Putting your home up for sale requires strategies to make your house stand out and sell. It is easy to get used to the items that make a house a home, however, what you see as comforting, others may view as clutter or unattractive. Surface cleaning is not enough, the house should have a clean, clear and ready to move in look.
The first impression a prospective buyer will have, is when they pull up to the house. The yard should be free from toys, weeds, newspapers and the lawn should be mowed. If there are flower beds or other decorative areas in the yard, they should also be cleaned out and well manicured. Trim the bushes, rake the mulch and water the flowers. If it is fall or winter, rake the leaves and/or shovel all walkways and the driveway.
Work your way through the house by completing one room at a time to ensure there is nothing missed. The rooms will look larger, brighter, warmer and inviting if they are organized and clean. The buyer wants to come in and be able to visualize their items in each room. Start with the walls. Remove all family photos and other items that would make the home more personable to you as opposed to a potential buyer. If painting is not in the budget, remove all dust and cobwebs from the corners before washing walls and ceilings.
Living Area: All items that are sitting on tables should be boxed up and stored out of sight. Dust the blinds, clean all windows and wash or dry-clean drapes. Vacuum furniture to remove any pet hairs and dust. Polish all cocktail tables and dust the television as well as any stereo equipment.
Dining Area: Clean the dining table and chairs. Clear all clutter from any furniture pieces in the dining room to give the area a larger feeling. Only put a simple decorative item on the dining table and use a table runner to add color and warmth.
Kitchen Area: Wash all the dishes and put them away. Fix leaky faucets and clear the counters. Items such as coffee maker and/or toaster can be left out, but the should be clean. Replace any missing pulls or knobs from cabinets and wash the cabinets. Clean the refrigerator, stove and microwave inside and out.
Bedrooms: Make the beds with clean and fresh linens. Remove all personal items from view and place in a storage area. Closets should also be cleaned out with minimal items in them. Dust all furniture and the blinds.
Bathrooms:Clean the tub, toilet and sinks including the faucets and shower curtains. Minimize items that are in the closet and under the sink. Hang clean and fresh towels. The medicine cabinet and mirror should also be cleaned are free from personal items.
In each room, sweep, vacuum and mop all floor areas. Remember to check sky lights and light fixtures for dust and dirt. Some of the cleaning may seem unnecessary, but potential buyers will inspect every inch of the house. As you go room to room, try to imagine how you would like to see your future home when you first enter it. Do not try to do all of the cleaning in one day, it will make it to easy to get overwhelmed and forget some of the small stuff. Should the realtor have an open house or viewing planned, make arrangements with them to do it at a time where you know the house will be completely cleaned.