now browsing by month
How to Give Your Home a Professional Cleaning Before Listing It for Sale
If you’re preparing to sell your home, you’ve probably got quite the laundry list of tasks to tackle. There’s the whole financial side, hiring a real estate agent and an attorney to manage the closing. There’s your own move to contend with, finding a new place to live and figuring out how to pack years and years of your family’s life in boxes for the big trip. But before you even put your house on the market, you need to get it ready to be shown. The first impression your home makes on a potential buyer is crucial, and a dirty, cluttered home just won’t cut it. You can hire a cleaning service to take care of everything, but if you’ve got the time and the inclination you can save some money and do it yourself. But this won’t be like any other cleaning you’ve attempted. Here is some advice on how to give your home a professional cleaning or make ready before listing it for sale.
First off, step onto the front curb and take a look at the impression your home’s exterior leaves. There are certain elements you’ll want to farm out to the pros, simply because you won’t have the proper equipment. You should have the outside of your house power washed, which will rid it of years of accumulated dirt and grime. After the power wash, consider if you need to do any repainting. When the exterior is clean all of the little chips and age marks will become clear, and a fresh coat of paint can make the house appear years newer. You should also have the gutters cleaned, so that everything appears well maintained. The landscaping clean up you can probably handle yourself, as long as you didn’t let things get too overgrown. Look at magazines for some inspiration, and consider replanting if it will make a big difference.
Now it’s time to head inside. Before you get into a deep cleaning, do a full house de-clutter. You want the place to have personality, and to look lived in. But if every room is overwhelmed with stuff it’s going to seem much smaller than it actually is. Anything you haven’t used in six months to a year should be sold or given to goodwill. You might also want to consider renting a storage facility, so you’ll have somewhere to put stuff that’s taking up space but you aren’t willing to get rid of quite yet. Pay special attention to the closets. They should be used but not over stuffed, so the potential buyers can see how much storage space there really is.
When it comes to a professional cleaning, pay special attention to the floors. You’ll want to return your tile and wood floors to their original beauty if at all possible. Polish the wood, think about a refinish job if it is needed, and bring in professional-grade cleaning products for the tile or linoleum in your kitchen and bathrooms. Your carpeting will probably need attention as well. You should be able to rent a carpet cleaner, so you can take care of any ground in dirt and most stains. It may not look brand new, but it will revitalize the fibers and improve the color and overall look.
You’ll also want to clean the furniture and the window treatments. You might be able to use the same carpet cleaning machine on your upholstery. Just check the instruction manual and do a spot test on a hidden area to make sure the material won’t stain or discolor. You’re probably thinking that the buyer isn’t looking to purchase your furniture, so it shouldn’t matter. But you’re trying to create a situation where they can picture themselves living in your home. Check out the real estate postings and go see some homes for sale, or even some medical center homes for sale. Many of them will be set up with temporary staging furniture. Although it won’t have the same personality as your home, you’ll notice that the fresh and clean furniture will feel more inviting. You want the potential buyer to see your home on its best day, and that means a deep cleaning.