When you think of cleaning your home, you may have a list of items that get done daily, weekly and monthly (sweep, vacuum, clean the countertops, etc.). While those items are still important during the listing period, this is not the sort of cleaning I’m referring to here.
Cleaning to prepare for showings involves things you might not normally even notice. Baseboards might be scuffed or dingy, and need to be cleaned or even touched up with a small brush and a pint of white paint. Check doorknobs and doors, light switch plates, stair rails, the kickplate at the bottom of the front door. Take down light fixtures and clean them thoroughly. Clean the oven and make sure the stovetop sparkles. Make sure the fireplace, windows and windowsills are all clean and free of debris. Go through every single room, closet, cupboard and drawer and ask yourself if it’s clean enough to be inviting. Make sure the garage is clear of trash, insects and cobwebs. Give the yard and front porch or stoop a good cleaning, too. If your welcome mat is dingy or dismal, replace it! Does your house say “this house is so organized, it practically cleans itself!”? Or is your house giving buyers the message that storage space is insufficient here and this home is impossible to clean? Will it give buyers a sense that they will be overwhelmed if they live here?
It’s important to think in terms of making your buyers feel a sense of a calm, organized lifestyle in your home. They are much more likely to feel an emotional connection if they walk into a home that is free of chaos. Have you ever been to a nice spa? For me, a sense of calm comes over me the minute I walk in the door. It’s clean, inviting, quiet and gives me the feeling I can finally relax and enjoy a few moments of peace. That feeling often stays with me the rest of the day. That’s exactly what you need to relay to a potential buyer. You are competing with every other home in your price range in your area and you need to give your house the chance to outshine all the others!
While this may seem like a lot of work, you can be sure it will pay off. The goal for you is to present your house so well that you can quickly find a buyer and move on to settling into your next home!
Coming up! Step 3: Repairing