One of the most important tasks you can do to prepare your home for sale is give it a deep cleaning, inside and out. This doesn't just mean surface cleaning. Even though homes are still selling quickly, and home values are still rising, you want to present a clean down to the core home, to prospective buyers.
Declutter, Purge, Organize and Pack
Cleaning your house doesn't mean just dusting, vacuuming and scrubbing dirty surfaces. Start with decluttering your home. Go through every room, one at a time, go through closets, drawers and anything on the floor or furniture. After you go through everything, donate or discard the items you do not want anymore. You can organize in four piles: throw away, donate, keep and pack. Some items you will want to keep out for display to help stage your home. Remember the less cluttered your home is, the larger it will look. An informative article on homelight.com, written by Jessica Cody and Christopher Rogacz, How to Prepare Your Home For Sale and Attract Buyers starts with how to purge, pack and store your belongings.
Deep Clean the Interior of Your Home
If you are up to the task, feel free to tackle cleaning your home on your own. Many home sellers hire a professional house cleaning company. The same article on homelight.com suggest it costs "$221 on average for cleaning an average-sized house, according to Fixr.com." You can recoup costs to clean your house in your sales price. Start at the top and work down. Any dust or dirt that you disturb will land on the floor, so you want to clean floors last. Dust every surface, including light fixtures and ceiling fans. Wash the insides of your windows and windowsills. Wipe down your walls to get handprints and other grime off. Vacuum floors and carpets, steam clean carpets and wash floors. Go the extra mile to clean kitchens and bathrooms. Clean your appliances as well. Buyers want to see clean homes. They feel that if you have a clean home, you must take care of your home in other ways such as routine maintenance and repairs. In the same article, one of the top agents in Madison, Wisconsin, Jessica Riphenburg states, "A deep clean never fails to solicit buyer comments like the house feels solid, well-maintained, or meticulously cared for- even if the house is really outdated."
Do Not Forget About the Exterior of Your Home
Cleaning the exterior of your home is just as important as the interior. Again, start from the top. Spray off your roof to remove dirt, sticks, leaves and the like. You may even want to soft power wash the roof to remove mildew if you have mildew on your roof. Do the same for your siding, shutters, soffits and fascia. Clean the exterior of your windows and make them sparkle. Clean your outside light fixtures. Power wash your porch, deck, patio and sidewalks. You won't believe how white you can get your sidewalks by giving them a good power washing.
Hire a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) company to clean your HVAC systems. Many companies offer you a deal if you get a "clean and check" performed.
Last But Not Least: Landscaping
Go the extra mile and clean out your landscaping beds. Remove weeds and any dead leaves. Add a new layer of ground cover such as mulch or stones. Trim your bushes and trees. Finally, mow your lawn just before you start showing your home to buyers.
Don't leave any money on the table. Present an extra clean home to buyers and you will reap the rewards in your sales price. Clean homes contribute to higher home values. Cleaning your home is one of the least expensive investments to make to prepare it for sale.