You’ve done it. You’ve bought your dream house, and now it’s time to ditch your old digs! Before you do, make sure the house is clean for the new homeowners before you leave. Here are some easy things you can do to go the extra mile to ensure your house is clean when you go.
- Tackle the kitchen first. Sometimes, cooking smells linger long after you’re gone. Clean the stove—with a lot of models, you can actually lift up the stovetop to clean underneath. Soak the metal trays and racks in hot, soapy water while you clean the rest with all-purpose cleaner. While you’re scrubbing away, let an oven cleaner do the work on the grease and grime of a well-loved oven.
- Wipe down the walls. Make sure they are free of scuff marks and fingerprints. A Magic Eraser will usually do the trick. This can be a larger job, so maybe have a friend or two help you out. Remove cobwebs and dust as well.
- Clean the carpets if you can. Take out any stains with vinegar and baking soda, especially tough ones including pet stains.
- Make the bathtubs and showers sparkle. If you color your hair or take frequent baths, use a bleach-based cleanser for sparkling clean surfaces.
No time to do an adequate job? Hire a cleaning service that specializes in move outs. Your REALTOR® can probably give you a referral.
I love this article by Freshome.com that I found on BobVila.com on “10 Things Home Buyers Hate About Your Home.” If you hope to sell your home, you MUST fix these problems.
- Foul smells – You’ll turn off prospective homebuyers if you have any of these smells: pets, carpet, unpleasant food and cooking smells and musty basements.
- A dirty home – Keep your kitchen and bathrooms clean!
- A messy home – With potential buyers traipsing through your home unexpectedly, you need to be sure you keep your home tidy. Plan ahead to store clutter, toys, laundry, etc. when you’re not home.
- Poorly lit rooms – A bright room is much more attractive than a dark one. Add attractive lamps to be sure that your home is shown in the very best, well, light.
- Distracting walls and wallpaper – The person who buys your home is likely to have different tastes than yours. While you don’t have to remodel your home to put it up for sale, you want to make it as neutral as possible, so buyers can imagine themselves living there.
- Poorly maintained yard – We hear so much about curb appeal, because it is crucial to the sale of your home. Make your home more inviting by keeping your lawn cut, bushes and trees trimmed, and weeds out of the way.
- Wall-to-wall carpeting – Many homebuyers prefer hardwood floors to a home that is 100% carpeted. If it isn’t possible to remove your carpets, be sure they are professionally cleaned to remove any stains or smells.
- Ignored entryways – When a prospective homebuyer enters your home, the first thing she sees is the entryway. Make sure it is welcoming by adding a bouquet of flowers, a pretty mirror or some artwork that catches the eye.
- Your pets – Even if the potential homebuyer is an animal lover, they may not love your pets. In fact, they might be afraid of or allergic to them. Be sure to keep your pets outside or away from home when your real estate agent shows your home.
- You – Purchasing someone else’s home is a very personal experience. The buyer wants to picture herself in the home – not you – so be sure to leave the home before a scheduled showing. Trust your Realtor – why, me, of course – to do the selling for you!
To read the full article, visit BobVila.com.
If you want to upgrade your kitchen without the hefty price tag, Barbara Ballinger offers these tips in the May 2012 edition of RealtorMag.
- Repaint your kitchen.
- Replace backsplash tiles.
- Give your kitchen a fresh look with a new countertop.
- Upgrade to stainless steel appliances, a universally appealing look.
- Can’t afford to replace all of your appliances? Focus on one or two.
- Improve lighting in the kitchen.
- Replace smaller, older tiles with larger, porcelain floor tiles.
- Remodel your dark, dated kitchen cabinets with new door faces, paint or hardware.
- Add a pantry or other nearby storage space for too small kitchens.
- Open up the room’s layout by removing a wall or taking down part of one.
- No kitchen island? No problem. Buy a stainless steel, counter-height table to be used for kitchen prep work and additional storage.
- Hire a designer to sketch out a new, improved kitchen plan that you can fulfill later.