18 Apr 2012

Selling A Home: Spring Cleaning Shortcuts to Get it Sold

Guest contributor Jessica Wilkie is a Hill resident and Realtor with M Squared Real Estate. This post also appeared on her blog.

When selling a home in DC, or anywhere, make the most of some spring cleaning shortcuts to get it sold.

Most everyone loves a clean, fresh home anyway, but home-buyers who are out and looking, absolutely demand it. If your home is going on the market and you seriously want to get it sold, spring cleaning is an important home-selling strategy to combine with other home staging efforts.

The very thought of spring cleaning–the way our mothers and grandmothers did it–can be daunting.  Its downright “unrealistic” for many, when you consider the time needed to really do a thorough job.

In some households, spring cleaning is an annual ritual, taking anywhere from a full day to an entire week to complete. Room-by-room, foot-by-foot, dust, dirt and grime are replaced with cleanliness and shine.  But in many households, this kind of annual ritual is a quaint artifact of a previous generation. Reality begs for some shortcuts!

Enter, Martha Stewart-ness.

No matter in which way to you choose to tackle your chores, the people at Real Simple have you covered. The magazine’s website provides a thorough, detailed walk-through of the most common spring cleaning tasks. It also offers a “shortcut” series. You’ve got to love that!

For example, the section of cleaning area rugs and rooms with wall-to-wall carpeting is a chore Real Simple lists as lasting “a morning”. The shortcut version, however, is noted to take just 10 minutes.

Some of the other areas covered in the Real Simple spring cleaning guide include :

  • Windows (4-6 hours long version; 15 minutes each “shortcut” version)
  • Curtains (30 minutes per panel long version; 10 minutes per panel “shortcut” version)
  • Upholstery (25 minutes per piece of furniture long version; 5 minutes per piece of furniture “shortcut” version)

You’ll need tools for your spring cleaning tasks including special cleansers, sponges, rags and vacuums. In some cases, you may want to rent equipment from a local hardware store. For example, deep-cleaning an area rug with a steam cleaner may be more time-effective than scrubbing it clean by hand.

Then, after completing the above chores, remember to flip your mattresses, change your air filters, and test your smoke alarm batteries.

Keep track of what you’ve done, and what’s left to do, with this classic, 3-page Spring Cleaning Checklist from Martha Stewart.

I have a lot more tips for smart sellers. And I invite you to contact me. If you are in the DC area,  I’ll do a complimentary walk-through of your home, and let you in on what serious buyers have been telling me lately, about what they are looking for before they make an offer.


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