Phyllis DiBlasi, GRI, CRS's Blog
When you’re preparing your home for the market, your main goal is to make it as desirable as possible to potential buyers. Not only will this gain more attraction from interested parties, but it can also help you out in a bidding war by making your home stand out among the rest and therefore increasing the final sale value.
Many of the ways to increase the desirability and curb appeal of your home involve costly home improvements and upgrades. However, there are some simple solutions that can make an impact and might just be enough to tip the buyer in favor of your home.
Today, we’re talking about the value of marketing a spotless, freshly cleaned home. The benefits are many. But, among them are the chance of increasing your sale value, attracting more potential buyers, and demonstrating to them that you’re the type of homeowner who has cared for their home.
Read on for some of the most important cleaning tips to help you along the process of selling your home.
1. Decluttering helps in more ways than one
When you’re ready to sell your home, the last thing you want to be thinking about is finding places for all of your belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years. People interested in buying your home won’t want to visit a house filled with your personal belongings, as it will make it harder for them to imagine their own decorating style in the house.
To make this whole process easier, it’s a good idea to declutter and pack away things that you won’t necessarily need until you move into your new home. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor later by packing boxes now that won’t have to be repacked when you move to your new home.
2. Mold and mildew
Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable to these two culprits that can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. You’re going to want to carefully inspect these rooms for signs of mold and mildew and eliminate them. Non-streak and bleach-based cleaners are ideal as they can help your glass and tiles shine like new.
Remember to make sure these are clean before you have real estate photos taken or your listing and before having any potential buyers over to show your home.
3. Deep dusting
You know those corners of your home that you always think, “oh well, no one will ever see back there anyway”? Well, people interested in buying your home will likely want to look in those corners and might be off-put by piles of dust.
If you have a hard time seeing because parts of your home are dark, set up some portable work lights while you’re cleaning to ensure you’re getting the job done.
Finally, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and behind your kitchen appliances, where few seldom go.
4. Gutters are a giveaway
Clean gutters are a sign that a homeowner cares for the long-term maintenance of their home. So, if you haven’t been quite keeping up with gutter cleaning, now is the time to do it.
5. Pressure washing can be worth the cost
If there’s one thing that’s worth spending money on for cleaning an older home, it’s usually power washing. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. But, it does get dirty from time to time.
Hiring a power washing service or renting a pressure washer can be a good way to make the exterior of your home look like new again.
Although you may commit substantial time and resources to clean your home, it may prove to be exceedingly difficult to keep your residence looking spectacular day after day. However, with a home cleaning service at your disposal, you can employ friendly, skilled cleaning professionals to ensure your home will dazzle consistently.
Each home cleaning service is different, and you'll want to know what to ask each professional cleaning company before you hire one. Fortunately, we're here to help you simplify the process of hiring a professional cleaning company – here are three questions to ask a home cleaning business.
1. Are you insured and bonded?
When it comes to finding a professional cleaning service, employing a company that provides peace of mind is essential. Thus, if you hire an insured and bonded home cleaning service, you can rest easy knowing that your property and belongings are protected when cleaning professionals visit your residence.
An insured and bonded home cleaning company offers protection in the event that your property is damaged or any of your belongings go missing during a home cleaning. Therefore, you'll know that you are working with a proven home cleaning company that goes the extra mile to safeguard its clients if you choose a professional cleaning service that is insured and bonded.
2. Do you guarantee your services?
Is a home cleaning company open to feedback and suggestions? If not, you may want to search elsewhere for support, and for good reason.
Typically, a professional cleaning company will guarantee its service if its staff feels confident that it can deliver the best support possible during every home cleaning visit.
On the other hand, a home cleaning business that fails to offer guarantees may leave you high and dry. And if this company makes mistakes along the way, you might be stuck dealing with the consequences of these errors.
3. How do you establish your rates?
No one should be forced to break their budget to hire a professional cleaning company. Fortunately, you can find out exactly what it costs to clean a single room in your house or your entire residence if you ask about a home cleaning company's rates.
Usually, a professional cleaning company will be open about its rates and explain exactly what it offers as part of its service packages. In some instances, a home cleaning business may even provide discounts if you agree to multiple cleaning appointments or refer other customers as well.
Understand exactly what types of cleaning services you need so you can find a home cleaning company that will be able to offer the right support. By doing so, you'll be able to shop around for professional cleaning services in your area and find one that matches your budget perfectly.
Devote the necessary time and resources to find a professional cleaning company to enhance the quality and appearance of your residence. With a top-notch home cleaning business at your side, you can improve your house in no time at all.
When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.
However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.
If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.
Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.
Legal reasons for cleaning your old house
As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.
These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.
An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.
Cleaning your house
The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.
In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.
Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.
It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:
Sweep all floors
Vacuum all carpets
Wipe down cabinets, shelves
Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.
Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom
Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable
Remove all nails from walls
Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed