We’re excited to share today’s guest blog by CondoFresh – the peeps who take care of all our cleaning needs. Jamie and Sean (and their incredible CondoFresh crew) clean the BREL house, they prepare all of our client’s houses and condos for sale, and well, they clean a lot of our clients’ homes too. They’re pretty awesome.
With Toronto’s real estate market slowing, properties are taking longer to sell. It isn’t enough to just have a clean and shiny house the day you go on the market – you need to have it in tip-top shape every day. We asked CondoFresh to give us their top 10 to-dos for Sellers whose homes are already on the market.
You never know when a potential Buyer may turn up for a viewing. We bought our home in January when the outdoors were blanketed in snow. Some people will try to snag a deal during winter, and you want to be sure your home always looks its best so you make a great first impression and get the highest possible price for your home.
There are some things you can do on a weekly basis to keep your home looking clean, tidy and fresh.
1. Make a list, and check it twice daily. If you are a list-oriented person like me, you can type out a checklist of chores to do daily.
2. Keep countertops clear and clean. High on your checklist should be to keep countertops clear of food items. Put away dishes. Keep your countertops in the bathroom(s) and kitchen clutter-free and wiped clean.
3. Put away toys. Children’s and/or pet toys should always be put away when not in use. You don’t need to hide the fact that you have children and/or pets, as this might be something your potential Buyer has in common, but everything should have a home and look neat. Turn a toy area into a selling feature!
4. Have a system for your mail and paperwork. Most of us – yes, us included – are guilty of throwing the daily mail we receive on the counter. Your piles of paperwork should go into a wicker basket, or hidden in a drawer for you to sort through at a later date. Don’t wait too long to do that, as it will pile up quickly. Set aside a half-hour each Sunday to organize your paperwork.
5. Clean the hotspots. Each week you should do a thorough, detailed clean of the two spots where potential Buyers really focus their attention : the kitchen and bathrooms. Be detailed. Even the area under the kitchen sink will be put under a microscope, so make sure the pipes are clean and the yucky area where you house your garbage, organics and recycle bins is clean. The same goes for the area behind and at the base of the toilet in the bathroom. A daily wipe-down of the kitchen and bathrooms will keep those areas looking fresh.
6. Floors weren’t made just to walk on. Floors are a huge selling feature. If you have nice hardwood, carpeted or tile floors, keep them sparkling clean. Floors can get particularly dirty, especially in the kitchen where there is food debris and in the entrance where there is outside debris, like leaves, mud and water. Make it a daily checklist item to sweep and vacuum your floors. Give your hardwood and tile floors a good mop once a week with water and a solution to make them shine.
7. Make your bed! Brushing your teeth isn’t the only thing you should do each morning when you get up. The difference a made-up bed has on the look of a bedroom is huge. An unmade bed looks sloppy and lazy. A made bed makes a room look complete. Get into the habit of making your bed daily after you wake up. Make sure the bottom sheets are tucked in and you have a clean comforter or duvet. Invest in some decorative pillows to put on top to accessorize your room.
8. Fluff & fold. Your living areas should look as cozy and livable as possible. But “living” means ruffling the blankets and squishing the couch pillows. When you’re done “living,” fluff the pillows and fold or roll the blankets to make the couch look inviting.
9. Air fresheners. When you first walk into a home there is a scent. Clients often tell us when they enter a home after we’ve cleaned, that it smells clean and fresh. You don’t want a potential Buyer to be put off by the scent of your home, particularly if you have pets or smoke in the home. While you have your home on the market, buy a few plug-in air fresheners to keep in the common areas of your home. [note from BREL: don’t EVER smoke in your house while it’s for sale!]
10. Hire a cleaner. If you don’t particularly love cleaning or are just too busy to keep it up, consider hiring a cleaning service to provide a deep clean every two weeks, or a weekly service. CondoFresh is putting together a new service, available in January 2013, to offer a weekly cleaning service that is economical and efficient for homeowners, realtors and small businesses. Whoever you hire, a professional cleaning service will take this weight off your shoulders and make sure your home is showroom ready!
Sean and Jamie are the owners and operators of CondoFresh, a professional cleaning, organizing & staging boutique in Toronto. www.CondoFresh.ca.