17 Feb 2016

Sparkling clean—and sold!

This spring promises to be a great time to list your home. And a super clean house may get you more offers in less time, as well as help you sell for top dollar! So break out the mops and dusters and let’s go!

Clear the clutter.

According to the Cleaning Institute, a clean, clutter-free house invites potential buyers to look around and linger. Who wants to spend time in a grimy house that requires a powerful imagination to see past all the—stuff? Get real and real tough. Clear the clutter and clean top to bottom.

HGTV even recommends cleaning out your closets by reducing the items in them by half then neatly organizing what’s left. Keep your cabinets clean and tidy, too because buyers will open to see what’s up with the storage situation in your house.

Make kitchen and baths priority #1.

Give major attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Keep countertops clean and cleared in the kitchen and keep towels off the floor and toilet lids down in the baths.

Mold and mildew are especially problematic in bathrooms. Just the sight of it tends to make buyers squeamish, so use liquid household bleach or cleaners with bleach to remove mildew stains from shower doors, shower curtains and grout between tiles.

Give it the smell test.

Buyers don’t want to walk in a home that smells like a doghouse or the kitty litter box. It gives the impression your house is not clean. Also air out and vacuum rugs and draperies for a fresh-as-springtime impression, both visually and through the nose. Ask a friend for an honest, subjective opinion, because you really can go “nose blind.”

Other must-do’s.

  • Wash windows inside and out.
  • Rent a pressure washer and spray down sidewalks and exterior.
  • Clean out the refrigerator.
  • Dust furniture, ceiling fan blades and light fixtures.
  • Bleach dingy grout.
  • Replace worn rugs.
  • Sweep away dust bunnies and cobwebs.

Keep it clean.

Attend to these daily, quick cleaning chores for those times potential buyers ask for a “we were driving by” showing:

  • Use disposable wipes daily in the kitchen and baths.
  • Use a tub and tile spray cleaner after every shower. Dry off faucets.
  • Keep dirty dishes out of the sink and drainer. Wash, dry and put away.
  • Pick-up, sweep and vacuum floors every day.
  • Wipe up spills as they happen.

Your house needs to “show like a model” at all times because you never know when the right buyer is going to walk through the door. Make your home available whenever anyone wants to see it by keeping it in tip-top shape. It may be a little inconvenient, but with any luck, it won’t be for long, and you’ll get maximum value from your efforts.

By: Susan Larkin (Vice President, Marketing & Public Relations)

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