How to Deep Clean Before Listing Your Home (and Ways to Get Around It)
It’s difficult to put your property on the market without lifting a finger.
There are usually home repairs, house staging, and a number of other tasks that accumulate on your list. It seems the more you look around, the more work you find to do.
For example, when’s the last time you cleaned? I mean, really cleaned?
Your home has to sparkle and shine if it’s going to have a chance of competing in the real estate market. There aren’t many buyers out there who will get excited about a dirty home.
Here are the steps you need to take to deep clean your home—plus a few other options if you’d rather not put in the time and effort.
How Do I Begin to Deep Clean Before Selling a House?
Before you get to the deep clean, there’s a lot of prep work involved. Here’s a guide on how to get ready for the main event.
Just as you would gather and put away things if you were having visitors, you need to declutter your home before you start a deep clean. Not only does this help you get to the areas you want to clean, but it also makes the space more attractive for a buyer.
You should store what you want to keep, donate items that are in good shape, and trash anything that’s not worth saving. Items destined for storage need to be organized and labeled in boxes or bins so you can quickly identify the contents.
Decluttering is necessary for safety during showings, too. You don’t want someone tripping and falling over a toy on the stairs or a pair of shoes in the living room.
Once you’ve disposed of the clutter, it’s time for a pre-cleaning assessment. Take a look around your home and note the trouble areas. Some spaces may not take long and only need a standard cleaning, while others may require more time and effort. You should identify any special materials or surfaces where traditional cleaning products shouldn’t be used.
Now that you have a better idea of what needs to be done, you can gather up your supplies and see what’s missing. Do you need special tools to tackle kitchen grout? Do you have the product you need to get rid of those bedroom carpet stains? If not, you may need to make a trip to the store before you get started.
Here’s a checklist of supplies that are typically needed for a deep clean:
- Cleaning cloths
- Tub scrubber
- Rubber gloves
- All-purpose cleaner
- Multi-surface floor cleaner
- Glass cleaner
- Antibacterial cleaner
- Oven cleaner
- Scrub sponge
- Paper towels
- Mop & bucket
- Broom & dust pan
With a plan of attack and the right tools to do the job, you can dive into your deep clean. You should start with smaller cleaning jobs first, like getting rid of mold and mildew in the shower, and save the bigger jobs for last, such as vacuuming the entire house. Why? You’re going to stir up dirt with each small task, so you might as well do the overall mass cleaning at the end.
When focusing on small tasks in each room, follow the top-to-bottom, left-to-right rule so that nothing is overlooked. You will likely spend more time in commonly used areas like the kitchen and bathrooms compared to less lived-in spaces like the dining room and foyer. However, it’s important to give all areas a good onceover, especially if you’ve ignored them on previous occasions.
What Areas Should I Focus On During a Deep Clean?
Short answer? The entire house. However, we all know certain places tend to get more grimy than others. You might as well get the grungiest work out of the way first.
If you have just one bathroom, then good news! You only have to do this once. Start with coating the toilet bowl with a cleaner and let it sit for a few minutes while you do other tasks. Come back later to scrub the bowl with a brush, and then flush.
Spray multi-surface antibacterial disinfectant on the sink as well as shower, tub, and toilet exteriors. Pro tip: Wipe them down with paper towels in that same order so you don’t spread bacteria from the toilet.
For streak-free results, use a glass cleaner on the mirror and shower door. Wipe with paper towels and then go back over the surfaces with a microfiber cloth. You can also use glass cleaner on faucets for extra shine—after they’ve been disinfected.
Spray and scrub counters, appliances, and cabinets—including pulls. Be sure to use a multi-surface antibacterial spray designed for these surfaces. A direct spray on hardened or sticky stains will soften them up so you can wipe them away easier.
Pro tip: If you have marble or granite countertops, you should not use antibacterial spray. Follow proper stone care procedures instead. Often, hot water and dish soap will work just fine.
Your fridge should be emptied so you can tackle the inside with soap and water. If you come across difficult stains, you may need a scouring pad. Use disinfectant at the end of this task. You can clean the dishwasher this way, too. If there’s an odor, run an empty cycle with a natural deodorizer.
If you have a self-cleaning oven, this job will be much easier. Remove the racks then run the automatic cleaner. After everything has cooled, wipe out the oven with water and a non-scratch sponge. If you don’t have the automatic function, use an oven-cleaning solution and let it sit on drips and stains for a few minutes before wiping them away with that non-scratch sponge.
Bedrooms, Living Spaces, and the Rest of House
Here are the remaining tasks for the areas you haven’t cleaned yet—like bedrooms and living spaces—as well as the house in general:
- Wash walls & baseboards
- Dust every surface
- Sweep hard-surface floors
- Vacuum carpets, upholstery, and drapery
- Wash & air dry rugs
- Clean mirrors & windows
- Mop hard surface floors
In the end, do a final walkthrough of the home to make sure you’ve cleaned every inch. Pro tip: When you’re done, rest!
What If I Don’t Want to Deep Clean My Home?
If this sounds like a lot of work, that’s because it is a lot of work. Maybe you’re thinking, “What if I don’t want to do all of this to sell my house? There are a few options.
Hire a Cleaning Service
There are many businesses that offer deep-cleaning services. Ask these questions before you hire a cleaning company:
- What cleaning services do they offer?
- How much do they charge to clean?
- How long will the cleaning take?
- Are the cleaning products safe?
- How should you prepare for the cleaning?
Even if you hire someone to do the hard stuff, keep in mind you will still have to declutter and make room for them to clean.
Sell the Home to a Cash Buyer
If you don’t want to mess with decluttering or make an attempt to deep clean, talk to a cash buyer about making an offer on your home. You can sell your property as-is because these investors typically buy homes in any condition.
When you sell your home to a cash buyer, you can take what you want and leave the rest. There’s no need to polish up the property for the real estate market. In the end, you have money to invest in another home and no ties to your current situation.
How to Deep Clean Before Listing Your Home
Now you know how to deep clean your home for listing—plus ways to avoid the mop and bucket.
You can commit to giving your home a thorough cleaning, hire someone else to do the dirty work, or just sit tight and sell to a cash buyer.
There’s no fixing, decluttering, cleaning, or staging required to sell your home with New Again Houses. Contact us today if you don’t have the time or energy to deal with the mess.