Showing messy, dirty homes to potential buyers is by far the biggest mistake many sellers make when holding an open house, Da Silva says.
Don't assume potential buyers will overlook your clutter and instead focus on your house's potential.
Prepare for an open house with the same care you would prepare your child for a school photo, says Diane Saatchi, senior vice president of Saunders & Associates, a real estate brokerage in Bridgehampton, N.Y.
"You wouldn't send your kid to get a school picture without combing her hair or washing her face, would you?" she says. "The same goes for your house. It has to look its best."
Many homeowners are used to seeing their own clutter, and they often don't realize it's a problem for others, she says.
"I've showed up at open houses where beds haven't been made," Saatchi says. "A lot of people don't see their own stuff."
Get rid of the clutter, and make your house look as spacious as possible.
"Empty closets out. Your closet should look like there is room to put the next dress you buy," she says.