In a competitive housing market, selling your home isn’t as easy as it used to be. When there’s a ton of competitors vying for buyers’ attention, you need to stand out.
The easiest way to stand out from the other listings is by being the cleanest.
You’d be surprised how many open houses invite buyers into dirty foyers and kitchens. Unfortunately, cleanliness seriously impacts buyers. Win them over by presenting an immaculately clean home.
But, the regular run-of-the-mill cleaning strategies aren’t enough. Keep reading for seven secrets to keeping your house clean for sale time.
1. Clean Your Vacuum First
Clean carpets are a must. Unless you’re selling a fixer-upper, your home’s carpets should look spotless. If yours is covered in stains, consider hiring a carpet cleaning service or replacing it altogether.
For carpets that are stain-free, but dirty, do this before vacuuming. Clean your vacuum.
Vacuums accumulate dust and dirt over many uses. Before this important deep clean, empty out the bag and wipe down the cannister. Use a wet cloth to wipe down the base of the vacuum as well.
Then, start from the deepest walls in each room. This way, as you vacuum yourself out of the room, you don’t leave any footprints.
2. Clean Windows with a Magic Solution
Sure, the traditional window cleaners from the store can do a good job. But, they leave your home with an awful chemical smell. If you plan on doing a final clean before buyers come, this isn’t a good idea.
Instead, make this DIY concoction at home. It gives you an amazing clean with a nice scent.
In a bucket, add half a gallon of warm water and three tablespoons of liquid detergent. Then, add one tablespoon of liquid Jet Dry.
You can use a cloth to soak the windows with this mixture and a squeegee. Or, pour it into a spray bottle for easier use.
3. Fool the Nose with Natural Scents
You may think your house smells fine, but buyers will notice even the faintest odors. Is the garbage bin outside the window full? Is there mildew around the pipes under the sink?
You’d be surprised how many people will be able to smell these things.
So, remove all sources of foul odors. Move the garbage away from the house or empty it. Dehumidify basements and humid areas to prevent the smell of mildew.
Then, replace those scents with appealing ones. You could light candles or place incense around the house. Or, boil a pot of cinnamon sticks, lemon slices, apples, and other enticing ingredients.
The steam from the pot will make your whole home smell like the contents.
4. Declutter Your Junk Drawers
Cleaning your home for an open house isn’t about shoving all your belongings in the draws and closets. Why? Because those are places that buyers will 100 percent want to see.
Your storage closets can tell buyers a lot about you and your house.
Months before your first open house, start decluttering. Go room by room, drawer by drawer, getting rid of things you don’t want to move to the new house.
There will likely be things you want to keep but shouldn’t for the open house. For example, memory boxes, Halloween costumes, and seasonal toys. These items should get removed from the house while it’s on the market.
Either rent a storage unit or store them at a friend’s house. Buyers want to see storage closets that they can picture their belongings in. That’s hard to do when they’re filled with someone else’s junk.
5. Fix Wood Scuffs with Nuts
Hardwood floors are a huge selling point for buyers. It increases the value of your home and makes it look stunning.
Don’t let little scratches and scuffs take away from those floors’ beauty.
While you could find a chemical scuff remover or crack filler, you don’t want to damage the floors. And, replacing individual panels is expensive.
Instead, use this special hack. Go to the grocery store and pick up a bag of walnuts.
When you get home, cut one of the walnuts in half. Use the cut side to rub against any scuffs or cracks. The oil in the walnut fills in the cracks without altering the state of the wood.
6. Replace Your Air Filters
No matter how many times you mop the floor, a home with unfiltered air isn’t a clean home. Your air filters are incredibly important to keep clean. Especially when you’re trying to sell your house.
Air duct filters should get changed every month. But, if your house is on the market, consider this extra step.
Disinfecting air ducts to remove any dirt and grime build-up is a must. Don’t be surprised if some home buyers want to see the air ducts. Letting them peer in to see nasty dirt won’t encourage them to make an offer.
Remember, you want to stand out from the competition. It’s these types of extra steps in cleaning your home that can make a huge difference.
7. Banish Mold Everywhere
It’s normal for mold to grow in damp places in the house. But, buyers don’t want to see it. They want to buy a home that’s in pristine, like-new condition.
Although you’ve never noticed the mold around your sink’s pipes, buyers will.
You can remove mold with store-bought cleaners. Or, create this effective mixture from ingredients you already own.
Simply combine one cup of bleach per gallon of water in a spray bottle or bucket. Spray or wipe it onto every surface with mold, including your shower ceiling, under sink pipes, and tiles. There’s no need to wipe it off, just watch the mold disappear.
Keep in mind that bleach cannot remove mold from porous surfaces, like drywall.
Want More Tips to Keep Your House Clean for Selling?
Buyers want to see a home they can picture themselves in. That means it’s clutter-free, depersonalized, and most importantly, clean.
Use the tips above to keep your house clean for selling. Then, check out the Finances section of our blog for tips on getting the most for your home.