7 ways to dress up your home for a faster sale

Make it shine

Once you’ve cleared the clutter, it’s time to get down and dirty.

A house that looks and smells clean is most attractive to would-be buyers, says John Price, a real estate agent with The Bouma Group of Ann Arbor, Mich.

"People buy on emotion," he says. "They’re going to come in and feel like this place is ready to go."

They’ll also have the impression that you respect and have taken good care of your property, Price adds.

Pet odor must be eliminated, even if that means removing Fido or Fluffy while the house is on the market. "You cannot have pet smells," Price says. "People walk in and their senses are hit immediately."

Other items for your checklist: steam-cleaning carpets, washing windows, dusting blinds and wiping down walls. Don’t forget the inside of the microwave and oven — they’ll surely be opened during showings.

If your lifestyle doesn’t lend itself to maintaining a clean and tidy home, hire a professional to come in weekly to keep the floors and counter tops sparkling.