Welcome back! We just covered what areas of your house you should focus on as you repair your home for sale sign ready. If you missed it you can find it here To Repair or Not to Repair. I mentioned before, that you can do all the steps I'm outlining in the For Sale Sign Wanted series one at a time or as your focusing on one room, complete it using all steps.

When asked what makes the biggest impact when walking into a home for the first time, respondents ranked the property’s cleanliness at the top, with 51% of the vote. Cleanliness is as more important than scents/odors (22%), style of decor (13%), furnishings (6%) and the home’s architecture (1%) as to what makes the most positive impact on a potential buyer.
— Brian Sansoni VP for SDA

Alright, so our next step in the process is to deep clean your home.  This process is a must, I can't stress this enough. Guys I have been in some homes that the floors hadn't been swept and their dishes were in the kitchen sink. Bathroom clearly not picked up. It's a real big turnoff if the house is dirty. You just can't get past it as your walking through the house. I'm not saying that everyone will feel this way but to be on the safe side, cleaning is a big win. When your deep cleaning you'll need some supplies on hand.

  • Glass cleaner
  • All purpose cleaner- My favorite Mrs. Meyers concentrate form so I can refill my spray bottle. Buy here Meyers
  • Paper towels
  • Bowl to put water in
  • Floor cleaner
  • Dust Spray and cloth
  • Broom/Mop
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Toilet bowl cleaner

Before it hits the market here's some deep cleaning tips for you.  Doing this step will be a whole lot easier for when it comes time for those open houses and showings.  

Main living spaces

Start from top to bottom in all rooms. First step; sweep out any cob webs within the corners or ceilings. Replace any light bulbs that aren't working. Your fans and light fixtures will need some dusting while your up there. Wipe off light switches, those can get pretty grimy. I know a few of mine have some leftover PBJ on them. Once that's completed, clean all windows and window seals with your glass cleaner. If you run out of glass cleaner here's instructions for another good one using Water and Vinegar.  This is a good time to take down any window treatments that's not staying with the house. If you have blinds or other treatments, do a thorough cleaning on those. Go here to see how to clean blinds. 

Next, the items that are staying in the room, give them a dust off.  This includes stair railings, bookshelves, tv, electronics, tables, cabinets, wall art. Within your home you might have a fireplace. Get it sparkling by cleaning out the ashes, vacuuming, and dusting around it. 

Last, vacuum and mop every room. You might be saying at this point why should I do this, we have to live it in too. I have kids, their just going to undo it all. I hear you, doing this last step, just puts your home back to first base.  Before you show it, it makes it easier to come back and just tidy up. 


Here's a funny video of how we can react before someone sees our house. So scary, when you see yourself in some of it.


This room is real important to the overall feel of being clean. Start from the top again like you did in living spaces and continue to the bottom. Here's a list to help you along:

  1. Removal of cobwebs
  2. Light fixtures/bulbs
  3. Microwave-inside and out
  4. Oven-inside and out *Video to help
  5. Stove top
  6. Refrigerator- inside and out
  7. Cabinets outside of them
  8. Back splash
  9. Sink
  10. Faucet
  11. Pantry inside and out
  12. Windows and window seals
  13. Window treatments
  14. Kitchen table
  15. Chairs
  16. Empty trash cans/clean them inside and out
  17. Decorative items
  18. Door knobs
  19. Floor- if it's tiles please take time to clean the grout if they look dirty.  Links for 2 different ways to clean your grout. Video 1-Lysol cleaner  Video 2-All natural    Cleaning wood floors continue as you usually would.


The bathrooms are pretty easy to get them deep cleaned. Again, top to bottom. Clean the lights, light switch covers, mirrors, cabinets, counter tops, sink, tile, bathtub/shower,shower curtains, toilets (really clean), baseboards, and floor. When cleaning the bathtub, shower and shower door getting rid of the mold says clean. I find using bleach or baking soda/hydrogine peroxide mix will do the trick. One more thing don't forget about your doors, sometimes those too can be pretty dirty. I like to use the Magic Clean Erasers for this. 

Laundry Rooms/Garages

Laundry rooms is a place that most just can't keep clean. Old socks with lost pairs, spilled detergent, and sometimes if you own a cat a litter box might be found there. To get this room sparkle clean sweep cobwebs away and all the lint attaching itself in places. Take everything off the washer and dryer, clean the outside and inside. I even like to take it a little further, move the washer and dryer out against the wall and clean there too. I know it might be just a little much but hear me out. When you move it out to clean, it will make it a lot easier to have it already done and it's not something you have to come back to tackle. This is a perfect time to run the clean cycle on your washer too. Clean out the cabinets, wipe them down well. If there's a window, clean that as well. Last take a scrub to the baseboards and floor. I have to mention about the pet. Having a pet's litter box in there isn't ideal when showing. Number one it smells and two an owner doesn't want to consider the possibility of animal urine in the environment. Find another place for it, maybe the garage or see if a friend can take the animal while your showing the house. 

laundry room meme


If you're to ask some realtors they'll recommend a clean and organized garage. I'm of two minds on this.  Most people know that the garage is just one of those places that doesn't always look clean. I think a potential buyer isn't going to be turned off if the garage isn't sparkling. Now, if you have items thrown all around looking like a hoarders hide out, please clean it up to give an appearance of organized. If you have to move items into the garage from the house while you were decluttering, stack it to one part of the garage. The object here is to give the buyers an idea of the space. Here's tips on decluttering, please see my other posts Part 1 & 2 The three D's - Disassociate, Depersonalize, Declutter 

Now that you've decluttered, repaired and cleaned, your almost at the finish line. Last step is staging your home to give a designed look that you've always dreamed of.  So let's talk how you can do this yourself or use a professional in my next post The Importance of Staging.

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