• Eliminate clutter: The less cluttered your home, the better it shows. If you have a lot of knick-knacks, collections, or family mementos, consider renting a portable storage unit, which can be stored until it's time to deliver it to your new home.
• Keep, donate, throw-away: If you have time before you go on the market, sort belongings into one of these three baskets. You'll receive more in tax benefits for your donations than pennies on the dollar at a garage sale. It's faster, more efficient and you'll help more people.
• Remove temptations: Take valuable jewelry and collectibles to a safety deposit box, a safe, or store them in a secure location. Also secure your prescription medicine and private financial documents.
• Remove breakables: Figurines, china, crystal and other breakables should be packed and put away in the garage or storage.
• Be hospitable: You want your home to look like a home. Open the blinds, turn on the lights, and make visitors feel welcome.
• Have a family plan of action: When a showing happens at an inconvenient time, get the family engaged. Everyone can pitch in to tidy up in a hurry: pick up glasses, plates, clothing, and anything else left lying about.
• Get in the habit: Wash dishes immediately after meals. Clean off countertops. Make beds in the morning. Keep pet toys and beds washed and smelling fresh.
• Clean out the garage and attic: Buyers want to see what kind of storage there is.