Hands down, our panel agrees: Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than a dirty house.
"The No. 1 biggest mistake is not getting the home in the best possible condition. That's huge," says Goldwasser. "I won't even represent sellers at this point unless they are fully aware of how important it is to get their home in the absolute best condition that they've ever had it in."
Goldwasser recommends that sellers go the extra mile, from steam-cleaning tile and grout to replacing carpets.
"If the carpets are old and smelly, you should put in new," he says. "If they're relatively new, you should at least have them shampooed."
Cannon agrees that grime can derail any showing.
"The home should be neat and clean and free of all debris," Cannon says. "If it reeks of cats or the kitchen sinks and counters are so filthy that it almost looks like the food is moving, I won't even want to come in."
Buyers, it's said, buy with their noses. Make sure your home smells fresh and inviting.
"Odors are a big one, especially kitchen odors," says Dana. "I advise my clients not to cook fried food, fish or greasy food while the house is on the market."
Some pet owners mistakenly believe pet smells to which they've become accustomed help make their abode homey. Nothing could be further from the truth.
"If you're a dog person, you tend to think everyone else is a dog person," says Goldwasser. "But the truth is, 50 percent of the population hates dogs and doesn't want to be near them. "Pets in the home? You have to deal with that."