10 Fast and Easy Clean-Up Tips for Last-Minute Home Showings

Clutter, odors, and dirty spaces are some of the biggest turnoffs for homebuyers. Yet, despite your best efforts to keep a tidy home, dishes are piled in the sink, toys cover every inch of the floor, and dirty laundry is overflowing from the hamper.

Next thing you know, your real estate agent sends you a last-minute request to show the property to an interested buyer. But the last thing you want to do is let a stranger walk through your home when it’s in complete disarray.

We totally understand! That’s why we’ve come up with 10 fast and easy clean-up tips that’ll help you pull everything together and make a strong impression on the buyer.

1. Straighten up beds and make them look extra nice with fresh linens and pillows

A well-made bed is the ultimate first impression of the bedroom and only takes a few minutes to bang out. Don’t worry about tucking in the duvet under the mattress or fluffing the pillows. Just smooth out the bedspread, arrange the pillows against the headboard, and voilà. On to the next task.

2. Get rid of clutter around the house, including paperwork, shoes, and clothes

An obvious thing you’ll need to do is clear away any visible clutter. This includes toys and games in the playroom, notes and school papers on the dinner table, and shoes in the entryway. The best way to remove clutter is to store it out of sight in a closet or cabinet to sort and organize later.

3. Wipe down prominent surfaces like kitchen counters and tabletops 

Counters and tabletops can get real messy, real fast. So dampen a cloth with warm water, spray it with disinfectant, and take a couple of minutes to wipe down surfaces. These include kitchen counters, desks, coffee tables, and dinner tabletops. Also, be sure to give the stove cooktop a quick wipe down, but don’t spend too much time on this. These surfaces don’t have to appear immaculate. Presentable is good enough.

4. Put away dirty dishes in the dishwasher or temporarily out of sight

Quickly rinse off the dishes in the sink and store them away in the dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher, put the dishes in a large plastic container and stash them somewhere out of sight. The garage, storage closet, or even under the bed will do.

5. Freshen up the toilet bowl and make sure the bathtub is free of hair

Cleaning the bathroom is essential to showing off your house, but it can be a time-consuming task. Fortunately for you, there are some quick fixes! For starters, wipe down any dirty surfaces with a disinfectant spray (just as you did in step three.) Freshen up the toilet bowl with an easy-to-use cleaning product. You can also take down any shower caddies or other hanging items that may look like they belong in a college dorm. Last but not least, make sure that the surface of the bathtub is clean, shiny, and hair-free.

6. Refresh with flowers, candles, or plug-in scents

A vase of fresh-cut flowers can add instant charm and life to your home. If this isn’t an option, consider raiding your fridge and topping off a few jars with water and fresh herbs. Another option is to arrange fruit in a decorative bowl and place it on the dinner table. Scented candles can also freshen up your home and set an inviting mood. If you have any plug-in scent diffusers, swap out the oil vials with new refills.

7. Make sure all lights are on and that the TV is off

Be sure to turn on all of the lights in your home, even if you’re showing it off during the daytime. If you have a swanky chandelier, turn it on, too. This can help create a bright and inviting atmosphere. Also, be sure to turn off any TVs. The last thing you want is for the buyer to be distracted by a program while touring your home. The goal is to score a sale. To this end, the homebuyer’s attention should be focused on the home itself.

8. Keep any house pets away and clean up their food and drinking bowls

Pets are awesome! But they can also be a real turnoff to a potential buyer, especially if the buyer is allergic to cats, dogs, and other pets. For this reason, it’s best to keep your furry friends away during showings. If you don’t need to be present during the tour,  take your dog for a walk around the block. If your pets can’t walk on a leash, consider keeping them in a crate or carrier with a treat toy or two inside. And while you’re at it, clean up their food and water bowls and keep them out of sight.

9. Do a last-minute once-over with a handheld or upright vacuum cleaner

Target high-traffic areas and long walkways in your home with an upright vacuum cleaner. This bad boy can pick up any last-minute dust, hair, or crumbs that could have fallen to the floor as you completed steps one through eight. If you don’t own an upright vacuum cleaner, hopefully, you have a handheld option available. Whatever you do, don’t forget to vacuum the doormat out front. You want the prospective homebuyer to feel welcomed from the get-go.

10. Make sure that there is no trash in the house, including waste bins in the bathroom

You have only a few precious minutes left before your real estate agent pulls up to your driveway with your home’s potential buyer. Use this time to collect all of the trash in the house. Put the trash in a large plastic container, such as a kitchen garbage bag, and remove it from the home. The same goes for waste bins in the bathroom.

Buying and Selling in Loudon County, Virginai with Garrell Group

We hope that our fast and easy clean-up tips will get your home ready for showings at a moment’s notice. At Garrell Group, we understand that a good-looking home can sell much faster and for top dollar than one that needs a little more TLC. That’s why sprucing up before a last-minute appointment is the quickest way to show your home in its best possible light.

On that note, when it comes to top real estate agents in Leesburg, VA, Garrell Group is the sound choice for many buyers and sellers in the Loudoun County real estate market.

If you’re looking for a top Leesburg or Loudoun County realtor to help with your real estate needs, Garrell Group has the technological capabilities and caring expertise to market your home for optimal exposure and generate more qualified leads that’ll convert into strong offers.

So start the no-pressure conversation by reaching out today and let us take it from there.