yard sale, this will help you de-clutter. Clutter gives the impression of your house being smaller than it really is. Get rid of everything you don't need. Move what you can possibly to your new home or you may have to rent storage space. The cleaner and neater the place is, the more attractive it will be. In this case, less is more!

wash the outside of your home. Clean sells. Get rid of cobwebs and dirt! pick up everything in the yard and outside. Make it look nice and neat!

Room by Room Cleaning
Entry way


Must be especially inviting for your guests (your potential buyers). Make certain it is well lit, clean and has nothing laying around either inside or outside. Paint the front door if it even remotely needs it.

If you normally use a back or side entrance to your house, pay particular attention to the front entry. You rarely see it but this is where the buyers will enter!
Living Room or Great Room


If possible, keep furniture at a bare minimum so that traffic flow is easier and the room does not appear smaller than it actually is.

If bookshelves, curio cabinets, and the like are overflowing with books and knick-knacks, remove some of them.
Family Room or Den


If this is the room you live in the most, make it look inviting but not overly lived in.

Keep furniture at a minimum but make the room look like a comfortable place to spend time.
Kitchen


Clean the exterior of all appliances. Clean the oven interior.

Clean or replace the stove hood filter. This is often overlooked, usually dirty and greasy, and looked at by a lot of buyers.

Clean cabinet faces. Make them shine!

Remove all clutter and unnecessary items from countertops and clean all countertops and backsplashes thoroughly.

Clean vinyl or ceramic floor.

If you have ceramic tile elsewhere in the kitchen, pay particular attention to the grout--make sure that it's clean. If it is discolored, there are "grout whitening" products that are available.
Bedrooms


Remove all clutter. If you don't need it, store it or pitch it!

Arrange or remove furniture to maintain good traffic flow through rooms. Remember, there may be three or four people in each group that walk through your house.

Bathrooms


Make sure all bulbs are working and have the highest wattage available and safe for each fixture. Brighter is better!

Clean all ceramic tile. Check the grout for cleanliness and deterioration.

If faucets drip, fix them.

Thoroughly clean sinks and tubs. If rust spots are on the porcelain, attempt to remove them.

Remove any evidence of mildew from the shower and bathtub. Products are available that spray on and quickly kill the mildew.
Basements


If the basement is damp or musty, consider a dehumidifier.

Give prospective buyers room to move around. Clutter...well, you know the drill!
Garages


Remove all junk: broken tools, old car parts, toys from the 1960's, etc.

If floor has oil marks, clean it (cleaning solutions are available at most home improvement stores and work with a normal garden hose).
Miscellaneous


Replace the furnace filter.