The biggest challenge in selling your house isn’t fixing it up to sell or negotiating an offer — it’s keeping the house clean! Maintaining a showroom-quality house is hard enough for adults, especially when you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to hire cleaners to do it for you. Add kids into the mix, and you could find yourself wondering if selling is worth the hassle at all. Don’t give up! While it won’t be easy, you can maintain a gorgeous home that sells quickly and stick to your budget.
Start with decluttering
Even if your house isn’t cluttered, it probably has too much stuff for effective staging. Homes look best when each room only has a few pieces of furniture, and storage areas are neat and spacious. Pack up everything you can live without over the coming months, from extra dishware to family photos on the wall. Once you’ve removed the excess, rearrange furniture to create zones and improve traffic flow. If your house looks bare after decluttering, add some color with budget-friendly décor.
Small touches, like decorative pillows and matching bath towels, have a big impact, and they don’t have to cost a lot. Instead of paying full price, shop the clearance aisle of your favorite store and check around online for coupons before you head out to shop.
Next up: deep cleaning
A cleaning crew can deep clean your house in a weekend, but if you’re doing your own deep clean to save money, give yourself two weeks. A pre-sale deep clean should include the big stuff, like steam cleaning the carpets, along with detail work, like dusting blinds and washing cabinet interiors. Use HomeLight’s checklist so you don’t miss anything.
Schedule daily and weekly chores
Once your house is sparkling clean, you have to keep it that way. To avoid frantic cleaning sprees before showings, establish a chore rotation, and get the kids to help. On a daily basis, you’ll need to wash dishes, clean the floors, and declutter and disinfect surfaces. Get everyone in the habit of putting laundry, coats, and shoes away as soon as they’re done being used, and making beds before leaving the house.
Once a week, make time for bigger chores, like cleaning the bathrooms and emptying the fridge of expired food. With all the cleaning you’re doing, you’ll go through cleaning supplies faster than usual. To save money, buy reusable cleaning cloths instead of paper towels, shop the cleaning sections of discount retailers, and use coupons for your preferred name-brand cleaning products.
Have a showing prep plan
If you stay on top of chores, there’s no need to panic when your real estate agent calls about a last-minute showing. However, there are a few more tasks you’ll need to do before the house is showing-ready. Give your home one final 15-minute sweep, picking up clutter and wiping down dirty surfaces you find along the way. Eliminate any unpleasant smells coming from the fridge, trash, and pet areas, and open the blinds so your house looks bright and welcoming.
Minimize kids’ messes
We’ve discussed how to handle everyday messes at home — but what about the mess your kids create? You can’t exactly ban toys while your house is on the market, but you can minimize your kids’ clutter by packing up some toys and only keeping select favorites. Get the kids involved in choosing which toys to keep at home and which to put in storage. When you want to treat them to something special, plan activities out of the house instead of at home. There are tons of fun things to do as a family without spending a lot of money!
More housekeeping isn’t fun for anyone, but cleanliness is vital for the home-selling process. Thankfully, hard work pays off: Homes that are staged well and kept clean sell more easily than homes that aren’t. When you walk away with more money, you’ll be glad you made the extra effort!
This article was kindly written for us by Kristin Louis. Be sure to visit her website to read more of her work,