There’s a common nightmare that seemingly every person, no matter how well they did in school, seems to wake up from at least once. You know the one: it’s the end of the semester, and you show up for your final exam, only you’ve never shown up to class before. Before you can put pen to paper, you usually snap awake in a panic.
If your house could dream, it would probably have its own version of this scenario. In real estate, the final exam is the open house, where your home must be at its best as potential buyers look it over to make one of the most important purchases of their lives. If you’re in the middle of a relocation, you cannot afford to have your outgoing house fail to sell. There are many factors that go into the sale of a home, some out of the seller’s control, but we cannot understate the importance of cleaning before an open house to give yourself—and your home—the best chance of acing the exam.
Give Buyers the Right Idea
Your house is really, in a lot of ways, a complex machine. Electricity, heating, air conditioning, and plumbing all work hard throughout your home, though they do so largely out of sight and out of mind. Because of the hard work those systems do, they are prone to some natural wear and tear over the years, which can mean big bills down the road for a future homeowner. If a potential buyer walks into a home that hasn’t had a meticulous cleaning in preparation for sale, the mind tends to wander to visions of disrepair: “If this is the condition of what we can see, what is the condition of what we can’t?” Even if you’ve had the professionals fix every leaky faucet and dusty air compressor on your way out, no buyer would ever assume this from looking at dirty carpets and counters.
Put It in Neutral
Your place has picked up lots of personal touches over the years, and the lived-in feel you’ve given it is a big part of what makes it attractive to friends and family. Prospects who don’t share that sentimental attachment don’t always feel that way. An immaculately cleaned home can feel sterile, cold, and decidedly un-homey to you as the resident; however, this sort of arm’s-length cleanliness, with all signs of personalization cleaned up or put away, is important to potential buyers as they try to imagine giving your house their own personal touches. Rely on your best interior design sensibilities, of course, but a deep cleaning is necessary for effective staging.
The Pros See What You Cannot
When you wrote papers in school, you always turned to a friend to give your writing a “second set of eyes” and find the errors you couldn’t see for yourself. So it goes with housecleaning before a move: you need professional move-out cleaning services to clean every detail your own eyes would miss, like faucets, grout, molding, and ceiling fans. These small things you don’t think of every day are on the minds of buyers preparing to make a six-figure transaction and can often be the difference-makers in a sale, proving the importance of cleaning before an open house.