Five of the quickest ways to drive Buyers out of your house...
1. Cooking smells, including: tuna fish (blech!), bacon, garlic, deep fry oil, etc. If you can still smell it after you've cleaned up, you shouldn't be making it while the house is on the market. Coffee and cinnamon buns? Good. Hot Dogs and Sauerkraut? Baaaaaad.
2. Giving Buyers a "tour" of your home. Buyers HATE (I mean really HATE) having the homeowner following them around telling them about the house. They really want to check out your closet and cabinet space, and to do it while you're there is rude for some reason. Besides, it always comes across as a little...desperate.
3. This is a touchy one...anything really personal that would make someone else uncomfortable. Nude portraits (even tasteful ones) above your bed, shrines to deceased loved ones, self-help books, etc. If it's private, remove it.
4. Animals freely roaming the house. I'm desperately afraid of birds. I once ran out of a house crying because some large parroty type thing squawked and dive bombed me. Once your animal scares someone, they spend the rest of the tour worrying about when BooBoo is going to eat them alive, rather than looking at your house.
5. Not wiping down the kitchen and baths. Your house should be spotless while showing (har har) but at the very least, make sure that the kitchen and bathrooms have been wiped down before a showing. A kitchen counter with crumbs or a bathroom with toothpaste on the sink or (ahem!) on the toilet seat gives the impression that the house isn't just "lived in" but "gross."
Want more? Shoot me an email and I'll regale you with more horror stories from my showings...