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Tips and Tricks #4 - Clean

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

Maybe one of the most important things when listing your house it to make sure it is very clean. A good deep clean before it goes on the market should be a priority. Here are some places you may not have thought to clean that can make a big difference:


  • Siding - Especially if you have vinyl siding, a good power wash can make your house shine.

  • Windows - Clean windows not only make the outside shine but let more light in to the house. Don't forget to remove grime including dead bugs from the sills.

  • Trim - Touch up paint where needed especially if there is peeling paint.

  • Deck - Power wash the deck or repaint/stain if needed.

  • Exterior lights - Remove dead insects, clean fixtures.


  • Baseboards - Run the vacuum over your baseboards and then hit them with a damp cloth to remove buildup.

  • Walls - Remove dust from walls with a damp cloth.

  • Ceilings - Vacuum ceilings, especially around lights.

  • Light fixtures: Vacuum out bugs from light fixtures, clean shades and bulbs. Did you know that most glass and metal shades can be run through the dishwasher?

  • Bookshelves - Dust all book tops and shelves.


  • Cabinets - Scrub cabinet doors with a solution that removes grease.

  • Oven and Stove Top - If you have a self cleaning oven use, that function but remember to wipe it out once it's complete. If you have to clean it manually then please do. Don't forget to remove debris that build up around the seal. For the stove top remove all pieces and give a good deep clean. Always wipe clean after each use to discourage grease buildup.

  • Oven Fan - Remove filters and depending on the type either replace, soak in hot soapy water or run through the dishwasher. Scrub flat fan surfaces on top and beneath where grease builds up with a grease cutting cleaner.

  • Light Fixtures - Lights in kitchens get especially dirty with smoke and grease present and then dust sticks to them. For recessed lights use a damp cloth with a grease cutting cleaner. For hanging fixtures, if shades can be removed, either soak in hot soapy water or run them through the dishwasher. Hanging pendants and chandeliers should be vacuumed and wiped down as needed. Don't forget the chains hanging from the ceiling.

  • Sink - Always wash and dry the sink before a showing. Shine the faucet and put away sponges.


  • Grout - Clean tile grout with a scrub brush and bleach if needed. You may be able to get away with a milder cleaner but sometimes only bleach will work. If necessary re grout any spaces where the grout has degraded. Did you know you can use a grout pen to paint your grout? Looks like new.

  • Caulk - Caulk can be tricky but this is a place where mold can build up. You may have to remove and re-caulk but make sure it's very clean. A scrub brush could work but just be aware that if the caulk is already degraded this may loosen it further.

  • Shower and Tub - It's especially important to make sure these areas are sparkling all the time. If you have plastic tub surrounds make sure not to ignore the walls and molded shelves. If you have glass doors a squeegee is a good tool to have to dry the walls after each use. Pro Tip: use Rainex on the interior of the shower doors! You're welcome.

  • Mirrors - Store a bottle of Windex in the bathroom and keep mirrors sparkly. Especially over the sink where toothpaste splatters.

We hope these tips and tricks are helpful. As Realtors we see a lot of houses so from experience we can tell you that nothing turns off a buyer faster than a dirty house. You may not think your house is "dirty" but take a closer look and you're bound to see grime that otherwise goes unnoticed. Believe us, buyers will see it. By removing it you are giving them one less item for their mental checklist of things they have to do. Ideally you want a buyer to come into your home and think "Yup, I can be happy living here!". Weird as it may seem, from the moment a buyer steps foot on your property, they are making their To Do list of items they will have to tend to once they move in. If your house is clean, it's one less distraction. The less distractions the better!

Happy cleaning.

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