Clients often ask me how clean their home has to be to put on the market. I answer "How clean do you like your hotel room to be when checking in?" The situations are similar. Buyers know that someone lives in your house, just as you know that your hotel room has had many occupants. But, the fewer reminders the better.
In the bathroom, counters and floors should be sparkling clean, mirrors spotless, commodes, tubs and showers gleaming! Shampoo bottles, razors, etc. should all be stored out of sight, and towels should be fluffy and clean! Light fixtures and window treatments should be dust free. Don't even think about showing your home if there is mold present. Mold can be a deal breaker, so address it before your home goes on the market.
Kitchens need to be spotless! Are your appliances staying in the home? Don't forget to clean them, too. Buyers will open doors and pull out drawers, so it's important that storage areas are kept clean. Baseboards and window sills should be clean of dust and dirt. Carpet and flooring should be vacuumed and swept every day. Wipe those dirty fingerprints off switch plates! The rule is if it stays with the house, clean it like new!
I know it sounds exhausting, but if done correctly, it may be the last time you have to clean this house!