Selling your house quickly and for asking price (or above) requires some action on your part. One of the first things you will want to do is give it a nice, thorough deep clean. After all, a clean home is an attractive home. A good rule of thumb is once you are done cleaning your house, clean some more. You want the house to not only look great but smell delightful as well.

Keep in mind that many showings will be last minute, so you need to keep everything tidy the whole time the house is on the market. Nobody wants to buy a dirty or dingy house, so it is in your best interest to clean every nook and cranny, from top to bottom. Pay special attention to the kitchen and bathroom as those are the rooms buyers tend to spend the most time analyzing.

If you decide not to hire a cleaning service to do the job before putting it on the market, then you are going to need to learn how to clean your house to sell.

Deep Cleaning Checklist for Selling Your Home

This deep cleaning checklist will help you learn how to clean your house to sell. It will help you to ensure that you do not forget anything. Pay special attention to those items that can be easily overlooked. If you are ready to clean your home, you will want to start with the big things before you get to the little things.

The Big Things

A big part of learning how to clean your house to sell is knowing what the most important parts of your home to clean might be. These are the places and things in your home that are easiest for prospective buyers to spot. If they’re dirty, you can lose a sale. As such, you’ll want to pay special attention to cleaning the following areas.

  • Appliances
    The fridge, dishwasher and oven are bigger than you think. You might be used to how dull your refrigerator has gotten or that slight odor coming from your oven, but new buyers are going to view them with fresh eyes. As such, you will want to make sure they are detailed fully, inside and out. There are special products for cleaning out ovens and dishwashers that you should use to ensure a thorough cleaning. Empty out your fridge and clean out every shelf and drawer. Put in some extra effort to make sure that each of these major appliances shines.
  • Bathtubs, Sinks and Toilets
    Before getting started in the bathroom, spray down your tub with multipurpose cleaner so that it can soak for a while and break up any soap and oil that have accumulated. Do the same with the toilet bowls and sinks. That will make scrubbing that much easier when you circle back to it later on. You can make a homemade grout cleaner using vinegar, baking soda and water. First, spray down the grout with a half-vinegar/half-water solution until the area is good and saturated. Let it sit for a few minutes, scrub with a bristled brush (an old toothbrush will do!), and then rinse. Then, mix some baking soda with water until it forms a paste, apply it to the grout using your brush, and spray it with the water and vinegar. The bubbles that form will start to clean away some of the grit and grime, and your brush will do the rest. When you’re done, rinse the grout with warm water.
  • Glass and Mirrors
    The goal here is to eliminate all of the streaks and smudges that you can find. Use a good glass cleaner and make sure to leave any glass surfaces as clear as possible. Mirrors make great accent pieces and can give the appearance of more light and a larger space. Glass cleaners are a great way to clean mirrors for a streak-free shine. Just spray glass cleaner and wipe with a paper towel. Glass also needs to be dusted, as the dust particles can make your entire house look a little bit dingier than it should.
  • Walls and Counters
    Remove any items on the counters, including appliances and knife blocks, and then use a disinfectant spray or cleaning wipes to get corners and spaces in the back that might not get as much attention throughout the year. While you are there, wipe down the walls or backsplashes, too. Place the coffee pot and small appliances on counters under the sink.
  • Floors and Baseboards
    Your floors are the easiest area to see in your home. If they are not properly cleaned, the rest of your home will look incredibly dirty. When cleaning floors work strategically from the back to front so you don’t have to backtrack over an area you just cleaned. Move furniture out of the way and clean floors and carpets with a broom or vacuum. Use the brush attachment to get tough dirt on the baseboards, in crevices. Shampoo carpets. Mop floors with a mop, bucket, and the recommended floor cleaning solution. When washing hardwood and laminate, your mop shouldn’t be too damp. Make sure your mop is cleaned and sanitized after cleaning the bathrooms.

The Little Things

In addition to the big items, figuring out how to clean your house to sell requires being able to identify the most important little things in your house. These items might not seem like they would cause problems, but they are things at which most serious buyers will look before they put in an offer on a home.

  • Light Fixtures
    We tend to become blind to dusty and rusted light fixtures but these absolutely catch the eye of potential buyers. Start by removing the lightbulbs so that you can replace if necessary. Next, clean out the inside and outside of the fixtures with a microfiber cloth. Finally, finish by removing any stains and using glass cleaner if necessary. Once you are finished, you can replace the bulbs and you should have not only cleaner fixtures but also much brighter lights.
  • Switchplates
    Light switch plates are not usually cleaned regularly despite continuously building up bacteria through turning the lights on and off every day, multiple times a day. It is very important to examine each individual plate in order to determine exactly how much work you will need to do. Disinfectant wipes will help with most, but you may need to replace those that are scratched up. Do not be afraid to remove the plates in order to make sure that they are clean, as there can often be a fair bit of build-up around the edges of the plates. If the surface is paintable, a fresh coat might help matters as well.
  • Vents and Fan Blades
    When was the last time you really looked at your vents and fan blades? If you are looking at them now, you might be realizing just how neglected they have become. When undertaking this task, be sure to remove your vent covers and clean them both inside and out, getting rid of any accumulated dust. Wipe down each ceiling fan blade individually, top and bottom and sides. Make sure that you clean the parts that are generally covered by any lighting fixtures as well so that you can really make the fan shine.

Cleaning Tips

Deep cleaning your home before putting it on the market is essential for making a good first impression. Not only will it make the house look more appealing to potential buyers, but it will also help get rid of dirt, dust, allergens, and bad smells. By deep cleaning your home, you can help ensure that it sells faster and with fewer problems.

 Simplify Things

Your home might be full of knickknacks, decorations, and other personal items that may be overwhelming to a potential buyer. Declutter and clean up the interior of your home to make it more appealing to home buyers. This can include packing away knickknacks and picking up anything that is not necessary for a potential buyer to see. A decluttered home will not only look more appealing to potential buyers, but will better illustrate how they can make the home their own.

Make Everything Shine

Make a short list of appliances in your house, and make them shine. This could include toilets, refrigerators, sinks, glass shower walls and more. Take some glass cleaner, disinfectant, polish and make all of your appliances look like new. You can eliminate years of appearance off your home by making everything in it look clean and new.

Get Rid of Bad Smells

If your home has any bad smells, now is the time to get rid of them. Whether it is the smell of cigarette smoke, pets or something else, bad smells can be a big turnoff for potential buyers. Not only will they not want to buy a home that smells bad, but they might also start to worry that there’s something wrong with the home itself.

Find the Right Agent

Buying your house should be a fun and fulfilling experience. If you have done your research and evaluated what you can afford and what you truly need, finding a new home can be exciting. Learning more about the purchase process eliminates the fear of the unknown and lets you search for a home with peace of mind.

Windermere’s community of real estate professionals is our greatest asset. We have experts in all areas of real estate, from your typical starter home to condos, luxury properties, and new construction. While residential real estate is the mainstay of our business, Windermere also has offices and associates who specialize in property management, commercial real estate, and relocation services. To further facilitate the home buying process, Windermere has affiliated partners in certain regions to provide mortgage, title, and escrow services.

Call us today with any questions or concerns. Our professional Real Estate Agents will help you through this exciting process. (951) 369-8002.