How to Clean Your Home Before Putting it on the Market

You can have the nicest home in your neighborhood, but if it isn’t clean, buyers are not going to like it. No one wants to walk into a dirty home! If you’re wondering how to sell your home fast, one of the first things you need to do is to clean your home top to bottom, inside and out! This post will cover how to clean your home before putting it on the market. A clean home sells faster!

This post is broken down into the sections of the home so it’s easier to focus on each space while you are cleaning. Most of the rooms will have similar steps, but be sure you read each section as some areas, like the garage, have different needs.

The goal is for your home to not only look clean but smell clean. You want to get rid of any odors in the home. So if you have any furry friends, be on the lookout for pet odors. These will need to be eliminated before putting your house on the market. When it comes time to show your home, do not leave out any pet toys. Potential buyers will see these and go to a worse case scenario that all the carpets need to be replaced – and this means work and money for them!

Cleaning is just the first step in getting your home ready to sell, so we will cover the next step, removing clutter, in another post. If your home is clean, clutter-free, and organized, learn how to stage your home here. For now let’s focus on cleaning your house. We’ll start with some quick tips on how to clean before a showing and then dive into cleaning your entire home!

Quick Cleaning Tips Before a Showing

First, I want to share a few tips for how spruce up your home before a showing. Then we will dive into deep cleaning your home! The easiest things to do before a showing are to wipe down your kitchen appliances, wipe down your fridge, empty the dishwasher, and give your home a quick dust over.

Open all the blinds in your home to let in the natural light in. Then turn on all the overhead lights and lamps in every room. Make your bathrooms smell fresh by popping in a fragrance into the toilet bowl. If you have time, sweeping and vacuuming your floors goes a long way.

Now, let’s get to work making sure that your home is clean and ready to show! The above tips are just a few things you can do before a showing. Make sure that once you clean your home you do little things every week to keep it clean and in tip top showing shape!

How to Clean the Outside of Your Home

It’s not just the inside of you house that needs to be cleaned, the outside of your home needs to be cleaned too! Start by pressure washing your driveway and walkways. You can also pressure wash the outside of your home to get rid of any mold and dirt.

Mow your lawn and trim the edges, keep this up while your house is on the market. Do this for both the front and back yard. Make sure any beddings are filled with mulch or pine straw. Rake any leaves or twigs in the front and back yard. Removing these items from your yard makes the area feel clean and taken care of.

Make sure your mailbox is straight and repaint if needed. Your house numbers should be clean and easy to spot, if not, upgrade for larger numbers.

Now it’s time to move on to your front entrance. The first thing you want to do is note any repairs that need to be made. If the repairs are inexpensive, go ahead and take care of them. If not, just keep them in mind because these repairs might come up when you start negotiating offers from buyers.

Clean your front porch and paint front door if needed. You’ll be amazed at what a fresh coat of paint can do! Remove all cobwebs from this area. Make sure all the lights outside are bright and working properly. Replace any dim bulbs if needed.

You can also give your front or back porch a lift by repainting or staining the porch. Ask your realtor if this is needed. Also ask your realtor for advice on if you should add any plants or flowers to give the house a more personal touch.

How to Clean the Foyer, Hallways, and Stairways in Your Home

Make sure walls are in perfect condition, no holes or marks should be left behind when you’re finished. Wipe down the walls and the back of the front door to remove handprints. Repaint the walls a neutral color if needed; white is always an inviting color for an entryway.

Start cleaning these areas at the ceiling and clean all the way to the floor, don’t skip out on your baseboards! Sweep and mop your hardwood floor or deep clean any carpeted areas. Vacuum any rugs in the spaces. Dust the stairway banister and any frames in the hallways. Make sure the lights in these areas are bright and replace any bulbs if needed.

Buyers are attracted to homes that are bright because light makes rooms feel more spacious. So make sure your entire home is bright! Dust all of the furniture in this space and clean the windows inside and out. Before a showing you need to open up the shutters or blinds to let the natural light in, so remove any heavy drapes.

How to Clean Your Dining Room, Living Room, and the Office

You will be using the windows to let in the natural light into these spaces, so make sure your windows sparkle! Clean them inside and out and pull back any drapes.

Once again, you want to start cleaning at the ceiling, removing any cobwebs that might be up in the corners. Check your walls to see if you need to repair any holes or paint over any marks. Repaint these spaces if needed and make sure to choose a neutral color.

Clean your baseboards and then move on to the floors. For carpet, deep clean the carpets and use baking soda for a nice after scent. Sweep and mop hardwood floors. Take any pet toys out of these areas and pay special attention to any pet odors in the living room.

Next, clean your light fixtures and replace any broken or dim bulbs. Add table and floor lamps to these areas if there are any dark areas in the rooms. Everything should be bright.

Don’t neglect the furniture! Dust everything very well; since we are shining a light on these rooms, any dust left behind will show. Make sure to clean any stains on the furniture. Even though your furniture is not part of your house, buyers will see these stains and wonder if any part of the home was neglected.

How to Clean Your Kitchen

The kitchen is going to take some work, but this area is going to sparkle once you’re done with it! Buyers love clean kitchens. We are still going to start with the ceiling and make sure that there aren’t any cobwebs lurking around up there. Now pay attention to any stains or marks on the walls that need to be cleaned or painted.

Clean your backsplash, get into the grout and clean it well. If you need to replace your backsplash, now is the perfect time. Choose a neutral color that will show off your kitchen space. Ask your realtor for help with some ideas.

Next, clean the cabinets and drawers. Replace any knobs or cabinet drawers that no longer work well. Clean out your drawers and cabinets and make sure that you can open them easily without anything falling out. Then wipe the inside of these areas.

Appliances need to be cleaned inside and out. Make them shine! Buyers will open up your fridge and dishwasher, so be sure to clean out your fridge as well. When it comes time to showing your home, keep the dishwasher empty and any dishes and rags out of the sink.

Use a cleaner with a lemon scent, or leave a fresh cut lemon out. Lemons will give a nice, clean smell to your kitchen, helping it not only look clean, but smell clean as well!

Lastly, clean your baseboards and floors! You want this space to shine top to bottom! Replace any dim bulbs and make sure your windows are cleaned inside and out so they can let all the natural light in.

How to Clean Your Pantry and Laundry Room

The pantry will be an easier space to clean. Make sure the racks aren’t broken and the light bulb is bright enough for the space. Clean off any dust or marks on the door. Clean up items off the floor. For a more organized look, group items in categories and turn labels to the front.

The laundry room is a simple room, so the main thing you want to do here is make sure there are no holes or marks on the walls. Repair the walls and also check for any broken cabinet drawers or handles that need to be replaced.

Get rid of cobwebs on the ceiling, and wipe down the inside and outside of your cabinets and also your washer and dryer. If you have a sink in the area, clean this as well so it shines!

There may be a lot of dust on your laundry room baseboards, so clean them well. Then clean the floors, sweeping and mopping tile or hardwood flooring, or deep cleaning carpet. Lastly, make sure the lighting is bright in this room. There shouldn’t be any dark corners!

How to Clean Your Master Bedroom, Bathroom, and Closet

The master space is a room that all buyers are interested in, so make sure that this space is cleaned top to bottom! Pay special attention to the master bathroom when cleaning. In all these spaces, make sure the walls are clean. This means no marks and no holes! Repair any holes and if needed, repaint the entire area in a neutral color.

You also want the entire master space to be bright, even your closet! So pull back any heavy drapes, clean all of the windows inside out, and replace any dim bulbs! Make sure there are no dark corners in any of the rooms, especially in your master closet.

The master bedroom walls, baseboards, and floors should be clean. Don’t neglect any light fixtures in the master area! Dust off all furniture so that when you open the blinds, no dust shows!

The master bathroom needs a lot of love. So roll up your sleeves, you’re going to clean like you’ve never cleaned before! The most important thing you can do is clean this space so well it looks new.

When cleaning, remember to use a cleaner with lemons for a fresh smell. You can also add a fragrance to your toilet right before a showing for an extra clean scent.

Clean the walls, the baseboards, and the floors. Then clean your cabinets inside and out. Make sure all of the drawers open easily and nothing falls out when you open the cabinets. Replace any cabinet drawers or knobs that are broken.

Clean your mirrors so they shine and check for any mold or mildew in your bathroom. Now, go back over your toilet, tub, shower, and sink areas to make sure that they sparkle as well!

Believe it or not, you need to clean the master closet as well! Fix any broken racks.  Wipe down the walls and dust your baseboards. Take items off the floor and place into storage bins to put on top of the clothes rack. This will help the space feel less cluttered and more open.

Clean the floors: once again, sweep and mop if you have hardwood flooring, or deep clean carpets. Be sure to add some baking soda when vacuuming carpets for that fresh scent!

How to Clean the Other Bedrooms, Bathrooms, and Closets in Your Home

Most of the cleaning for the master space will be the same for the other bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets in your home, so this section will be a quick recap. As with the master space, make sure the drawers and cabinets and knobs are working and patch up any holes in the walls.

Repaint rooms a neutral color if there are any out of the ordinary wall colors or patterns. Creating a neutral environment is key to allowing buyers to the space for its potential instead of getting hung up on your decorating style. This also include shower curtains. Even though the curtains won’t stay with the home, crazy patterns are a huge distraction for buyers.

Eliminate any cobwebs and clean your baseboards. Clean all furniture and racks in these rooms. Use a cleaner with a lemon scent in your bathrooms and add baking soda when cleaning the carpets.

Lemons and baking soda are natural ingredients that will eliminate odors and create a fresh scent in your home.

Clean the mirrors and windows well. Replace any dim bulbs in these spaces, even the closets! Check for mold or mildew in the bathrooms. The biggest impact you can make in your bathrooms is to clean them so well the sink, toilet, and shower look new. Add a fragrance in the toilets before showing and open up all of the blinds to let the light in.

How to Clean Your Garage

The garage is going to take the most work out of any other room in your home! So pick a day when you can devote most of your time to this task. Have you cleaned your garage since you’ve moved in? If not, it probably needs a cleaning overhaul.

This will be a three step process (removing all items, cleaning, and adding items back in an organized way), so let’s concentrate on the first two at hand for this blog post: removing all items from your garage and then cleaning your garage.

You will need to remove all of the items in your garage in order to clean it entirely. A suggestion for when you do this is to throw unusable items away and create a donation pile for items that are still okay to use but that you no longer want or need. This way you can box up the items and donate them instead of putting these items back into your garage.

Once the garage is cleared out, you get to start cleaning! Take a look at the walls and see what kind of shape they’re in. If there are holes or dents, get these spots fixed. A fresh coat of paint will do wonders in this space!

Check out your garage doors and make sure there are no dents and that they are working properly. Get them fixed if they aren’t. Find your garage door remotes and make sure they work and the batteries are good – you will be handing these over at closing.

Wipe down any tanks, like the hot water heater. You don’t want the tanks looking dusty or buyers will assume that they are old and need to be replaced. Which means work and money for them.

Make sure you get rid of all the cobwebs in this space. Check for mold or mildew. Pressure wash the garage floor and repaint and seal the floor if needed. Your realtor can help you decide if it is worthwhile for you to do this.

If you have any other areas in your garage, like a workspace, gym, or laundry area, be sure to clean these spaces as well. The areas also need to be defined to a spot.

Lastly, make sure your garage is well lit. No one wants to walk around a dark garage, especially one they don’t know! Make sure all the lights are working and bright, and add lighting if needed. You don’t want any dark areas or corners in the garage.

How to Clean Your Attic

The attic doesn’t need too much cleaning, but if you have a pull down attic, make sure that nothing falls down when potential buyers go to view the space. The biggest thing you can do here is to make sure the attic lights work!

Your Home is Clean!

Congratulations! Your house is now clean, inside and out! Remember, you not only want your house to look clean, but to smell clean! So be sure to eliminate all pet odors, use a cleaner with lemons for a fresh scent, and add baking soda when cleaning carpets. Stay away from using sprays or candles to freshen your home as these sometimes only cover up odors. For a fresh scent in your bathrooms before a showing, remember to pop a fragrance into all the toilet bowls.

If you have any pet stains, learn how to clean them in this post. Now that you’ve deep cleaned your home, keep it clean the entire time it’s on the market. For every showing, be sure your home is still clean and ready to shine for those buyers! Buyers are going to love your clean home and appreciate that it smells clean as well.

After cleaning your home, the next step is to declutter and depersonalize your home. Learn how to declutter your house here and checkout this post for how to organize your house!

If you feel like you want to change the flow of your home or space, you may want to look into remodeling or even renovating your home. Check out this post on the rooms to remodel before selling your home. For a complete list of things to do before you sell your home, read this post.