Whether or not you live like Martha Stewart (who no doubt has a full time staff fluffing & tidying each of her homes) on a regular basis, when your home is on the market, you’ll want it to be as close to spotless as possible. If you aren’t able to complete a deep clean of your home, it is well worth investing in a cleaning service – either just before listing photographs are taken and the listing goes live, or on a weekly or biweekly basis until you are under contract, if you can afford it. Letting someone else do the dirty work can ease the stress of keeping your home show ready until you go under contract; a $400 or so investment in cleaning is likely to net you an additional $2,000 at closing – a 400% return on investment!
Read our listing readiness cleaning checklist to help your home sparkle and shine for showings:
- Start at the top and work your way down. As you go, fill boxes with clutter you know you can pack away for your future move or donate to Goodwill right away. Within each room, do the same thing. Dust/sort the fridge, kitchen cupboards, the linen closet, etc. from the top down. And while you’re up there – dust the top of everything – even door and window moldings. A really clean home = well maintained to buyers, and you’ll be glad you paid attention to details when offers come in.
- Put away every speck of pet paraphernalia. Put the litter box out of the way, keep the dog toys in a drawer and keep lint rollers handy in every room (but not out in plain sight) to keep Fido’s fluff of the furniture.
- Clean the refrigerator. Buyers are going to look in there – we promise. While you’re at it, clean the microwave, too.
- Declutter the top of anything and everything. That includes kitchen and bathroom counters, the top of kitchen cabinets, dressers, shelves in the laundry room and garage, closet shelving… if it has surface area, cut back on the piles and let the space breathe – and make sure you dust every flat surface.
- Replace anything tarnished or dingy in the bathroom. TP dispensers, toilet seats, towels, the trash can, the bath mat and shower curtain – if these things are dusty/musty/crusty or stained – ditch them and invest in new. For not much money your bathroom will feel fresh, clean and new if you replace the towels and update a few of the inexpensive fixtures.
- Make your home office presentable and polished. When potential buyers see how organized and put together your work space is, it will inspire confidence in the rest of your home, too. “Surely someone this organized keeps up with home maintenance,” they’ll say to themselves.
- Pack up anything in your closet you won’t wear this season, and clear the floor of clutter. Your closet will seem larger, and the fashionistas in the showing crowd will be able to envision themselves moving into your tidy, spacious, well-kept closet – not wondering how they’ll squeeze their wardrobe into a cramped and messy space.
- Outside, clean up pet detritus, scrub down outdoor furniture, replace the welcome mat and clean the windows. More light = happier potential buyers; let the sun shine in through sparkling clean windows and ensure every step from the car to your front door inspires oohs and ahhs of home admiration from buyers.
Are you wondering how much your home will sell for in the hot Denver Metro marketplace? Give me a ring – I’m happy to share my insight as a 21 year veteran of Denver real estate.
The Meyers Group