Spring selling season is almost upon us! If you have decided this is the year to sell your house, the first step is to prepare it for the market. We don’t mean buying furniture or making your home look like it’s right out of a magazine. This means giving it a thorough cleaning. And we’re not just talking about getting the corners that you skip over when you usually clean. We’re talking about getting everything from the entryway to any clutter that may be in your home. We know that the process can be exhaustive, but we recommend that you take a weekend to get your home in top “for sale” condition. Take a look at our tips below!
- Put your emotions aside and be critical, thinking like a buyer. Have a keen eye on the true condition of your home and how best to eliminate clutter and unnecessary furniture. For example, that old ottoman in the living room doesn’t need to be around when your house is listed. Consider getting a storage unit for unneeded belongings. You can also sell or donate some of the items you don’t think you’ll need when you move.
- Clean the entryway carefully; it’s the first area potential buyers see. Sweep sidewalks and steps leading into the house, and look for cobwebs in corners of the porch or overhangs. Spend some time making sure that the driveway is cleared off of any leaves or debris. The condition of the outside is just as important as the inside.
- Give your home an inviting scent. Use aroma sprays, plug-in air fresheners or potpourri to create a fresh-smelling environment. Prior to open houses, consider baking cookies or bread. Going the pre-made route with refrigerated cookies or frozen bread loaves makes it much easier to get an inviting atmosphere fast. Be mindful that some people are sensitive to smells, so be sure to make the scents light and airy without being overwhelming.
- Dust artificial plants, flowers, and wicker furniture with a soft cloth. Likely these have gone unnoticed during weekly cleans. For tougher stains on fake plants, use warm water and soap. Be sure to oil wicker furniture to add a nice sheen.
- Polish light fixtures and ceiling fans in every room. Even the smallest of details matter. When washing light casings and globes, make sure to place a hand towel or dishcloth in the bottom of the sink to lessen the risk of breaking the glass.
- Look low and high to identify spots that might normally be overlooked in regular housecleaning, such as wiping baseboards and windowsills or dusting tops of wall hangings, shelves, or door ledges.
- Clear away all clutter–magazines, personal photos, and children’s toys, as well as pet food and water. They make a home feel lived-in, and potential buyers want the appearance of a new home.
- Consider removing any kitchen appliance that can be neatly stored versus left on countertops. Again, the less clutter, the more inviting and spacious the room will feel. If it is an appliance used daily, like a coffeepot or toaster, be sure to wipe it clean after each use.
- Straighten the inside of every cupboard, closet and drawer. Buyers look inside these areas to consider how their belongings might fit. This isn’t a time to “hide” clutter behind doors; it’s a time to overhaul every nook and cranny of your home. Also be sure to wipe down all cupboards and drawers. Just because the space is organized does not mean that buyers will ignore those crumbs hanging around.
- Add some extra shine to your kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Use baby oil on stainless steel sinks and faucets to make them sparkle. Just make sure that it isn’t so shiny that it slips when people try to use it. Arrange towels neatly in the bathroom and kitchen to convey a look of order.
- Take extra care in cleaning your bathrooms. Spend the time to remove hairspray and product buildup from walls and fixtures. Scour shower doors to remove soap scum.
- Make sure all light bulbs in fixtures and lamps are in working order. A burnt out light bulb may make the home appear dim and poorly maintained.
- For open houses, tie back curtains, pull up mini-blinds, and turn on lights. Make sure windows are freshly washed. The more well-lit your home is, the more open it seems to potential buyers.
We think you should do all of these things before you get your listing pictures taken, have someone tour your home, or have an open house. We know it’s daunting, but it does make a difference.
If cleaning your home is too overwhelming during the selling process, call in professionals. Just like you hire a trusted real estate agent to ensure your home is marketed to the right potential buyers, you can do the same to get and keep your home in top cleanliness condition by paying for regular maid service.