Preparing Your Home to Sell - The Deep Clean
Clean, Spotless, Immaculate!
You have removed all the clutter from your home and de-personalized it. Now it's time to deep clean, and I mean DEEP. We want your home to shimmer and sparkle with sunlight streaming through windows and reflexing off polished surfaces, and shining in the eyes of your buyer. That is our goal, to shine! This will reflect pride of ownership; the home has been well-loved, taken care of, and maintained to the max!
Your house may have odors you are not even aware of because you are so used to smelling them every day, but this is the number one turn-off to a potential buyer. It may send a buyer away as soon as they enter your home, or at the very least, seriously affect the sale price of your property. Common odors include pet odor, urine, mold, mildew, strong cooking odors, and cigarette smoke. You need to remove the smells, but whatever you do, don't try to mask them with room deodorizers, and it will only make it worse.
Keep your pet clean—ditto for pet beds and litter boxes. If shampooing your carpet does not remove pet smells, you will need to replace it. Avoid strong cooking odors and deep-frying, and remove visible mold or mildew with a bleach solution. If you smoke in your home, stop. To remove smoke odor, you can try a product such as Vamoose. If that does not work, you may want to consider hiring a professional service such as Puroclean to remove the smell of cigarette smoke from your home.
Through and through the house
Walls and Ceilings - Vacuum around the edges of the ceilings. If they are grey and dingy, apply a coat of white paint. Remove any marks on the walls. If walls are faded or in poor condition, paint a soft neutral cream color.
Floors - Make sure hardwood floors have been reconditioned if necessary. There are many water-based products available in your local home center. Have carpets professionally shampooed? Clean the grout on ceramic tile floors and apply a sealer to keep them that way.
Windows - Remove curtains and wash them. If they are faded, consider new ones—clean blinds or shades. Would you mind taking out the screens and washing them? Make sure your windows are sparkling inside and out. I recommend a solution of white vinegar and water with a dab of dishwashing soap—Mix ¼ cup vinegar with 2 cups of water. Add ½ teaspoon of dish soap and shake to blend. This will do a fantastic job on your windows. You can also use this solution to clean kitchen counters, sinks, and appliances, and it will do a great job on the bathroom fixtures!
Light fixtures and fans - Remove glass shades or globes and run them through the dishwasher. Dust the light fixture and the light bulbs and replace any burnt-out—dust fan blades and motor.
Sofas and upholstered chairs - Shampoo your upholstered sofas and chairs, or wash the cushion covers if appropriate. Polish all the wood furniture till it gleams, clean the lampshades.
Bedrooms - Rotate the mattresses and put on fresh linens and bedspreads or quilts. Be sure the closets are clean and organized.
Miscellaneous – dust the baseboards and heat registers—Polish the doorknobs. Remove switch and receptacle plates and wash or clean them as required.
Now let's clean the kitchen.
Thoroughly clean out the inside of your refrigerator and freezer. Throw out any expired condiments. Remove and wash all the shelving and drawers. Unplug, pull away from the wall and clean the coils, the wall, and the floor. Clean the outside according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
Clean inside the oven and wipe down outer surfaces. Clean the stovetop. Remove the knobs and drip pans and run through the dishwasher. If the pans are stained, replace them.
Wipe down the cabinets and drawers inside and out. Freshen the garbage disposal with baking soda and a lemon peel and run plenty of hot water down the drain. Clean any food debris inside your dishwasher and run it empty with vinegar or baking soda.
Deep clean the microwave and stove hood. Could you take out the filters and wash them? Make sure the faucets sparkle and the cabinet and drawer pulls are clean. The counters should be clear of clutter. A coffee maker and a plant are allowed. Potted herbs are plentiful in the kitchen.
We are aiming for a bathroom from a Mr. Clean commercial here! Clean all bathroom fixtures. Remove stains, mold, and mildew. If you have ceramic tile, the grout should be immaculate. Re-grout if necessary. Caulk the tub. Wipe down the cabinets in and out. The faucets should gleam. Replace the shower curtain and liner. Countertops should be clear except for hand soap. Again, a plant is good here as well.
Laundry Room – Clean and organize the cabinets, wipe down the washer and dryer. Replace the filter in your washer if necessary and clean the dryer vent.
Garage – organize items on shelves, power washes the floor.
Well done! Now your house is so clean it will pass the white glove test, right?! When potential buyers come to view your home, they will find it clean, sweet-smelling, and in good repair, which will allow them to focus on the things they love about your house!