Don't forget to clean these places when selling your home

When putting a home on the market, it's important to clean it first. Potential buyers may be willing to overlook a few dust bunnies, but a dirty bathroom or mountains of clutter can easily mask any home's good qualities.

Even if you work to vacuum the floors and pack away your belongings, it's still easy to overlook certain parts of the home. Many of these sites are places that likely received little if any attention while you were at the residence; checking up on them when you list the home will help ensure that they don't pose any unpleasant surprises to anyone touring the property.

The kitchen and bathroom are some of the most appealing places in the home, so they shouldn't look disheveled. The moving resource Hire A Helper says the bathroom should get a deep clean, removing any soap scum or stains from the tub, shower, and other surfaces. Dust and clean in tough to reach spots, such as behind the toilet. If you have a large collection on toiletries on the countertop, hide them away whenever there's a showing. The American Cleaning Institute recommends using a bleach product to combat mold or mildew stains on doors, shower curtains, or in the grout between tiles.

In the kitchen, clean the interior of the oven and check the microwave and backsplash for any lingering food splatters. Jillian Quint, writing for the digital lifestyle site PureWow, says you should also check for any food stains around the burners.

Check the baseboards, chair rails, and similar surfaces along the walls. MHM Professional Staging, a company in Orlando, Fla., says baseboards can collect a considerable amount of dust; clearing them off can make the room look much more attractive.

Other surfaces will also be coated with dust or grime over time, and will look much better if you wipe them down. These include window blinds, air vents, light switches, the tops of ceiling fans, chandeliers, and light fixtures.

Deep clean your appliances to help them shine and get rid of any stains or odors. Look for hidden trouble spots, such as the rubber gaskets on a refrigerator door which can collect crumbs or grime. You might also want to move each appliance so you can vacuum or sweep any debris that has gotten trapped underneath.

Give the laundry room some special attention. Quint says it helps to start a habit of wiping down the gasket and glass of a front-loading washing machine after each cycle, then leave the door open so they can air dry. Hire A Helper recommends stashing items away so the room won't seem too crowded or messy when potential buyers arrive.

If there are any chores you've been pushing off, catch up on them now. The American Cleaning Institute says these tasks might include washing the windows and vacuuming the drapes. Hire A Helper says most buyers will be interested in how much closet space is available, so it's a good time to organize your closets and get rid of any unwanted items.

Check the walls and other surfaces for any fingerprints, scuffs, or other blemishes. These can usually be removed with a simple washing, and melamine cleaning sponges will also work well.

Once you find a buyer for your home, it's helpful to do a less intensive cleaning before you leave the property. Elizabeth Weintraub, writing for the financial site The Balance, says that at a minimum the home should be swept and free of any personal belongings.

The property should be at least as clean as you hope your next residence to be when you move there. Hiring a professional cleaning company to do the job will cost you some money, but can be a kind gesture to the home's new residents.


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