It's not that you're being picayune. Purchases are based on emotion. Nowhere is this more true than when buying a home. I walked into an Public Open House yesterday for a home priced at over $1 million. The beds weren't made. There was clutter in the bedrooms. But worst of all, the curtain rod in one of the bedrooms was broken, so the curtain was drooping down in the middle, bringing further attention to the problem.
Now, I can understand if you don't want to sink a lot of money into a home renovation in order to get it sold. I never tell my sellers to put granite in their kitchens as they are about to move, because I don't think they'll recoup their entire investment plus the buyers might not like the color. However, It's a quick, free or inexpensive fix to straighten up clutter (throw it in the attic if you can't afford a monthly storage unit to put the boxes you've prepacked in anticipation of your move), wash the dishes in the sink and put them away, buy some bedspreads (and use them!) and for goodness sake, buy a new curtain rod.
If I'm dishing out over $1 million for your home, I don't want to think ANYTHING is wrong with the home. And if I see a quick fix you've overlooked, I'm thinking there are far worse problems I'm not seeing. In yesterday's viewing, had I'd been a customer who would have made an initial impression within the first 15 seconds of entering the front door (if I ever got that far--remember, curb appeal is crucial too!) with 293 *other* Open Houses being held in the county, you lost me at curtain rod.
Use a buyer's eye when preparing for an Open House or any showing. A good agent will walk through the home before putting it on the market and point out the fixes that should guarantee a higher offer. Don't miss out on this service, free to you when you list.