Preparing Your Home For Sale Declutter And Deep Clean
Preparing Your Home For Sale Declutter And Deep Clean
Two very important first steps in preparing your home for
sale are to de-clutter and deep clean. Too
much furniture, too many knick knacks, crowded closets, dusty ceiling fans, stained
flooring, or light switches with smudges or fingerprints all give the
impression of a cramped space that needs a good cleaning and probably some
repair. This is not an image that attracts
buyers or brings you top dollar for your home.
Whether you do it yourself, pay a professional or enlist the support of family and friends, de-cluttering and deep
cleaning are essential. The following
are some ideas to help you get started.
Preparing your home for sale and your subsequent move creates a great need and opportunity to clean out, downsize, and
get rid of things you’ve been holding on to but are not using. Today’s world offers many options for
getting rid of stuff. Whether you sell
it on eBay or Craigslist, have a garage sale, give items away or donate to charity you have plenty of choices as to how you will dispose of excess
items. Since you’ll be moving, the more you de-clutter and get rid of now the less you’ll have to move
later. That translates to time, money or
both. But if you just can’t part with
some things you can always box them up and store them neatly in your attic or rent a storage space. The important thing is
to reduce the amount of stuff in your home to create an image of
spaciousness. Ideally you want potential
buyers to start visualizing their things in your home instead of yours. You can best do that
by creating lots of space. Following are
some ideas how to go about that. 1. In the kitchen clear off counters and store your
appliances so that counter tops look expansive.
A few decorative items can add color and atmosphere but don’t overdo. 2. Pack away extra dishes. When you open your cabinet doors (and buyers
will open them) dishes and supplies should be neatly arranged and not crowded. You always want to showcase that there is
plenty of space. 3. Organize your flatware and utensil drawers. 4. Clean out and organize your pantry. Consolidate food items where you can. Once
more, you want your buyers to see how much space there is. 5. Remove all magnets, calendars, note pads,
pictures, etc. from the refrigerator. 6. Avoid hanging dishtowels off the range or
refrigerator handles. 7. Clean out and organize those junk drawers
whether they’re in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry or anywhere else. 8. Clean out the cabinets and vanities under your
sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Replace shelf paper that is stained, torn, cracked or just generally
worse for the wear and then consolidate items that are stored under the sinks. 9. Organize the linens in your kitchen, bathrooms
and bedrooms. What are the basic
essentials that you really need and what will fit neatly on the shelves and in drawers? Think of store displays where
towels and sheets are stacked nicely without crowding and with space in between…that’s
the image you want to create in your closets and drawers. Determine what you
need to live, create that department store image then pack or give away
excess items. 10.
Clean out your clothes closets giving away items
you haven’t worn in the last season or two.
Pack up and store off-season closing. 11.
Pack, store or give away collections and knick
Remove approximately half of the books and other
items on your bookshelves. Pack them
away or get rid of them, then re-position items on the shelves. 13.
Go through each room of the house (enlist the
support of a family member or friend if you can’t decide or are too attached)
and remove excess furniture. 14.
Daily remove newspapers after you’ve read them and
clear out excess magazines from tables – one to three magazines is plenty on
table tops. 15.
Children’s play areas should be as organized and
neatly as possible. Pack or give away
extra toys. You can also rotate toys
that are available in the play room to provide variety for your children during
this time. 16.
Consolidate cleaning supplies in your laundry
The garage can be a dumping ground so be careful
to keep it neat and organized. As in
other areas, pack or give away excess tools and equipment to showcase the space
in your garage.
Cleaning – Deep and Perpetual
Prospective buyers love a clean home. A clean home gives a sense of well-being and
good repair. Start by deep cleaning your
home then do maintenance cleaning throughout the listing period while the home
is on the market. The following are some
tasks to put on your cleaning to-do list. 1. Windows should be sparkling clean. If any are broken now would be the time to
replace them. 2. Mirrors, glass cabinets and glass top tables
should also sparkle. 3. All flooring should be cleaned. Investing in a professional cleaning service
for your carpets will serve you well.
Same with wood flooring. You can
easily clean and scrub tile, alkaline solutions often work best on cleaning
grout. Professional flooring specialists
can replace individual tiles that are cracked. 4. Clean baseboards. 5. Woodwork should be wiped down with a dry cloth
then polished with a scratch cover such as Olde English. 6. Ceiling fan blades should be dusted and cleaned
along with the entire fixture. Replace
any burnt out light bulbs. 7. Light fixtures should be thoroughly cleaned
removing covers or globes to remove any dead bugs then exteriors polished. 8. Change your heating/air-conditioning filter often
to help reduce dust in the home. 9. Clean walls removing fingerprints and scars. 10.
Clean around light switches and door knobs. 11.
Clean and polish drawer pulls in kitchens and
Remove all items from each kitchen cabinet and
drawers, then clean the cabinet and drawer and replace the items. This includes the flatware holders in
flatware drawers. Also clean the
exterior of the cabinets. 13.
Clean and polish all kitchen counter tops. 14.
Clean and degrease vents and exhaust hoods. 15.
Clean microwave and oven(s) thoroughly both
inside and out. 16.
Clean burner wells on stove, replace if
Clean and deodorize in and around trash/garbage
areas in kitchen and/or utility room or garage. 18.
Remove all items from each bathroom vanity and
drawer, then clean the cabinet and drawer and replace the items and clean and
polish the exterior. 19.
Clean sinks and bathtubs polishing fixtures and
drain plugs. 20.
Clean toilet inside and out along with floor
along base. 21.
Clean grout around showers and tubs removing
stains and mold, remove and replace grout as necessary. 22.
Polish bathroom mirrors and glass shower doors
to a shine. 23.
Clean shower and tile or surface around tubs to
a shine. 24.
Clean and deodorize pet areas. Replace kitty litter often and remove litter
box from sight if possible during showings. 25.
Launder or dry clean window treatments. 26.
Consider having upholstery professionally
cleaned, many carpet cleaners provide this service. 27.
Interiors of closets and shelving should be
cleaned and possibly painted. 28.
Remove cars from the garage then sweep and clean
floors. Use kitty litter to soak up oil
spills then a degreaser to clean. 29.
Household odors can be addressed by scrubbing
all hard surfaces and/or using an ozone generator. De-cluttering and deep cleaning are essential steps in
preparing your home for sale. Continue
to address floors, bathrooms, kitchens and other areas regularly giving your
home a quick perusal and any needed attention prior to each showing. Kitchen sinks should always be free of dishes
and clean, bathrooms should be clean and fresh as well.
Keeping your home competitively clean and
presentable to potential buyers will bring you the most return on your
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Sandy Setliff is a Realtor® with JP and Associates Realtors®.
She specializes in residential real estate sales in McKinney, Allen,
Frisco, Anna, Melissa and Van Alstyne, Texas. She can be reached at 214 620
1615/cell, 972 375 9448/office or via email at email@example.com. To subscribe to my monthly email
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Author:Sandy Setliff Phone: 214-620-1615 Dated: February 22nd 2014 Views: 13,234 About Sandy: Sandy Setliff, a longtime resident of North Texas, specializes in residential real estate sales in N...
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