It’s true and probably not at all surprising! Dirty homes do not sell well at all. A super clean home that is meticulously organized will sell faster and for money than its dirtier counterparts.
As you look around, maybe your house doesn’t look that dirty to you. The problem is we tend not to see our own dirt. Perhaps we just get used to seeing past the dust or grime and are therefore immune to it. Your friends may not see it either. After all, they are your friends. They come to your home to visit you, not to critique the cleanliness of your house.
However, buyers see your house very different from your friends and family. Buyers come with very keen and critical eyes. They see every little spec of dirt and are completely grossed out by it. And that dust we don’t see can peel thousands of dollars off of your bottom line at the closing table.
So after you’ve made the necessary repairs, freshened the paint, de-cluttered and de-personalized, hire a maid service to do a deep, deep cleaning. If you're out to sell your house faster, make sure they clean the insides of the kitchen cabinets, pantry, bathroom cabinets and closets. If you have any mold or mildew around your bathtub or shower (which tends to happen over time), get rid of it. If the commercial sprays or bleach are not working, you may need to remove the grout or caulk and replace it with a fresh layer.
I have found the Magic Eraser by Mr. Clean easily cleans many things and lives up to its promise of being magic. Magic Eraser cleans scuff marks off of walls (including crayon), water residue off of your nickel and chrome, and gunk away from your door knobs and light switches. Plus it removes that brown layer of “God-only-knows-what” on the bottom of your shower pan floor. For years, that shower pan was a conundrum for many of my clients One day, by chance, I tried the Magic Eraser. Voila! Problem solved.
When I am preparing a house for sale, I do a week of cleaning and call in the professionals. First we start with the kitchen cabinets and appliances – inside and out. Then I move on to an extreme cleaning in the bathrooms. This clean-up includes fresh grout or caulk, if needed. Carpet cleaners come to shampoo upholstery and rugs, window cleaners was the windows, both inside and out. A power washer sprays the entire exterior of the house along with the deck. And lastly, the maids come back in at the end to get all of the normal stuff like cobwebs and dust.
Keep all the receipts because you’re allowed to write it off on your taxes as a home staging expense.
For more useful cleaning tips, check out these Pinterest boards:
Immaculate cleaning is an investment of time and money, but well worth it. Real estate professionals agree, clean homes sell faster and for more money than their dirtier counterparts. Why not reap the financial rewards at the closing table?
Tracy Kay Griffin is a member of Express Homebuyers Design Team. She was the Series Designer for HGTV’s “Get It Sold,” a Guest Designer for HGTV’s “My First Place” and the Lead Stager for Washington DC’s premier staging company, Red House Staging & Interiors.