It isn't easy to go from a comfortable home to a home to be merchandised! Let me share some tips that will aid your efforts:
Clear everything off all flat surfaces except for one or two items. This includes coffee tables, end tables, dressers, countertops in the kitchen and bathrooms, dining room tables, ledges, open shelves, etc.
Switch out ay energy saving bulbs for regular incadescent bulbs.
Keep family photos to a miimum throughout your home. You want your buyer to visualize their family in your house.
Take out all references to religion, politics and causes.
Touch up any nicks on painted surfaces, such as baseboards, cabinets and moldings. If it's more than a nick, its time to hire a good painter.
Repair ay leaky faucets, loose toilets, sticking doors and cabinets.
Install GFCI outlets near water sources. (its a huge safety issue)
Illinois requires smoke alarms and carbon monoxide dectors.
Living plants are good but too many look cluttered. Keep to a minimum.
Make sure your front door is in good condition. Paint if necessary.
Tidy your front, and backyard. It should be neat, clean and bushes trimmed.
Use food scented candles, rather than flower scented. (I like Vanilla, apple Cinnamon.)
De-clutter any collections you have --best to pack them away.