Cleaning a home before selling it

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An immaculate, clean kitchen

If you’re thinking of selling your house, you’ll need to have it looking fresh and clean to impress prospective buyers. That means more than just a little dusting and vacuuming – you’ve got to scrub and scour and apply a generous amount of elbow grease before putting that For Sale sign up on your front lawn. Remember that a clean house commands higher bids from possible buyers.

The importance of a clean house to home buyers

Dirty or cluttered houses convey disorder, and potential buyers can leave your house with the impression that it has not been well maintained, even if it’s in very good condition. Clutter can also make it seem as though the house is difficult to maintain or is lacking adequate storage space. Often when buyers look around a house, they try to picture their own furnishings in a particular space. If that space is already loaded with stuff, they may have a hard time picturing their things, and therefore themselves, in the house.

Step one: de-clutter

A cluttered house can be very difficult to sell. It’s not exactly easy on the eyes of a prospective home buyer, and it can even pose a safety hazard. If a potential buyer trips over your stuff, you can forget about him or her putting in an offer. The first step in thoroughly cleaning your house is to purge items that are no longer needed. Items in good condition can be sold or donated to charity, and the rest can be sent to the dump. If you find some items that you want out of the house but not out of your life, consider storing them at a rented storage facility or a friend or relative’s place until you can transplant them into your new home. Once the clutter is gone, rooms will appear more spacious, closets bigger, and shelves roomier.

Areas that need the most attention

Before you get wiping and polishing, plan out how you’re going to tackle the cleaning process. Pay special attention to the rooms that potential buyers would be most interested in: the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. As you enter each room, ask yourself what you notice first. Work to get that focal point clean and spread out your cleaning efforts from there.

In the kitchen, it’s important not to have any dirty dishes lying around, even in the dishwasher; you don’t want any aromas from last night’s dinner lingering in the room. It’s essential to have your bathroom mold- and mildew-free, and spotless tile grout will leave a good impression on buyers.

But wait, there’s more (that needs cleaning)!

Windows need washing, carpets need vacuuming, furniture needs cleaning, and blinds need dusting. When it comes to dusting blinds, or any other surface, use a dust-trapping product rather than a feather duster that will just disperse dust in the air. Also give some attention to little details like cleaning the fingerprints around light switches and doorknobs. In the bedrooms, make sure that the beds are made.

If all of the cleaning work seems like a daunting task, which it can be, hiring a professional cleaning company is a good idea. Think of it as an investment in your house that will pay for itself when you receive a solid offer when it comes time to sell.

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