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How to clean up in the real estate market

Created date

March 31st, 2009



Most buyers decide whether they re interested in your home within the first 15 seconds of seeing it. If it s cluttered or dirty, that might be the only thing they remember. Here s a room-by-room checklist for cleaning your house to get the sale!

Main living area

Wash windows, dust baseboards, and don t forget about the vents!

Clean carpets and


Remove dark, heavy drapes these can overpower a room, while sheers let in light.

Clear ashes from the fireplace, if you have one, and keep the screen closed during showings. Use oven cleaner to tackle soot.


Remove clutter on top of counters, cabinets, and the refrigerator.

Shine counters and sinks.

Wash cabinets inside and out with soap and water.

Clean refrigerator shelves and discard old food.

Wipe down all appliances, including inside the oven, microwave, and exhaust hood.

Scrub the grout of a tiled floor. A small toothbrush works well.

Sweep, mop, or vacuum the floor daily.


Scrub the tub/shower, sink, and toilet regularly. If there s mold in the shower/tub area, remove with an anti-scum agent.

Spray mirrors and glass doors with window cleaner.

Dust light fixtures.

Replace shower curtain if mildewed.

Mop the floor daily.


Make the bed. This is the focal point of the room.

Open the blinds and/or curtains.

Sweep or vacuum as needed.

Dust the furniture and blinds at least twice a week. Wood furniture cleaner and a soft cloth work best.

Make sure all lightbulbs are working.

Polish light fixtures, and don t forget to wipe down ceiling fan blades!

Not sure where to start?

It can be difficult to spot the room for improvement in your own house.

First, get a pad and paper. Starting at your front door, walk into the house and write down things that catch your eye. Use this method to go through the entire house. See what you notice first that needs attention, and get that done. It s probably the first thing a prospective buyer will see too.

Next, ask a friend to make suggestions. An objective viewpoint never hurts.

For more information on Erickson Realty & Moving Services,

call 1-800-917-8643.