First things first, do NOT sterilize your home. Yes, I will inevitably tell you to take down your family photos and remove your personal collections, but if you remove all your décor items, the house will look too boring and have nothing left for the buyers to fall in love with. Certainly de-clutter your rooms before I arrive, but make sure to leave items I may wish to use in the staging of your home. These items include candlesticks, good quality silk and real plants, color co-ordinated napkins, placements, new towels, hand towels, artwork etc.
Secondly, Do NOT take my recommendations personally. Please understand that your house is now a product you are selling and no longer your home. I will make recommendations with this in mind, and these recommendations are certainly not a reflection on your personal taste, but purely an observation from walking through many houses with buyers.