Michelle Sebio Savje | Franklin Real Estate, Bellingham Real Estate, Blackstone Real Estate


When you’re preparing your home for the market, your main goal is to make it as desirable as possible to potential buyers. Not only will this gain more attraction from interested parties, but it can also help you out in a bidding war by making your home stand out among the rest and therefore increasing the final sale value.

Many of the ways to increase the desirability and curb appeal of your home involve costly home improvements and upgrades. However, there are some simple solutions that can make an impact and might just be enough to tip the buyer in favor of your home.

Today, we’re talking about the value of marketing a spotless, freshly cleaned home. The benefits are many. But, among them are the chance of increasing your sale value, attracting more potential buyers, and demonstrating to them that you’re the type of homeowner who has cared for their home.

Read on for some of the most important cleaning tips to help you along the process of selling your home.

1. Decluttering helps in more ways than one

When you’re ready to sell your home, the last thing you want to be thinking about is finding places for all of your belongings that you’ve accumulated over the years. People interested in buying your home won’t want to visit a house filled with your personal belongings, as it will make it harder for them to imagine their own decorating style in the house.

To make this whole process easier, it’s a good idea to declutter and pack away things that you won’t necessarily need until you move into your new home. You’ll also be doing yourself a favor later by packing boxes now that won’t have to be repacked when you move to your new home.

2. Mold and mildew

Bathrooms and kitchens are especially vulnerable to these two culprits that can be a huge turn-off for potential buyers. You’re going to want to carefully inspect these rooms for signs of mold and mildew and eliminate them. Non-streak and bleach-based cleaners are ideal as they can help your glass and tiles shine like new.

Remember to make sure these are clean before you have real estate photos taken or your listing and before having any potential buyers over to show your home.

3. Deep dusting

You know those corners of your home that you always think, “oh well, no one will ever see back there anyway”? Well, people interested in buying your home will likely want to look in those corners and might be off-put by piles of dust.

If you have a hard time seeing because parts of your home are dark, set up some portable work lights while you’re cleaning to ensure you’re getting the job done.

Finally, don’t forget to clean the tops of ceiling fan blades and behind your kitchen appliances, where few seldom go.

4. Gutters are a giveaway

Clean gutters are a sign that a homeowner cares for the long-term maintenance of their home. So, if you haven’t been quite keeping up with gutter cleaning, now is the time to do it.

5. Pressure washing can be worth the cost

If there’s one thing that’s worth spending money on for cleaning an older home, it’s usually power washing. Vinyl siding is low-maintenance, easy to install, and relatively inexpensive. But, it does get dirty from time to time.

Hiring a power washing service or renting a pressure washer can be a good way to make the exterior of your home look like new again.


One of the biggest challenges of putting your house on the market is keeping it clean, organized, and ready for the next showing!

This is no easy task, especially if you have pets, messy kids, and/or a hectic schedule. If you're like most people, you're probably contending with all three conditions!

Although it's human nature to get immersed in our own view of the world, it's helpful to try and see things through the eyes of prospective home buyers. When buyers walk into your house for the first time, they're not going to immediately know about all the improvements you've made to your property or the many ways your home has served your family's needs for all these years. They're not aware of the "big picture" and may never be. They only know what they see, hear, and smell during their brief visit to your home.

Anything which makes a negative impression can sour them on the idea of buying your house. It's a delicate balance and it doesn't take that much to tip the scales in either direction. That's why it's so important for sellers to get into a routine of keeping their house clean, orderly, and well maintained.

It's amazing what a difference 24-hours (or less) can make on the appearance and cleanliness of your home. Rest assured, if you've said or thought the words, "But I just cleaned it, yesterday!" -- you're not alone! Cleaning your house when it's on the market is a lot like shaving: It doesn't take too long for that "five o'clock shadow" to start creeping in!

Reminding everyone in your family to clean up after themselves is the first step to being ready, but it also pays to have a checklist to refer to when preparing for a real estate showing. If you don't use a task list, chances are you'll forget something important -- like wiping off the kitchen counter, sanitizing the toilets, putting away dirty dishes, or cleaning the bathroom sink. Floors almost always require a quick sweeping, mopping, or vacuuming, and waste baskets need to be emptied. Crumpled towels, bath mats, and bedspreads may also be in desperate need of straightening and smoothing out! If you own pets that tend to have "accidents" or kids who haven't quite mastered the art of cleaning up after themselves, you might also want to allow a few extra minutes in your routine to take care of the "unexpected."

While it's true that you want your house to have a "lived in" appearance, it's all-too-easy to cross that thin line into a whole different category! No reasonable house hunter will expect your home to be spotless and perfect in every way, but if it looks messy, disheveled, or neglected, then that could be a potential deal breaker!


When many homeowners set out to declutter their home, they aren’t quite sure of what they’re getting into. Decluttering is a big job that requires some planning and an understanding of your end goals.

Some homeowners are setting out to declutter their home because they’re moving in the near future and want to simplify their move or make their home more appealing to potential buyers. Others have just noticed the junk piling up in their drawers and on their countertops and are fed up.

Regardless of your situation, if you want to declutter you’ve come to the right place.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about one of the best ways to set out on your mission of decluttering your home.

Why room by room?

Decluttering a home can take a lot of time and can be demotivating if you aren’t seeing a lot of progress. One way to break this process down into more manageable pieces is to declutter your home one room at a time.

This method also helps you manage the time you plan on spending decluttering. If your goal is to declutter one room per week until you move, then make sure you have 4 or 5 weeks to complete your cleaning and decluttering.

Bathroom

We’ll start with one of the smaller and easier rooms in your home, the bathroom. A good way to start is by going through your closet and cabinet and getting rid of old supplies and medicines.

Have a first aid kit that you haven’t touched in five years? There’s a good chance most things in it are expired anyway.

Once you’re done throwing out expired items, see if you can reorganize what’s left. A good way to take advantage of the space in a small bathroom is to use door hangers on the inside of your bathroom closet for hanging brooms, dustpans, mops, etc.

Does your bathroom also have messy stacks of assorted towels? One good solution is to roll up your hand towels and store them vertically in a basket that will be kept in your closet. This prevents your stacks of towels from tumbling over, never to be straightened again.

Kitchen

It’s amazing how kitchen utensils and appliances can add up over the years. Do you have a garlic clove grinder that’s been sitting in your drawer for years? Chances are you can toss it out.

Once you’ve made some space in your kitchen drawers and cabinets, bring some order to what’s left by using compartments and stackable organizers. This will help keep you on track by giving each item in your kitchen a “home.”

Bedrooms

You probably already guessed it, but the most disorganized area in most bedrooms is the closet. A good rule of thumb when cleaning out clothes is to ask yourself if you’ve worn the item since this time last year. If not, there’s a good chance you can safely donate it to a thrift store.

Have a tendency of throwing dirty clothes in piles on the floor? Make things easier on yourself by keeping a clothing bin nearby that you can toss all of your dirty clothes into and worry about sorting them later.


New England is infamous for its old homes and with old homes comes gorgeous, original hardwood floors. Maybe homebuyers have original flooring at the top of their wishlist when home shopping. While you may know how much you adore your hardwood floors, you may not know how to properly care for them. Keep reading for tips on how to keep your new to you hardwood floors in boast-worthy shape. Preemptively prevent scratches and tough to clean buildup by adding mats to any doors leading outside. Not only do they add a nice visual touch, but more importantly they help prevent dirt and outdoor grime from being tracked over your hardwood floors. You will make daily clean up easier on yourself while saving your floors from potential scratches. Institute a no-shoes in the house policy to further prevent any debris from finding their way throughout your home. You will especially want to avoid wearing high heels and cleats in any rooms with hardwood flooring. These types of shoes can put dents and scratches in to the floor that will require a professional to help resuscitate your floors back to their former glory. Create a mudroom area in your home with a bench and shoe rack. This will make it easy for your family members to follow the no shoe rule. Investing in a mat that catches water and slush run off from shoes on bad weather days is also a great way to prevent water damage to your floors. Sweep your floors daily to catch any dirt they may have found it’s way into your home and onto your hardwood floors. Vacuum once a week for a more thorough clean. Once a month you will want to clean your floors with a microfiber cloth and light mist of water. Ensure that you do not soak your floors as water can cause them to swell and become damaged with time. Avoid cleaners for tile or vinyl surfaces and never steam clean your hardwood floors. Install felt pads to the bottoms of any furniture you have in rooms with hardwood flooring. This will help prevent scratches from everyday furniture use. You will want to regularly replace these pads however since dirt can build up on the bottoms and create a sandpaper-like surface that can lead to damage. When rearranging furniture lift the piece off the floor to carry it over to where you would like it placed and then carefully set it down instead of pushing it across your hardwood floors. While this may entail extra help from a family member to do, it will prevent unsightly gashes along your floors from dragging your furniture across the room. Original flooring in an old New England home is a major selling point for many homebuyers. Restoring old hardwood floors to their original condition can be pricey, however, by taking preliminary measures to prevent damage you can avoid bringing an expert in to fix your mistakes. And when all it takes to maintain your floors is a few minutes each day it’s a win-win situation!

You honestly may not get the chance to deep clean your home very often. When you do clean your house, there are a few places that are harboring many germs that are easily overlooked. Below, you’ll find some of the dirtiest areas in your home that need to be scrubbed well.


Handles And Knobs In The Kitchen


You’re handling everything in the kitchen from dirty dishes to raw meat. After touching these items, you’re grabbing drawers, refrigerator door handles, oven doors, and more. All of the bacteria that is on your hands is transferred to these items. You should scrub these areas down on a weekly basis with a simple vinegar and water solution.


Your Computer And Accessories


If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time at your computer. You eat drink, talk on the phone, and everything else right in front of your computer. It’s a good idea to rid the bacteria that are collected all over your computer and accessories. You can detach the attachments from your computer a dab them with a mild soapy water solution, or just wipe them down with a pre-moistened anti-bacterial cloth. 


The Toothbrush Holder


You use your toothbrush to clean your teeth, but do you ever clean the place where it sits? You can quickly place your toothbrush holder in the dishwasher once a week, or sterilize it with hot water and soap. As a bonus, you should clean your toothbrushes by boiling them in water for a few minutes. 


The Handrails And Doorknobs 


Everyone uses the railings on the stairways, but it’s a good bet that no one cleans them very often. You can use a simple hot water and vinegar solution to scrub railings and doorknobs down. Wipe them dry, and they’ll be as good as new with less germs. 


The Light Switches


As you go in and out of rooms, you probably don’t think of cleaning off the light switch panel. Germs are easily spread there as people go in and out, turning a light on just to wash their hands. Vinegar and hot water will do the trick here as well. Just wipe switches down with a cloth soaked in the solution and pat dry. 


The Sinks


While you may wipe down around your sink often, the faucet and surrounding areas may need a little love. Faucet handles should be scrubbed on a daily basis with hot soapy water. As a bonus, if you want to make your sink shine, create a paste with vinegar and baking soda. Once you scrub it on the faucet, rinse off for a fantastic shine.     



         




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