Preparing to sell your home can be intimidating but add the pressure of preparing your home to show potential buyers and it’s enough to keep you up at night! But don’t worry – it’s not as scary as it seems. Just take it one room at a time. Hopefully, you’ve already done a basic decluttering of your home. If not, now’s a good time to do so before you clean your home for a showing.
Also, make sure you have all your supplies on hand ahead of time, otherwise you may run out of steam. Rags, cleaning solutions, brooms, dustpans, garbage bags, mops…gather together you basic cleaning supplies and keep them in an easy-to-carry tote so you don’t have to go looking for anything.
1. Start in the Foyer.
This is the first area buyers will see when they enter your home, so make sure it’s welcoming and attractive. Some often-forgotten things you can do here to up the ante include:
Making sure the door handles are clean.
Wiping off any fingerprints on the doors, windows, furniture, or décor in this area.
Repainting any spots on the walls that are scuffed or chipped.
Cleaning your welcome mat or purchasing a new one.
Dusting the light fixtures and replacing bulbs if needed.
Putting away unused furniture or décor so that there’s plenty of space.
2. Next, the Kitchen.
Many of these tips may seem obvious, but it’s always a good idea to double-check! When it comes to the kitchen, consider:
Wiping down cabinets, inside and out – don’t forget the hardware!
Wipe off your appliances – fridge, freezer, oven, dishwasher – inside and out.
Clean the under and on top of the stove hood, the grill, replace the lightbulb if needed, and make sure it’s all in working order.
Clean behind and beneath the refrigerator, including vacuuming the grill below.
Wipe down the microwave inside and out.
Clean and organize under the sink, including the pipes.
Dust and wipe down blinds, wash curtains, and clean mats or rugs in the space.
If you keep your pet’s food in the kitchen, put it somewhere out of sight for the showing.
Clean off your counter tops.
Straighten up the pantry items.
3. Move onto the Bathroom.
Commonly missed bathroom areas include:
Cleaning behind the toilet.
Cleaning and organizing underneath the sink.
Making sure the pipes and fittings are cleaned well.
Replace any missing plastic bolt covers at the bases of your toilets.
Declutter your bathroom counters – only display the absolute necessities (be sure they’re clean!) and put everything else somewhere else that’s out of sight. Although, anything you can put out of sight is better.
Scrub floors and clean out grout lines.
Invest in an inexpensive shower caddy to organize your shower/bathtub stall, and store kids’ bath toys in an out-of-sight area.
Put dirty clothes in the hamper (or better yet, wash, dry, and put away!) and make sure towels are folded or hung neatly off the ground.
If you keep any prescription medications in your bathroom, move them to a more secure location.
Clean the bathroom fan and make sure it works.
4. On to the Bedrooms.
Whether it’s the master, the kids’, or a guest room, check the following items off your list when preparing for a showing:
Wash sheets, blankets, and comforters…and then don’t forget to make the bed!
Clean rugs, blinds, and curtains.
Clean the windows.
Dust and wipe down furniture.
Touch up paint if and where needed.
Take care of any dirty laundry by washing, drying, and putting it away.
Organize toys and keep items off the ground.
5. Don’t Forget the Living Room!
The following list goes for main and secondary living spaces.
Sweep, mop, vacuum – whatever kind of flooring your living area has, make sure it’s clean!
Put toys or loose items in their proper places.
Vacuum or lint roll couches and chairs.
Touch up paint if needed.
Make sure movies, games, books, and so on are neat and organized.
Wash and fold throw blankets, placing them neatly over the couch or away in a linin closet.
Dust and wipe down surfaces.
Clean blinds, curtains, and rugs.
Dust lampshades, light fixtures, and decorations.
Make sure lightbulbs work and replace if needed.
Clean the windows.
6. Finally, Utility & Storage Rooms.
This section of the list also includes your attic and garage. Check the following tasks of your list for a successful showing:
Sweep and wash the garage floors (and basement floors, if unfinished).
Wipe down walls.
Get rid of dust, dirt, and debris.
Wash windows – even if they’re in the basement, garage, or attic!
Clean and organize shelves and racks. (This is a great opportunity to declutter before your upcoming move, too!)
Make sure the garage doors and lights function correctly and replace light bulbs if needed.