House cleaning is a traditional spring ritual that can serve double duty if you think you may be putting your home on the market in the next year or so.
Getting your home in shape to sell can be a challenging process unless you’re the type who always keeps things impeccably tidy, and even then, the longer you’ve lived in your current home, the more “stuff” that is likely to have built up in the attic, basement, garage, closets and out of the way corners. So while you’re planning on the annual vacuuming, scrubbing and window washing that give spring cleaning its reputation as something you’d rather hire out, consider expanding your “to do” list to include some or all of the following:
- Get Bathrooms in top shape– Clean the fixtures on the sink and in the bath thoroughly, re-caulk the tub/shower and sink. Check base of the toilet and clean as needed. A flawless bathroom says a lot to buyers about how well you’ve maintained the house.
- Clean Out the Basement and Garage– Too often, the basement and garage are where unwanted or no longer needed objects retire, sometimes for decades. So, while you’re sweeping last autumn’s leaves out of the garage, get rid of that broken bike rack, that box of mystery novels you were going to donate and the spare tires from the car you sold three years ago. Treat the basement even more seriously as far as getting rid of excess possessions. Pay special attention to the area around the furnace, water heater and the like because every buyer will feel obligated to look at the mechanicals, as will the home inspector.
- Unpack Your Closets– If you can barely hang another pair of slacks in your wardrobe closet, or it looks as if something exploded inside the first-floor coat closet, take this opportunity to neatly store what you won’t be needing until cold weather returns. Store it all in the space your just created by cleaning out the basement. Then either donate or toss 25% of the rest.
- Get Cooking in the Kitchen– No, we don’t mean actual cooking, but address the little maintenance issues that can make a kitchen look less than it’s best. Wipe down all the surfaces, clean the oven, caulk the backsplash if needed. And see what you can do to declutter the cabinets and drawers. If you have more than one junk drawer, you’re over your limit. Buyers want a kitchen and a home with ample storage. Try to convey the impression that your kitchen and your whole home has plenty.
- Dust Everything– While it’s true that dust never sleeps, a comprehensive dusting can hold it at bay for quite a few months. Don’t forget places like the tops of cabinets and armoires, the blades of ceiling fans, all your light fixtures, the backs of appliances and electronics, etc. Plus, consider having the duct work cleaned and installing a top-quality furnace filter, both of which will reduce future dust problems.
6. Clean Windows and Blinds – Grimy windows and blinds can ruin any view. Once they’re clean, you’ll enjoy your home a lot more, and so will prospective buyers.