|Poor upkeep means this property will have a difficult time|
attracting a buyer and getting a good offer.
You'll want to keep your property from looking vacant. Vandalism can be a problem in rural, suburban or urban settings. On one hand, you don't want people to be able look in windows, but you also want people who tour the home to be able to see rooms flooded with as much natural light as possible. Some sort of sheer curtains are a likely choice for window treatments.
I suggest investing in some programmable timers. It's easy to set timers to make lights and radios come on and go off at various times to create the effect of people being in the home. You can find one here for less than $10. http://www.smarthome.com/2046/Programmable-Receptacle-Timer/p.aspx
Obviously, the owners of the property pictured above didn't hire a reliable lawn service. When a home's exterior shows neglect, a house hunter begins calculating just how low he can go if he decides to make an offer. Many will just tell their realtor to drive on by.
But a lawn service company won't solve all exterior maintenance problems. If debris blows into the entranceway, mildew grows on the siding, cobwebs surround the door, and windows are getting dirty, the home is losing appeal, and that translates into dollars lost. Some homeowners in this position ask a neighbor or pay a person to stop by on a regular basis and tend to their home's exterior.
Inside the home isn't safe from looking neglected. Ideally, someone will walk through the property to check for things like dead bugs, stale air, and dirt brought in by people touring the property. You cannot always count on a realtor to turn off every light, straighten chairs, plump pillows and close closet doors when necessary. If you live too far away to check your property, someone else should.
Once you've staged your home for the real estate market, the game isn't quite over. But the better-looking your home stays, the faster you'll see that offer to buy.