Spring Clean Your Way to a Fast Sale

Spring Clean Your Way to a Fast Sale

In south-central Wisconsin, you never truly know when spring will arrive. We had a false alarm in early March, when temperatures peaked above 70 degrees, but a week later they fell below freezing again.

Regardless of when it arrives, spring signals renewal, which is why the housing market picks up pace every year around this time. Buyers and sellers are eager to make a change in their lives — and, well, hope springs eternal in spring!

For many homeowners, spring cleaning is an annual ritual. But if you’re planning to put your home on the market and sell it quickly, you’ll need to ramp up your spring cleaning routine this year.

Here are five ways to do a deep clean in anticipation of hanging that coveted “sold” sign:

1. Declutter everything. Clearing clutter is the bedrock of just about every spring cleaning project. But it takes on added significance when you’re cleaning your house to sell. An abundance of personal items detracts from buyers envisioning themselves living in your home. Experts recommend focusing first on closets and shelves — places would-be buyers are most likely to see — and starting early. Depending on how long you’ve lived in your home, decluttering can be a room-by-room or a week-by-week endeavor. As you go through each space, separate items into piles for 1) donating or selling, 2) boxing up for storage, and 3) tossing out.

  • Closets: Clearing the floor will make a closet look more spacious, as will organized shelves and racks. Remove excess hangers and overflow clothing, too.
  • Shelves: Rather than places to display items, shelves often become a collect-all for things we don’t know what else to do with. You may know where everything is on them, but cluttered shelves no doubt look like one big mess to would-be buyers. Find a new spot for excess knick-knacks (or donate them), consider parting with books you’ve already read and simply remove everything that makes your shelves look tired. While you’re at it, give them a good dusting off.

2. Clean the windows and touch-up the walls. Windows should be cleaned both inside and out — and don’t forget about the screens. This might require hiring a professional residential window washer, especially if you have high and hard-to-reach windows. But the effort (and cost) is worth it when the glass shines and sparkles. And while repainting typically isn’t an annual spring cleaning task, a fresh coat in the rooms that need it most will enhance a home’s overall appeal. So will touchups that cover scuffs and other unintended wall markings. Also: Give the ceiling fans a thorough washing; otherwise, when you turn them on for the first time in months, particles of dust will fly all over and land on everything.

3. Clean upholstery and window coverings. It doesn’t matter that you plan to take all the furniture with you when you move. What’s most important is how it looks right now; a potential buyer can infer that a dirty couch means the rest of the place is dirty, too. Dust incessantly settles on window coverings, so even if cleaning your blinds is a part of your regular routine, consider taking them down this time and really scrubbing them.

4. Pay attention to details. I’ve seen serious buyers put their scrunched-up faces near light switches, faucets, grout, window trim, baseboards and more to do close-up inspections. So make sure you don’t skip elements you might overlook during a typical cleaning session. That means giving the oven and refrigerator thorough wipe downs inside and out, too. You never know when someone will take a peek .

5. Clear the roof and gutter. Tree branches and the neighbor’s Frisbee might still be hanging out on your roof, and last fall’s leaves could be clogging your gutter drains — which will cause water to drip or even stream from the eaves during rainstorms (which might, of course, be at the same time as an open house event). Maintaining the exterior, including shrubbery, plants and the entranceway, is just as important as interior upkeep.

Embarking on an annual spring cleaning spree is a solid strategy, but it’s a mandate that requires additional effort if you’re putting your home on the market soon.

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At Forever Home Real Estate, we understand the significance of your search and the importance of your decision. We are here to make it an easy, enjoyable experience, and will support you from initial contact to the final signature.

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