Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why do I have to clean so much?

Getting ready to sell your home?  You might be surprised at the amount of “elbow grease” you’ll need to put in, even if your home is in pristine condition.

A first impression of a home should always make potential buyers wonder “Why are they selling this home?  It’s amazing!”  Realtors know this, so one of the first instructions they give their sellers is to clean, declutter, and then clean some more!  Just when you thought you were finished getting your home ready to sell, you find out it has to stay that way—all the time.

We often hear from sellers that keeping your home “Ready to Show!” is the hardest part of selling a home.  Getting the kids to keep their beds made and toys put away is hard enough when you don’t feel pressured to also clean the kitchen, the bathrooms, and everything else every day!  “They know someone lives here, they can’t expect it to be perfect all the time!” sellers say.  And while buyers know that it isn’t realistic to expect a family to keep a home spotless, the subconscious doesn’t always see it that way.

Let’s say you’re moving because your family has simply outgrown your home—maybe you’re still in a “starter home” that was perfect for a family of 3, but just doesn’t have enough space for your family of 5.  Of course there will be clutter and dishes, because you’re out of room!  A family of 3 should be able to see that they won’t have those problems, right?  Wrong!  All they’re going to see is that maybe they will also outgrow this home, and what if that’s soon?  Where will they put everything?  If you can’t find a place for everything, why should they think they will?  After all, you’ve lived here longer, so if the house had enough storage, you would already know.  

Since the house doesn’t have enough storage, it seems small.  Even 4,000 square feet feels cramped if you have to step around toys, the counters are full of dishes and small appliances, and you can see things spilling out of closets and from underneath beds.  A freshly cleaned home feels welcoming and cheerful, and decluttering helps the space feel larger, and these things together give that first impression Wow! that makes your house feel like a desirable home worth the asking price.  

You chose your listing agent because you trusted their expertise—their advice is valuable, and if you follow it carefully, it will definitely pay off in the end!  Even if you aren’t ready to buy or sell yet, take a few minutes and browse current listings.  See which homes make you want to see more, and which homes you know right away you don’t want to see—I bet you’ll see how valuable a clean, uncluttered house shapes your opinion!

Until next time, 



Do you agree or disagree?  Have a real estate question?  Or just want to give some feedback?  Leave a comment below!

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