I cannot emphasize enough that your house needs to SPARKLE!!!! There needs to be absolutely NO CLUTTER!! That means you need to REMOVE everything from your countertops. Yes, that means removing appliances in the kitchen and toothbrushes in your restrooms and all of those shampoo bottles that we love to collect. :-)
The picture to the left is NOT what you want. :-)
"So, how am I supposed to live?", you ask.
Buy a basket. When you get a call for a showing, dump all of those shampoo bottles, toothbrushes, etc. from your bathroom counters into that basket and hide it in the cabinet underneath the counter. Voila! No clutter!
Play music for your showing... classical or soft jazz works best. I love Mario Frangoulis. Not only is he easy on the eyes, but he is very talented and his music is very soothing. If you have surround sound, be sure to use it and show it off. If not, turn on your TV to a music channel.
Remove all pets and any evidence of pets living in your home.
Vacuum your carpets.
Leave some cookies and water bottles for your potential buyers. Buyers LOVE that!
Image above found here.