When your house is for sale, the goal is to make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers! The most cost-efficient way to spruce up the home is to clean it thoroughly. Here’s how to clean your house from top to bottom:
GET RID OF CLUTTER
Many potential buyers may not see past dirt and clutter. If the house is crowded with your own “stuff,” they will assume the house is too small for their belongings. Too much clutter also poses a safety – and buying – hazard. A person who trips over items left on the stairs is unlikely to have a good feeling about the house. In addition, a clean, clutter-free environment is more attractive than a grimy, untidy one.
Begin by purging the house, including the basement, attic, and garage, of items that are no longer needed.
- Things that are in good condition can be sold or donated to a charity.
- Items in less-than-ideal condition can be thrown in the trash.
COMBAT MOLD & MILDEW
Mold and mildew are especially problematic in bathrooms. With all the publicity concerning the illnesses that mold can cause, prospective home buyers are more sensitive than ever about its presence. Use liquid household bleach or cleaners with bleach to remove mildew stains from shower doors, shower curtains and grout between tiles.
Use a non-streaking cleaning product, such as a glass or glass and multi-surface cleaner, for shower doors and mirrors. A regular routine, including rinsing the tub after bathing, using a small squeegee on shower walls after each use, and drying faucets and handles to prevent water spots, will keep things clean.
DON’T FORGET TO:
- Vacuum carpets and drapes and dust thoroughly.
- Use a dusting product so that the dust will be trapped and removed rather than dispersed in the air.
- Carefully clean surfaces to remove dust, grime, and fingerprints.
- Pay attention to paint. Painted surfaces are usually washable but test the cleaning solution on an inconspicuous area first. Use a non-abrasive, all-purpose cleaner.
- Avoid streak marks when cleaning large vertical areas, start at the bottom and work up, overlapping areas and using a circular motion.
- Clean your appliances.
- Clean your blinds and all parts of your windows and sliders, inside and out.
- Clean inside cupboards, cabinets, and drawers.
WHERE TO START
Don’t know where to start on your home’s deep clean? Focus on the rooms that potential buyers are most interested in: living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. Look at each room as a potential buyer might and see what catches the eye first. Make that the starting point for the cleaning process.
Or, if you need home cleaning help in a hurry and your nearest and dearest are unwilling (or unable, or just incompetent) to help, hit the Yellow Pages or Craigslist. You can find anything from a full-service cleaning crew to helpers who can be hired by the hour, and you may even be able to locate professionals who specialize in home staging.
Keeping on top of the cleaning chores will make your home look its best!