Cleaning your house for Strangers

You have made the decision to sell your home, what is the next step?   How important is it to get your home ready for sale?  Very! You have only one chance to make a great first impression.  To achieve this, think in terms of a home that is sparkling clean, uncluttered and spacious. 

Here are my top suggestions to prepare and show better than your competition.


  • Clean! Clean! Clean!- Have the carpets shampooed, wax the floors, wash the walls, blinds drapes and lighting fixtures.  Consider engaging a cleaning service, recognizing that it is a justified moving expense
  • Kitchen and Bathrooms- Clear off counter tops.  Leave your canisters and little else.  Maximize the available counter space.  These rooms should be gleaming.  If unsightly, have the tub re-caulked and remove mineral deposits and grime from the shower walls.  Clean the stove, microwave and refrigerator.
  • Primary storage area-  Like the garage, its time has come to be liberated!  Remember, you can do it now and benefit with a more attractive home on the market, or you can do it several months from now, in the process of moving when there is no advantage.
  • Repairs- Identify and repair dripping faucets, sticking or creaking doors, etc.  When people see areas of disrepair they begin to wonder whether there may be other unseen problems.
  • Closets- Remove out of season clothing.  Organize your clothing and the shoes on the floor.  Remove all clutter from cabinets and closets.
  • Furniture-  The less furniture, the larger the rooms appears to be.
  • A light appearance- As a rule, do everything to lighten the appearance of the home.  Raise the blinds, open the drapes and use light colors.  Repaint any rooming that is beginning to look shabby and drab.


Walk the property with a pad and pencil.  List anything that you think is less than satisfactory without regard to the cost or time to fix it.  You can review the list afterward to determine what you can and cannot repair.

  • The house- Take a close look as you walk the property.  Clean anything that looks unkempt or dirty; repair or replace anything that looks loose, dingy, rusted or broken.  Make sure that door bell works.  Replace a tired looking mail box, clean the exterior light fixtures and wash the windows. Try to spot hanging or rusty gutter, loose shingles or shutters.
  • The yard- Turn and weed the flower beds, trim the trees and shrubs. Lay in ground cover.  Mend the fences, fix the gate latch.  Pick up litter.  Consider a landscaping/ lawn service.
  • Outdoor furniture- Examine and spot paint your outdoor furniture.  If it is rusty or unrepairable consider disposing of the pieces.
  • Front entry- It is the first thing that potential buyers see as they stand and wait for the door to be opened.  It is worth the extra effort to spruce this area up.
  • The garage- The time has come: discard virtually everything in the garage that hasn't been used for over a year.  Sweep and wash the garage out. Keep it tidy and organized.

Are you interested in more tips and advice on how to buy or sell Real Estate? Contact me directly!

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