There are many steps to selling a home, but one of the most important is making sure your space is clean and spotless for potential homebuyers that step through the door. Whether you hire a professional cleaning service or get it done yourself, there are many simple tasks you can do to make your home look and feel brand new. To help you get started, we compiled a list of 9 home cleaning tips to help you get it prepped and ready for listing day. From applying a fresh coat of paint to deep cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, keep reading to see what you can do to potentially sell your home faster.
1) Declutter, depersonalize, and organize
Keep only the essentials and put everything else in storage or give it away. Not only will your home feel cleaner and bigger when it’s not filled with stuff, but this process will also save you time when you’re ready to move. In addition, make sure to remove any personal items such as family photos, mementos, or collectibles as it makes it harder for potential buyers to envision themselves in your home.
2) Focus on the floors
When prepping your floors, steam clean all carpets, use a wood cleaning product on hardwood floors, and consider hiring a professional cleaner for tile or marble. Buyers may pay special attention to the walls, ceiling, and floors while on home tours, so it’s important that they are as clean as possible.
“It’s common for sellers to reach out prior to an open house or before a listing goes live to get their floors deep cleaned by a professional,” said Edward Quinlan, President of Chem-Dry, the world’s leading carpet cleaning company. “Potential buyers want the home to look as close to showroom quality as possible, and so showing off those beautiful tile or marble floors can really drive an impact that separates your property from the rest.”
“And it’s not just about the sizzle of a glistening tile or marble floor that can really make an impact,” Quinlan continued. “Dirty wood floors and carpets can show dirt that can detract from the overall appeal of a space. Not to mention the distractions of seeing pet stains, food spills, and footprints that make a space look tired and worn. The value of a fresh and clean space makes a significant difference on the buyer’s opinion and their corresponding offer for your property.”
3) Make a grand entrance to your home
With any home tour, it’s important to make a strong first impression. Consider replacing or painting the front door to liven up the entrance, and if you have shutters, paint them a matching color to compliment the door and bring it all together. Clean and polish any doorknob and fixtures, and dress up the entry with seasonal decorations such as potted flowers or a wreath. People are naturally attracted to symmetry, so placing accents on both sides of the door can do wonders. These small changes can make buyers feel as though there is one less renovation to worry about come move-in time.
4) Replace or repair the mailbox
An old or damaged mailbox can give a negative first impression before they even step foot inside your home. You can purchase a new one at most hardware stores and major retailers. You can even commission a custom mailbox to reflect your interests and match the style of your home. If you replace your mailbox post, make sure it is made of a strong durable material like wood or steel. Just ensure your mailbox meets all rules and regulations to avoid any complications that may arise for future homeowners.
5) Maintain the yard
Doing simple landscaping renovations is an easy home cleaning tip that can have a major effect on curb appeal and keep your home’s exterior looking beautiful. Start by mowing the lawn, weeding the flowerbeds, and pruning the bushes. Planting small flowers in the yard can be an inexpensive way to add a pop of color. If possible, install lighting around the exterior of your home to illuminate key landscaping features.
6) Let in the light
A room filled with light will feel warmer, inviting, and even bigger than it really is. Wash the windows inside and out, clean the curtains and blinds, dust light fixtures, and replace any burnt-out bulbs. This will make the room look airy and bright during home tours.
7) Deep clean the kitchen and bath
When it comes to the kitchen home cleaning tips, wipe down or paint the cupboards, clean the grout between the backsplash tiles, and clear everything off the counters. For the bathroom, re-caulk tubs, showers, and sinks and polish the fixtures. If time permits, simple shower renovations like replacing the showerhead can go a long way to making your bathroom feel new. Lastly, make sure no mold is present. Nothing can be more off-putting to potential homebuyers than seeing mold in the kitchen or bathroom.
8) Stage the backyard
The backyard is often the last thing buyers see on a tour, so it should present as a place where people envision themselves spending time and should leave a great final impression, especially if the home is located in a place that gets year-round sun like San Diego, CA or Phoenix, AZ. You may already be familiar with staging a home, but simple patio and backyard staging can make a big difference. Get rid of decorations and clutter such as broken patio furniture, add a table and chair set, power wash and stain the deck and fence, and clean the pool and spa. Remove any dying plants, and take down any shed or outdoor storage that’s in poor condition. If your budget permits, add a barbeque, fire pit, or outdoor lighting to create an inviting space.
9) Apply a fresh coat of paint
Painting the inside and/or outside of your home can dramatically improve its appearance and make it feel fresh and clean. To appeal to the widest audience, stick to neutral colors such as white, beige, or alabaster. These colors will go with any furniture and lighten up the room. For the exterior, go with a simple paint that matches other homes in the neighborhood.
*Individual results may vary