Spring Cleaning 101 - Get Your Home Ready for the Spring Buying Season
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - 9:53 AM
Now that spring has sprung,
homeowners across the country are getting serious about preparing
their homes for sale. If putting your home on the market is at the
top of your to-do list this season, be sure to carve out some time
to do some serious spring cleaning. Not only will a thorough
cleaning make your home stand out from the crowd, it will also
force you to get rid of the clutter that has accumulated during the
winter months so that prospective buyers can see everything your
home has to offer.
If you're preparing to sell your home this spring, one of the first pieces of advice you'll get from your real estate agent is to reduce the amount of clutter in your home. By cleaning out your home and getting rid of the clutter, you'll set the stage to attract prospective buyers. Take the time to go through all your closets and bag up all the clothes that don't fit, are out of style, or that you simply don't wear anymore and donate them to Goodwill. You can even put together a garage sale with any old books, toys your kids no longer play with and anything else that you don't need.
When it comes to spring cleaning, be sure to take care of the outside of the home as well so that your home offers a good first impression to prospective buyers. Now that the warm weather has arrived, curb appeal is as important as ever since house hunters are more likely to spend more time outside looking at the exterior of the house and the property itself. Make sure the lawn is well-maintained and free of leaves, the grass is mowed and the hedges are trimmed. You can even buy some colorful flowers and put fresh mulch in the flowerbeds to spruce up the landscaping. If there are any bare spots in the grass, buy some seed and water it to get the green back in. Make sure to also clean your gutters, wash your welcome mat and put away any rakes or winter shovels so that your yard is clear of debris.
While you're outside, take advantage of the nice weather and power wash your driveway, walkway, siding and deck. Not only does power washing remove layers and years of dirt and grime from stone and cement, it also gets rid of mildew stains that may have accumulated during the winter. Power washing the porch, a fence or even the deck will clear away all the dirt and debris and make the home instantly seem cleaner. The last thing you want prospective buyers to see is a dingy looking house, as this will give the impression that you haven't been properly maintaining the home.
Don't forget to make sure all the windows are clean as well. While a REALTOR® may tell you that homes show better with the blinds or curtains up, this will not be true if the windows are dirty. A clean window not only brings more light into a room, it also allows buyers the chance to get a clear picture of the view from their potential new home. It's important to clean both the inside and outside of all windows until they are streak free and spotless. This includes all sliding glass doors, garage windows and outside doors.
While you're going through your spring cleaning routine, pay close attention to the "little" things that might draw the eye of a prospective homebuyer. Go around your home with a pad and pencil and dissect each room for things such as small holes in the wall where a painting used to hang, outlets that are missing a casing or doorknobs that are loose and squeaky. Also, be sure to check all of the caulking around sinks, faucets and tubs. This is one of the areas that is most often overlooked and can make the biggest impact on someone looking at the house. The same thing goes for any grout in tile counters or bathtubs.
Take the time and invest the small amount of money it will cost to fix these items to remove any hesitation a prospective buyer may have about moving forward with purchasing your home.