House Cleaning Tips to Sell Your Home

Because we have moved so often, I have collected some house cleaning tips that will really help for those of you trying to sell your home. I counted the other day, just for fun, and realized that we have moved houses 8 times in our married life (not counting moving between apartments in the early years!). In that time I have learned a thing or two about cleaning your home to sell, and most importantly - keeping it clean until it sells.

If you are looking for some tips on the selling process itself, I recommend checking out Insider Real Estate Source for some excellent tips from Jeraldine Wooldridge, who has 30 years experience in the U.S.' real estate market.

Why Do I Have to Clean my House?

This is a very common question. Based on houses for sale that I have visited, there are lots of people who feel that house buyers are coming to look at the layout and condition of the house, not to inspect its cleanliness. That thinking is both right and wrong - that's why I wrote this section on house cleaning tips.

It's true that the reason home shoppers look at houses is to inspect the layout and condition. However, there are several reasons why cleaning it and keeping it clean are to your advantage:

Showing a Messy or Dirty House

1. If potential buyers get distracted by too much disorder, they may will walk away from the house with a sense that it has not been well- maintained, even if it is actually in great condition.

2. If the house is dirty/messy it gives people the feeling that they will have a lot of work to clean it before they can move in.

3. Some people won't be able to see past the mess/dirt. They will get a sense that the house is hard to maintain and doesn't have enough storage - neither if which are good selling features.

4. Buyers will have visited more than one house. They will be comparing houses and prices, and you will not get the offers you want if your home compares poorly in the buyers minds to similar homes.

5. Buyers try to picture their furnishings in your space. If there is too much clutter, most people are not able to see past it, and the picture in their mind will look very 'crowded'.

I know that it's an inconvenience, especially if you have small children and/or pets, run a business from your home, or have a house that really is too small. However, as with any major life change - you need to keep your eye on the prize, grit your teeth, and do what needs to be done. Cleaning your house to prepare for selling is essential. (You might even find that you like the new 'uncluttered' feel.)

What do I Need to Do?

Before you tackle anything, you need to sit down with the family. Help them to understand that there are going to be some new rules for a while, and that you understand that this is going to be a tough time for everyone. Explain that having a clean and neat house is one of the things that will to help sell it quickly (short-term pain for long term gain). Once the house is sold, you can go back to your regular cleaning schedule.

After that there are only three simple-sounding things. The first is the most difficult, but once it is completed, the remaining two become possible.

You should complete steps one and two before the first agents' open house. These are the men and women who will be bringing potential buyers, and you want them to remember your house in a positive way.

1. Major Declutter

2. Cleaning Tips

3. Maintenance

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