There’s no getting around the fact that you’re going to have to undertake a major cleaning effort before you put your home on the market and open it up to prospective buyers for viewing. And while you should certainly try to get into the nooks and crannies and make every surface shine like new, it may help you to understand what most buyers are likely to look at before you begin the process. For example, a person viewing your home may not check behind the fridge for dust and dirt, but they might run their hand along the top of the fridge. Of course, you should probably move the appliances and scrub behind them anyway, especially if it’s never been done. But if your time and your patience are limited, there are a few tasks you’ll want to tackle first in order to get your home in ship shape for viewing by potential buyers. Here are a few tips for cleaning that should help you to sell your home.
- Clear the clutter. The first step in any major cleaning process is clearing out unneeded stuff that’s only going to make it harder for you to accomplish your goals. And when it comes to moving, in particular, there are a couple of good reasons to start with this essential step. For one thing, you’re eventually going to have to move everything out anyway, so you might as well start now. In addition, though, you’ll want to stage the house as a way to make it as attractive as possible for buyers. This means removing large furnishings to make the space look bigger, as well as personal items like photos, tchotchkes, and so on that could make it difficult for viewers to picture their own possessions in the space. The fact that it also facilitates the cleaning process is just icing on the cake.
- Make a checklist for each room. It’s easy to get caught up in your cleaning routine and miss spots that you don’t normally scrub. For this reason you should start by looking at a room and making a list of areas to clean, including vents and ceiling fan blades that accumulate dust and dirt over the years, corners that tend to gather cobwebs or dust bunnies, and curtains that haven’t been washed in ages, just for example. With a checklist in hand to mark the work you’ve completed you should be able to get through all of your cleaning tasks without forgetting any.
- Rent a steam vac. Steam cleaning your carpets is a great way to shampoo away the dirt, dust, and debris that has no doubt built up while you were in residence. If you don’t want to replace the carpeting and you’re not terribly keen on giving an allowance for the next homeowners to install new flooring, then this is a good way to make your carpet look like new, provided it’s not stained beyond salvation.
- Talk to your realtor. This probably doesn’t sound like a good way to clean your house, but if you want advice about what needs to be cleaned in order to give you the best chance of selling, your realtor has probably staged enough homes that he/she can give you a standard list of chores to work with or even do a walkthrough of your home to point out areas you missed.
- Call for help. There’s no need to go it alone when it comes to cleaning tasks – simply bring in a professional crew to get the job done for you if you lack the requisite time or enthusiasm. There are plenty of businesses offering end of tenancy cleaning in London, Los Angeles, or your city of residence, and most will do the job faster and better than you (albeit at a cost). However, if your time is more important than your money, this is a great way to get your house show ready before you open the doors to the public.