Clean Everything… Cleaning Sells…
Guest Post by: Gary Ashton RE/MAX
Everyone has heard it said: “Presentation is everything.” That’s the philosophy that drives manufacturers to spend big bucks on product packaging and logos; popular chefs subscribe to the notion that food should be attractively served as well as tasty; and anyone pitching an idea — from schoolboy to captain of industry is concerned about the quality of the presentation.
It’s no less true when selling a home or a building.
Why Clean Matters
Real estate agents recommend staging as a merchandising tool. Anything that helps a property stand apart from the competition can be considered a selling tool. And “clean” is one of the best in the toolbox. It is, however, sometimes neglected by busy sellers, who typically focus on visual assets or first impressions. A well done landscape and attractive entry will get prospective buyers in the door.
But, what then?
The importance of curb appeal can’t be discounted. But what about cleaning and scrubbing? There is sometimes a disconnect. A previously-owned home may not be in pristine condition and showing some signs of wear is expected, however there is little reason for any home on the market to be less than sparkling clean — inside and out. Cleaning involves more than window washing and paint touch-up. Buyers notice … they do not look past the oil stains on the driveway, chalky stains on siding and trim and dust on on exterior stone and shutters. There is no larger turn off than cobwebs in corners or the evidence of insects trapped in the light fixtures. Carpet stains and signs of mold or mildew shout, “Look at me.” You can bet a buyer will look, and remember.
And that’s not a good thing!
Deep Cleaning Sells
Deep cleaning a home or commercial property is a big job. However, a sparkling property and shiny surfaces creates that buyer perception of added value. A property that is perceived as well-maintained is also thought to require fewer repairs. Just as an overgrown landscape and unkempt landscape are signs of exterior neglect, an interior that looks dingy, smells stale (or worse, unpleasant). The buyers reaction jumps beyond what is visible to the greater problems that might be invisible.
Most sellers concentrate on cleaning kitchens and baths, but an owner shouldn’t stop there. Survey all Interior and Exterior spaces and surfaces; look up, down and around. Kitchen counters and backsplashes, shower tiles, faucets and fixtures should all sparkle! Have carpets and drapes professionally cleaned, if necessary, and be aware of pet odors and pet hair. Search mold and mildew, especially under sinks and in basements. Is the deck looking old and gray (or green), does the siding or fence need cleaning or mold removal? One overlooked area is the roof, often they look blotchy and old and this can be misleading, what may look like an expensive replacement can be solved with just a cleaning.
Professional cleaning crews with specialized equipment are worth the expense to assure that every surface is as clean as possible
Keeping It Clean
Maintaining the clean while the property is listed is just as important as getting it clean in the first place. A house with odors won’t “feel” clean, even if it is well-dusted and the windows sparkle. Eliminate pet odors and pet evidence, dust and polish regularly, vacuum frequently and strive to maintain that “like new” look!
The result will be evident in the sale!
Special Thanks to our guest columnist: Gary Ashton
Gary is the CEO of The Ashton Real Estate Group of RE/MAX Advantage. His real estate team is #1 in Tennessee and #4 in the World.