Is Your Clean, Clean Enough? How to Get Your Home ‘Open House Fresh’ and What You’re Probably Overlooking
When you decide to list your home, a shift needs to happen with your mentality. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you make it. When you list with a realtor, you house is no longer your home, it is now your property. When you add staging, we shift again from “this is my property” to “this is my asset”. You’re going to have to look at it as “How can I make this asset work for me?” It might be hard to not take necessary changes personally, but in the end it’s all to get you a top dollar offer in the shortest timeframe possible. Staged homes sell 80% faster and 20% more on average – so listen up, because we need to air your dirty laundry (both literally and figuratively).
Your structure needs to be cleaner than it’s ever been. As clean as a never lived in new build property is and feels. We live in a society vastly aware of germs, the last thing you want is someone coming into this home and seeing or smelling any evidence of you, your children, or your pet’s leftover DNA. This used structure needs to tell the story that they will be the first people to leave any evidence of life living within it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in a multi-million dollar home or a $100,000 home, you all have what we like to call “dirt blind spots”. These are the areas you either don’t notice or notice and never get around to cleaning.
Now, don’t get started on this list right away – you’ll want to save these things for last so you’re not dirtying up all your hard work. Which then begs the question, what do I invest in this step? Do you spend your time and energy on doing the necessary cleaning or do you spend your money to bring someone else in to do it.
Either way, you need to look at each room from top to bottom, left to right, taking note of everything you see so nothing gets missed. Do yourself a favor and make sure you have that list if interviewing cleaning companies, ask them what they include and bring up any areas you also want included so you have a comprehensive quote to go off of before deciding.
In addition to any potential buyers who come in, we’re also cleaning for two other very important people – the inspector and the appraiser. The more clean and better maintained a property looks, the less likely they are to nitpick. A well staged home makes a person feel like it’s been expertly maintained and subconsciously will help them believe that subconsciously.
Places Most Commonly Overlooked Cleaning Spots:
- Ceilings, corners, fans, and light fixtures (esp. inside the globes)
- Doors, handles, knobs, & switches
- Air vents, returns, and ductwork
- Window blinds and sills
- Baseboards and trim
- On top of, under, and behind everything
- Insides of appliances (including your laundry!) and their handles
- Sink and tub drains (and that weird spot behind the toilet)
Final Things to Consider When Cleaning Your Home:
Smell is powerful. We all have individual scents – our cleaning products, our pets, our kids, our favorite foods and candles. Not everyone is going to be a fan of them. Be careful when using scented air fresheners. You may think you’re doing someone a favor by loading up on something you think is delicious, but anything too specific can have an adverse effect on a prospective buyer. Neutral and fresh is the way to go.