Before you put your home on the market:
• Declutter and depersonalize rooms by boxing up knickknacks, books, collections and family photos.
• Deep clean the home from top to bottom, including the refrigerator and windows. Bathrooms should be spotless — if you can’t clean soap scum off the shower door, replace it.
• Rooms should smell clean and fresh. Ask a friend to check if your house has odors. Don’t light candles or use scented plug-ins — buyers suspect you are hiding something.
• Remove heavy window treatments to let in light.
• Fresh paint in a mix of neutral tones is the cheapest way to make a good impression.
• Remove unnecessary furniture to make rooms feel more spacious.
• Many real estate agents today offer staging services to make homes aesthetically pleasing.
• Improve curb appeal by painting the front door and window trim, set out a planter of flowers, and replace garage light fixtures. Drive by your house and walk up to the door, viewing it through the eyes of a potential buyer.
• Buyers typically narrow down homes to tour by looking online. Give your home “Web appeal” with eye-catching online photos taken by a professional photographer — not by an agent on a smartphone.
• Show how spaces can be used in lofts and homes with big open floor plans.
• Buy inexpensive updates such as new rugs, towels and light fixtures with brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze finishes.
• Have information about the home, such as a disclosure statement, available to be reviewed.
• “The best way to get a firm offer out of the gate is for your home to be clean, well-presented, in good condition and priced right,” said Sara Huebener, an agent for Edina Realty.