With summer being the busiest, most productive time in the real estate market, spring is the right time to take stock of your property to ensure it’s in top shape for an easy, profitable sale. This goes beyond normal household maintenance of dusting surfaces, sweeping floors, and wiping down countertops — you need to make your property a clean slate so buyers can envision themselves in the space. Here are 5 tips for getting it cleaned up and ready to show!

 

  1. Never Underestimate Curb Appeal

A beautifully manicured lawn, pruned foliage, and clean siding goes a long way toward enticing buyers even before they get out of their car. Take a long weekend and head to your local hardware/home store for landscaping supplies; most will even rent power washers, keeping your investment at a minimum.

  • Lay down a fresh bed of mulch and prune unruly bushes, hedges, and trees.
  • Add annuals in bright colors to containers and window boxes.
  • Scour water features to remove algae build-up.
  • Power-wash sidewalks, siding, and fences.
  • Wipe down any outdoor furniture or play areas and create a cozy outdoor living space.

 

  1. Use Common Sense for Scents

The olfactory sense is a powerful attractant and deterrent — meaning, smelly odors can sour buyers even if the rest of the home is pristine. Scents can hide in unlikely places, and more likely than not you won’t be able to detect the ones in your house on your own.

  • Thoroughly clean litter boxes, pet beds and/or cages, and any outdoor lavatory areas.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and vacuum thoroughly — or rent a steam cleaner.
  • Open windows and screened-in patios to freshen stale air.
  • Wash blankets, pillowcases, bedding, towels, linens, etc.
  • Put something delicious — like cookies, bread, or a pie — in the oven prior to showings.

 

  1. Start at the Top and Work Down

Walls and windows are often overlooked areas prime for cleaning. Spots, smudges, and residue you’ve gotten used to can be glaring imperfections to buyers, even if they are just cosmetic. Don’t let these small things become a big problem.

  • Clean windows with vinegar and newspaper (or coffee filters) to leave streak-free shine.
  • Wipe down walls, banisters, and doors with warm, soapy water, paying special attention to highly touched areas.
  • Clear away ceiling and corner cobwebs with microfiber cloths.
  • Patch wall scratches, holes, dents, etc. with easy-to-use drywall kits from a home improvement store and repaint.

 

  1. It’s Time to Deep Clean

Shoppers and their agents will be alone in your home, poking around and inspecting places you maybe haven’t looked in years. Don’t let them find flaws; walk around and make a list of the places you’d want to look if you were seeing your home for the first time.

  • Clean and recaulk the bathtub/shower area. Any lingering mold/stains will be instant red flags.
  • Scour appliances inside and out, making them look as close to new as possible.
  • Take a wet rag — or even a paintbrush — to baseboards to eliminate dust and scuffs.
  • Organize cupboards, pantries, closets, and drawers.
  • Look up. See those fan blades and light fixtures? Take them down and give them a full cleaning.

 

  1. When in Doubt, Hire Help

Professional cleaning services are available to help homeowners who are either in a rush to get things done or are unable to do it themselves. Maid services can be rented by the hour, and some even specialize in staging homes for sale. Work within your budget to ensure your home looks great.