Every spring as Windsor real estate gets busy, there are lots of home sellers who are cleaning frantically as they prep their home for sale. This is one of the best things you can do. Even if you have a home that needs some work, always, always, take the time to clean it. A clean house makes all of the difference in the world.
As a long time Windsor real estate agent, I can’t tell you how many homes I have walked through. Thousands I’m sure. So it’s true that I have seen properties in all kinds of conditions. It’s the dirty ones that are harder to sell. Buyers know that most repairs can be made, but walking into a dirty house is hard to get over.
Kitchens: I’ve seen sinks loaded with dirty dishes, stoves and ovens that have never been cleaned and floors that are grimy and filthy. The countertops? Layers of grease and food particles.
Bathrooms: Needless to say, walking into a dirty bathroom is never fun. You can imagine I’m sure what a bathroom looks like that is rarely clean. Buyers spend the least amount of times in bathrooms, and if they even dare take a look if the rest of the house is a mess, then it’s usually the dirty bathroom that sends them out the door.
Bedrooms: I have seen unmade beds, clothes on the floor, closets bulging with clothes and carpeting that has seen better days.
With homes like this, you know they aren’t going to get top dollar. In fact, the owners rarely care. Anyone who let’s their house show like that, probably has other things on their mind. While the above is an extreme case, there are homes that we see that are even just a bit dirty and it still turns off buyers.
While the kitchen may seem fairly clean, if it smells bad, like last night’s fish dinner, then that is a turn off.
Bathrooms: As a seller, you want to make sure this room not only looks clean, but smells clean as well. Take every personal item off the counters and from the showers. Make it look like no one uses it.
Bedrooms: At the very least, make the bed nicely (and not just pull the sheets to the top), vacuum and dust.
But here are some of the must do’s when preparing your house for sale. This may be called spring cleaning, but anytime you sell your house, these really are required steps:
Thoroughly clean kitchen from top to bottom. Declutter by getting rid of most everything on your kitchen counter tops. Clean inside and out, ovens, stoves, refrigerators and microwave. Wash down cabinets, get rid of fingerprints, clean out pantry and wipe down. Mop floors, clean baseboards.
Get rid of stains and smells. Don’t overuse the room fragrances, as that is a turn off as well. Remember, some buyers have allergies. Open windows, use a lemon cleaner and refrain from smoking and cooking foods that leave an odor.
Scrub the shower, tub and toilet and don’t forget the fixtures. Replace or clean your shower curtain and liners. Get rid of soap build—up with natural or commercial cleaners. Don’t forget to wash the outside and inside of medicine cabinets (yes, buyers may look in there) and sink. Shake out bathroom rugs (wash if necessary), and sweep and mop the floor. Don’t forget baseboards. Organize the linen closet and again, depersonalize the bathroom. Don’t leave out your personal items.
Leave bathroom window slightly open to air out the room, take out trash and line trashcan.
Pick and put up all clothes and belongings. Wash bed linens and push aside bed and clean underneath. Dust all surfaces, and wipe down all light switches, fixtures and ceiling fan. Vacuum drapes or wash curtains if needed. Don’t forget blinds as they have probably accumulated plenty of dust this winter. Make sure carpets are clean with a good thorough vacuuming or professionally clean if needed. If hardwood, sweep daily, especially when selling your house.
Also, don’t forget to organize your closets. Buyers love checking these out to see if your home has enough storage space. Take out 2/3 of your clothes and store them away somewhere so your closets look nice and spacious.
The goal is, you want to make sure that buyers can envision living in your home. They don’t want to walk in and see your mess and your belongings. They want to see a house they can move into and imagine what their furniture will look like in your rooms. They can’t do it if all they see is dirty clutter.