The 3 "D's"...
So you've decided to put your home on the market. Before your Realtor comes to take pics, there are a few things that MUST be done. DeClutter, DePersonalize, & Downsize.
Remove as much as you can from the counters. Mail, appliances that can be put away in cabinets, and just junk in general. Potential buyers need to see how much counter space they have to work with. They need to see that bar as a bar, and not a catch all for everything that you throw down when you walk in the door.
Take down personal photos, birthday cards etc. Yes, we all love our family! However, potential buyers need to picture themselves living in your home when they walk through. Depersonalizing your home makes this a lot easier. It isn't necessary to replace them, unless the area that you removed them from looks naked.
Remember, potential buyers need to see the space you have in your home. It is hard to imagine space if it is filled with over-sized or excessive amounts of furniture. Less is best. You want the potential buyers to get a feel for what the space can be used for, but you do not want to fill it up. For example, if you have a couch, love seat, and recliner in the great room, remove the recliner or remove the recliner and love seat. Downsizing and staging are different things. Downsizing is a step that may be necessary before staging a home. However, it is possible to stage a home without downsizing (if it is not needed).
Hopefully, your Realtor will discuss all of this with during your listing appointment. If not, ask them for direction. Some Realtors have experience staging (ME!!), others will have a stager that they can refer you. Remember, before you incur a cost for this, you can do so much on your own!