“Market-Ready” Home-Cleaning Tips

The pros tell how to get your house in selling shape.

By SHARE

In today's sluggish housing market, it's more important than ever to ensure that your home is immaculately presentable for showings. With that in mind, The Maids Home Services passed along the following cleaning tips to help "get your home market-ready."

Wash windows inside and out. Use a drop of liquid dish soap per two gallons of water and a good squeegee. Dry the window with crumpled newspaper. You'll get the best results if you wash windows on a cloudy, not sunny day, because sunlight dries the glass quickly, causing it to streak.

Odors can get trapped in drapes and window treatments; if washable take them down and wash in water heated to at least 130 degrees. For blinds, fully tighten blinds before removing them from their brackets. Loosen and wash them in a bathtub of warm, soapy water and a cup of white vinegar. Rinse and lay flat on a towel outside to dry. If in a rush, vacuum blinds using vacuum's brush tool.

Clean the stove and oven. If you have burner drip trays, replace them. These cost very little and really make the stove shine.

Clean and dust all areas, paying particular attention where dirt and dust can accumulate—tops of ceiling fans, wall trim, door and window ledges, window sills, and chair rails. These areas can get overlooked in weekly cleaning but potential buyers will notice the care and maintenance of your home!

Shampoo carpets or hire a professional carpet cleaner. Vacuum high-traffic areas daily. Nothing screams clean like visible carpet pile lines!

Diminish evidence of having pets by moving items like food bowls and litter boxes to discreet places. Change litter boxes daily and put down rubber placemats under food bowls for quick clean up of spills.

Box up all nonessential items to eliminate clutter. Even junior's toys can be an eyesore. Keep only the most used toys in a container that can be stored in the closed.

Clean showers, sinks, and tubs, and wash all hard floors. To clean hard-water spots and scum off of showers, use undiluted, heated white vinegar. Put it in a spray bottle, spray on and let soak 15 minutes before scrubbing. Tackle grout with a powerful cleaner if mold is present.

Clean all light fixtures and replace lights with higher wattage bulbs.

After a squirt of window cleaner, buff any chrome fixtures and porcelain sinks, with a dry cloth to give them a sparkling finish.

Remember, a clean home shows pride of ownership. If a potential buyer feels the house isn't well kept, they may wonder what other home maintenance has been overlooked.