When It Comes to the Housing Market, Appearances Matter

Craig Middleton

Tips to get your current house ready to go on the market

If you’re thinking about moving soon, you’re probably pretty busy. You’ve got to look through new homes, start packing, and get your family organized. At the same time, you also have to get your current house ready to go on the market. This doesn’t just mean making a few repairs here and there and getting your belongings packed away for photos. If you want it to sell fast, your home needs to look its best. While repairs are a part of its appearance, so is cleanliness. Here’s how you can keep your home spotless while trying to sell it.

Deep Clean Your Entire House

While living in your current home, you probably had a cleaning schedule. You vacuum, mop, and dust regularly. When was the last time you gave your house a true deep cleaning, though? If the answer is never, or you can’t remember, now’s the time.

To make your home appeal to more potential buyers, it needs to be immaculate. Signs of old dirt and grime make it appear as though it wasn’t well-maintained. You may lose interest, or potential buyers may try to offer you less money.

Deep cleaning your home involves cleaning everything. This includes:

  • Washing windows and cleaning the sills.
  • Hardwood floor cleaning.
  • Steam cleaning carpets.
  • Dusting shelves, light fixtures, and ceiling fans.
  • Cleaning inside and out of your oven.
  • Getting the grime off of your stove and hood.
  • Refreshing the caulk or grout in and around your showers.

Go through your house with the eye of a potential buyer. Take note of all areas that are dirty or could use some work and create a list. Then, get to work.

Keep Up with Routine Cleanings

While deep cleaning your home is a good start, you have to maintain the cleanliness. Even though you’re selling your house, you’re probably still living there until you can sell it. That means you and your family are likely tracking dirt in, leaving fingerprints everywhere, and making a few messes while cooking in the kitchen. You need to keep up with routine cleaning to ensure that the messes don’t build back up again. Vacuum, sweep, mop, and dust regularly. Clean and sanitize kitchen and bathroom surfaces. You can do this weekly, but if you know you have a showing in the middle of the week, make sure that you give your home a quick cleaning before the potential buyers arrive to ensure it looks its best.

Limit the Appearance of Pets

You love your pets, but the new potential owners might not. While you don’t have to keep your pets somewhere else while you’re trying to sell, you should take steps to downplay their appearance. Move your cat’s litter box to a more inconspicuous location. Use odor eliminators to get rid of any lingering pet smells rather than lighting a heavily scented candle or plugging in an air freshener. If possible, have your pets stay off-site during viewings. Otherwise, place them in a secure location where they won’t interfere with the potential buyers’ ability to see the entire house.

Put Some Effort into Curb Appeal

A clean home is vital for selling, but many homeowners tend to overlook the power of curb appeal. Don’t just focus on the inside of your house. Take some time to ensure the exterior is just as beautiful. Use a power washer to get the grime off the exterior structure and clean the gutters. Mow the grass and trim the hedges. Clean up any garden areas and plant some fresh flowers if it’s looking a little bare. Finally, make sure your entrance looks its best. If necessary, give the door a fresh coat of paint. You can also put a seasonal wreath or place other types of décor on the porch or steps. The more inviting your exterior, the more enticing your home will be.

If cleaning is low on your list of things to do as you prepare to move, it’s time to make it a priority. You may even get better offers. It might be a pain, but cleaning will be well worth the effort.


Economics, Finance and Investing