Essential Cleaning Tips for Your First Open House

When the country gets back to being able to have open houses, these tips will help you be ready. Before you set out that yard sign, it’s essential to make sure your home looks the part. Potential homebuyers want to walk into a well-maintained property. If they can see handprints on your front door, their visions of a happy life come to a halt.

You’ll need to declutter and deep clean accordingly. Here’s a guide to help make this process that much more straightforward. For professional guidance, contact a pro-Stager who can possibly offer you e-consultation services now so when we can get back to a normal real estate market, you will be ready to show!

1. Remove Personal Items

Beforehand, you’ll want to go through your house and box up personal items. Create three piles — keep, donate and trash. Take objects that you plan to use in the future and store them in a unit. Give away or throw out the rest, but remember to recycle when you can. It’s important to leave a few décor items that are on trend, though. While homebuyers don’t want to see your family photos, you’ll want to make the space look inviting and not stark.

Once you’ve gotten this far, you should organize your entire house in a way that creates flow.  Better yet – call a professional Home Stager who understand how your house needs to show to target BUYER. It is not about how you live in your home, it is all about how the house needs to be marketed to the prospective buying audience.

2. Deep Clean Bathrooms

Bathrooms are often much more challenging to deal with than other spaces. As a result, we tend to do the bare minimum as we clean. Now that it’s time to show your house, you need to go further.

Clean the counters, sinks and faucets. Scrub the toilets and mop the floors. Put a little elbow grease into the shower and double-check that there’s no mildew. Sanitize every object in sight. Launder your shower curtains and mats so they’re fresh and clean. Do not hide the bathroom floors with mats – you can drape them over the edge of a tub or roll up and put under the sink. Buyers want to see the selling features – the floor – not a fuzzy mat. If you can, polish the hardware. Update broken tiles and grout as well.

Though homebuyers may only take a quick glance into your bathrooms, this effort is completely worthwhile.

3. Scrub All Surfaces

No matter how you want to navigate this process, it’s necessary to follow a few fundamentals. Dust every surface — from the tops of your fans to the legs of your side tables. This part won’t take more than half an hour to complete in every room. Try to use the correct products for every piece of furniture. For example, a wooden dresser requires a specific solution.

You’ll also want to remove stains as well. Pay attention to the source of the smudges on bathroom and kitchen counters — the materials you’ll need to remove them depends on how they formed. Look for chips or cracks in surfaces and fill those in accordingly.

3. Update Window Treatments

Windows play a huge role in how a room looks and feels. Take the time to wipe down blinds and clean your windows inside and out. Remove all draperies so sunlight can shine through and the window features are highlighted. Buyers don’t want your drapes no matter how much you paid for them or how much you like them. If any rooms face an alley or other unsightly landscape, install a filter to block the view or learn how to position your blinds to minimize the unattractive view.

When in doubt, opt for clean white blinds. Draw them to ensure every space gets enough light unless you are minimizing an unattractive view – then you need to have them positioned open to allow light in but angled in such a way that the eyesore is not visible or minimized. Your pro-Stager can help you with this.

4. Sweep and Vacuum the Floors

You should also sweep and vacuum the floors. Homebuyers won’t appreciate those clumps of dog hair that’ve gathered in the corner of your living room, so make sure to tackle those carpets, tiles and hardwoods. If needed, rent a carpet cleaner and dig into any discolored surfaces. This part isn’t easy, but a deep clean can remove noticeable odors as well. 

Once finished, feel free to wax your hardwood floors for extra protection and shine. The eventual buyer will appreciate that they don’t need to do so down the line.

6. Don’t Overlook the Small Details

Once you’ve finished those larger tasks, look for smaller details. Is there food on the side of the fridge? Are the cushions on your dining room chairs stained? You may not notice these aspects right away, but homebuyers will likely take note. Do a final lap around your house and try to think as a visitor would. They are not buying your things, however a house that feels and looks well maintained and clean sends a positive message to buyers. The opposite is true as well. If you have things that indicate wear and tear, the buyer will assume you did not treat your house well and they may find hidden issues once they purchase.

Use These Tips to Make Your Showing a Success

To attract even the pickiest homebuyers, you’ll want to clean your house from head to toe. These tricks can help you tackle this process.

Holly Welles, Real Estate Writer, The Estate Update