How to Clean House Before Selling: Easy Tips and Tricks

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If you’re wondering how to clean a house before selling, you’re in the right place. In this post, you’ll learn easy tips and tricks to get you started.

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There are a couple of things you have to do before putting your house on the market. The very first thing involves researching your local housing market and deciding whether to find a listing agent or sell the property yourself. When that is settled, the next step is all about making the house as appealing as possible to potential buyers. And cleaning your house is a big part of this.

Cleaning a house before selling it isn’t just about increasing the value of the house. Yes, clean and well-maintained houses are generally more valuable and can fetch more money than if the property was dirty and untidy. But cleaning a house you put on the market is also about goodwill.

Buying a house is a very personal decision for many people and you can make them feel good about the transaction when the house is clean and inviting. This simple act of goodwill can even make the sale, which is sometimes stressful for both buyer and seller, go more smoothly.

Unless you’re using a professional property-buying company, preparing a house for sale isn’t just about sweeping and cleaning up after yourself. Remember you have only one chance to create a positive first impression when a potential buyer comes to visit the property. Generally, you can clean the house yourself or hire professional cleaning services.

How to Clean House Before Selling: Easy Tips and Tricks

Easiest Solution – Hire Professionals

The easiest way to get your house in pristine condition before selling it is to hire professional cleaning services. You can count on a team of experienced professionals to leave your house spotless and immaculate. Another benefit of hiring professionals is speed. They move very fast and will get the house ready in no time.

Hiring a cleaning service to deep clean your house can turn out to be a significant investment, especially if you have to re-clean the house a few more times before you find a buyer and close the deal. But it’s never a bad idea to clean and you can always count on recouping almost all of your cleaning expenses, if not everything.

Cleaning the House Yourself

You can clean the house yourself if you don’t mind the time and effort. If possible, you can enlist the help of friends and family members to make the process faster and more effective. Be careful of ‘homeowner’s bias’ which involves ignoring ‘minor’ stains and other issues that potential buyers won’t overlook.

Cleaning Checklist

Whether you are cleaning your home yourself or hiring a cleaning service, below is a cleaning checklist you can use as a reference point when preparing your house for a sale.

Potential buyers want a space they can possess, one they can call their own, and having your things in the way leaves little room for this. The decluttering process starts with removing all personal items. Present your house as something of a blank canvas to the buyer. Let them see the property as something they can easily customize or personalize.

Clutter can also make your home appear smaller than it is especially if you have a lot of things. So, it’s important you take time to declutter your home.

Your cleaning job is far from complete if the floors, closets, nooks, and crannies, and literally, every corner of the house isn’t vacuumed. Remember to clean inside cabinets as dirt, dust  , and residue tend to accumulate there. 

From window sills to bookshelves, bathroom countertops, kitchen countertops, and tiles there are several surfaces that need a good ol’ wiping. Remember to clean fireplace mantles, furniture, and other hard surfaces in the home.  Also, clean windows go a long way to making a house look its best. 

Your work isn’t over after wiping down the surfaces in your home. It’s time to roll your sleeves and thoroughly scrub the sinks, toilet bowl, showers, shower doors, and tub. You want them to be sparkling clean and free from mold, rust, or mildew.  If your grout is stained and discolored a quick clean with a mixture of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and dish soap is an easy fix.

We often overlook cleaning ceiling fans, shower curtains, carpets, and ovens but these are things buyers will definitely notice. If your home has a basement that’s a spot to declutter and clean up as well. 

Fresh flowers, plugin deodorants, and scented candles are some of the ways to introduce a fresh scent into a building. However, these shouldn’t be a coverup for the bad or foul odor. It goes without saying, you should empty the trash before potential buyers tour the property.  If you’ve properly cleaned your house, you won’t have to worry about the foul smell, and introducing a fresh scent will be the icing on the cake.

Other things to have on your checklist include:

The first impression is everything in real estate. A potential buyer starts to evaluate a property the moment they pull up in the driveway. If the exterior is faded, dirty, and generally uninviting, they start to think the property isn’t well cared for. And when they get inside, they start to look for issues in the house. They may even take issue with things they may have previously overlooked.

However, if the exterior and curb appeal of the property is spot on, potential buyers start to imagine what it’ll be like to live in the house. A neat and well-organized interior will be the icing on the cake in this situation.  Make sure shrubs and other landscaping is tidy.

To create a positive first impression, clean the walls, both exterior, and interior, of the property and add a fresh coat of paint if necessary.   Neutral colors work best due to their versatility and the warm vibe they give off. It’s also easy to combine other colors and materials with neutral tones.  It might be fun to add a pop of color with fresh paint on the front door.

Since most people live in their house for some time before putting it on the market, chances are there are a couple of decorations that need to be taken down. When decorations or shelving is removed, there are bound to be nails or wall anchors screwed in the wall. Nails and wall anchors are usually not good to look at and the courteous thing to do is to take them down, fill the holes, and paint them over.

It doesn’t cost a lot to patch holes and paint them over and you can be sure of recouping your expenses when you close the house.

The lighting in your home matters, especially if it is on the market. Bad lighting fixtures are easily noticed by potential buyers and before listing your home or taking any pictures, check all your interior and exterior lighting fixtures. Dark bulbs should be replaced with energy-efficient white LED lights. The same also applies to dead bulbs.

It’s worth mentioning that you may have to give some potential buyers an inspection of your home in the evening to accommodate their schedule. So, it’s time to take a look at those dead light bulbs you never gave a second thought to.

Effective and efficient lighting starts from the outside. Is the exterior well-lit and welcoming? If not, consider installing flood lighting or solar-powered lamps. A motion sensor light is also a good idea for exterior lighting.

Inside the home, lighting fixtures should complement natural lighting. In areas or rooms that don’t get enough natural light, you can use lighting fixtures to offset this and make the space more welcoming and inviting. Avoid harsh lighting by all means and go for soft light.

How to Clean House Before Selling: Easy Tips and Tricks Conclusion

It’s super important to keep your house clean. Your first impression is everything and you want the potential buyer to see themselves in your home. If all they see is a mess, they won’t see past that and will walk away. Plus, a clean home generally clears a person’s mental state of mind and can potentially lead to the sale you’re looking for.

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If you're wondering how to clean house before selling, you're in the right place. In this post, you'll learn easy tips and tricks to get you started.

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