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How to Clean Your House to Sell: Deep Cleaning Checklist

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A clean home is an attractive home. If you are not going to hire a cleaning service to straighten up your house before you put in on the market, you’re going to have to learn how to clean your house to sell. Doing so is a key part of making your home buyer-friendly and the Century 21 home selling process.

A deep cleaning checklist for selling your home

Your deep cleaning checklist will help you learn how to clean your house to sell. It will help you to ensure that you don’t forget anything and, importantly, that you pay attention to those items that can be overlooked. If you’re ready to clean your home, you’ll want to start with the big things before you get to the little things.

how to clean your house to sell

The big things

A big part of learning how to clean your house to sell is knowing what the most important parts of your home to clean might be. These are the places and things in your home that are easiest for prospective buyers to spot. If they’re dirty, you can lose a sale. As such, you’ll want to pay special attention to cleaning the following areas.

The fridge, dishwasher, and oven

These are bigger than you think. While you might be used to how your appliances look and smell, new buyers are going to view them with fresh eyes. As such, you’ll want to make sure they are all cleaned inside and out. There are special products for cleaning out ovens and dishwashers, so invest in those. Make sure that your fridge is emptied and that you’ve cleaned out every shelf and drawer. Put in some extra effort to make sure that each of these major appliances shines.

The bathtubs, sinks, and toilets

You already know that these are high-traffic areas, so make sure to take care of them appropriately. You’ll need to spend some serious time scrubbing here, removing every stain and bit of stray dirt. Make sure to pay extra attention to both the sinks and bathtubs, as they’re very easy for even casual observers to look into. These are areas in which a little extra effort can go a long way.

Glass and mirrors

The goal here is to eliminate all of the streaks and smudges that you can find. Use a good glass cleaner and make sure to leave any glass surfaces as clear as possible. Good mirrors help to make rooms look larger, so you’ll want to make sure that they are clean and that they reflect the light well. Glass also needs to be dusted, as the dust particles can make your entire house look a little bit dingier than it should.

Walls and counters

Your walls and counters have a few different issues that need to be addressed. First and foremost are the basic marks that have accumulated over the years – a good scrubbing should get rid of most, but don’t be afraid to invest in a special cleaner if you can’t get them out. More pressing is any damage to the walls or counters, which might need to be fixed with either new paint or even putty. Make sure that these areas look as close to new as possible.

Floors and baseboards

Your floors are the easiest area to see in your home. If they’re not properly cleaned, the rest of your home will look incredibly dirty. Take the time to clean any carpets and use cleaners that you might have on your hardwood floors. You may also need to invest in methods to clean up scratches in some areas. Your baseboards should also be vacuumed and then cleaned by hand in order to get the best results.

The little things

In addition to the big items, figuring out how to clean your house to sell requires being able to identify the most important little things in your house. These items might not seem like they’d cause problems, but they’re things at which most serious buyers will look before they put in an offer on a home.

how to clean your house to sell

Light fixtures

All of your light fixtures need to be deep cleaned before you move out. This is a multi-part task, so be prepared to put in a little work. Start by removing the lightbulbs so that you can replace if necessary. Next, you’ll want to clean out the inside and outside of the fixtures with a microfiber cloth. Finally, finish by removing any stains and using glass cleaner if necessary. Once you’re done, you can replace the bulbs and you should have not only cleaner fixtures but also much brighter lights.

Switchplates

Your switchplates tend to accumulate a lot of wear and tear over time. Not only are you constantly switching lights on and off, but you’re also constantly touching the plates without noticing what’s on your hands. It’s very important to examine each individual plate in order to determine exactly how much work you’ll need to do. Disinfectant wipes will help with most, but you may need to replace those that are scratched up. Don’t be afraid to remove the plates in order to make sure that they are clean, as there can often be a fair bit of build-up around the edges of the plates.

Vents and fan blades

When was the last time you really looked at your vents and fan blades? You might have done a bit of cursory dusting from time to time, but these are areas of the home that tend to get neglected. You’re going to want to remove your vent covers and clean them both inside and out, getting rid of any accumulated dust. If possible, you should also remove each individual fan blade and wipe it down. Make sure that you clean the parts that are generally covered by any lighting fixtures as well so that you can really make the fan shine.

Hardware

Much like your switchplates, your home’s hardware gets a lot of wear and tear that you probably haven’t noticed over the years. At a basic level, you’re looking to get rid of fingerprints and the kind of random dirt that accumulates over the years. If your hardware is metal, though, you’re going to want to use metal cleaner in order to restore it to its original look. You’re not just dealing with wear and tear here, but very real environmental damage. As such, you’ll need to use a little elbow grease to get the best results and make the hardware look pristine.

Windowsills

Your windowsills are another area that tends to attract quite a bit of dirt and grime. Unfortunately, most people tend to clean these areas with a light dusting, trusting that most visitors won’t give them a second glance. When buyers come to your home, though, they’ll use your windowsill as a test to see how well you have actually cleaned your home. It’s recommended that you don’t just dust these areas, but that wipe them down and remove any stains. If possible, you may also want to give them a quick coat of paint in order to make them look like new.

how to clean your house to sell

Conclusion

Cleaning isn’t the only thing that needs to be on your mind when you get ready to sell your home. You also need to have a great agent who can make sure that plenty of interested buyers are able to see all of your hard work. When you’re ready to sell your home, make sure to visit Century21 Northwest to find an agent who can help you. You should also check out the New Home Affordability Calculator to determine how much your current house is worth – and how an agent can help you get ready to move into your dream home.


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