Cleaning, Decluttering and Depersonalizing

Cleaning, de-cluttering and depersonalizing but why? "It's just the way that I like it and it goes well with all of the stuff that I have."
I spent almost 20 years as a professional commercial painter and have painted more rooms than I care to admit. During this time I learned a few things. One of the most important things that I learned is that very few people have the same taste in colour. I have seen some very nice places go un-purchased because of a simple little wall being painted a strange colour. They call this a feature wall. Feature walls are great for owners and can also be good for emotional buyers. The problem is that for rational buyers the feature walls do not matter as they do not effect the bottom line of the home. For an emotional buyer the feature wall could be a good selling point but it can also be that one eyesore that turns them off.
My suggestion is to stay neutral with the colour scheme. The best selling features generally are: good curb appeal, a nice front door, followed by a modern kitchen with newish appliances, then a fire place. The negative features that you really don't want anyone to come across, are asbestos, mold, especially black mold, faulty plumbing, dated electrical, and single glazed windows when living in a cooler climate.
Cleanliness... I really don't understand why renters must clean their place or lose their damage deposit when owners can walk away and leave the place a complete mess? Living in a messy place while showing it as for sale will affect the price that you will be offered and can also prevent you from getting some offers. Cleanliness should be very important when listing showing and selling a home especially when you want to get top dollar for it.
De-cluttering and depersonalizing. These two are also important. Depersonalizing by removing pictures of family, getting rid of old worn out furniture, clearing the air of perfume, cigarette smoke and other offensive odors. We need to do as much as we can to not give anyone any excuses to walk away.
De-cluttering will make a home look larger and more spacious and will also create a blanker pallet in the eye of the purchaser so that they can more easily see themselves living in this new to them home.
This stuff is very important when selling to an emotional buyer, though to the rational not so emotional buyer this stuff is not always as important simply because they are thinking mostly in dollars and sense. They are figuring out the possible profitability of the home and the cost of repairs if they are needed. Their big concern is return on investment. To some of these people the idea of picking up a rental investment property with long term tenants in place that is already turning a profit can be a good thing.
In short I suggest trying to figure out what type of buyer you are looking for to purchase the home and then focus on making it a good find for them.