Deep Clean Before You Stage Your DC Metro Home

We were recently featured on Forbes.com talking about “The Importance And Impact Of Staging Your Home For Sale.” In it, we discuss why you need to invest in staging, the essential elements (lighting fixtures, cabinetry, carpeting, etc.), and the importance of being camera-ready (especially in today’s buy-from-home COVID-19 climate). These are all imperative to effectively selling your DC Metro home (It works every time if you do it correctly). That said, there’s one key element you cannot forget when staging:

Cleaning.

You put all the work into changing the fixtures, painting the rooms, and replacing hardwood floors, but your garage is a mess and there’s cobwebs on all the light fixtures.  

Cleaning and staging come hand in hand. You can’t stage and not clean. Here are four things to do to deep clean your Washington, DC home when preparing for a sale.

#1 – Clear Up The Clutter

Pretend you are a buyer for a moment. Walk through your house, and observe all of the things left out on table tops, shelves, counters, and the floor. If this was somebody else’s stuff, would it make it hard for you to envision the home as your own?

Decluttering can be pretty intuitive, but here’s a good jumping off point:

  • Remove excess furniture (extra side tables, coffee table, etc)
  • Go through the inside of cupboards, closets, and drawers (make the buyer realize the storage space)
  • Clear the hallways
  • Remove fridge magnets, artwork, coupons, etc from the fridge
  • Declutter wardrobes
  • Clear paperwork (think of it as a jump-start on packing)

#2 — Go In The Right Order

When you’re cleaning your kitchen, do you often sweep before you clean the countertops? Inevitably, you realize that you should have cleaned countertops first so you could then sweep up the bits and pieces of food. Keep this in mind when cleaning the entire house. The last thing you need is to redo what you’ve already done. Here is the ideal order:

  1. Scrub the Walls
  2. Dust
  3. Sweep the Floors
  4. Vacuum the Carpets
  5. Mop

#3 — Deep Clean the Appliances You Rarely (or Never) Clean

When buyers are looking at your house, they are opening up every cabinet door and appliance. When was the last time you cleaned your dishwasher? You figure just because it washes dishes that is must be clean itself, right? Wrong. Tiny bits of food, grease, and dishwasher soap scum can hide in the nooks and crannies, leading to a bad odor and a less efficient dishwasher. Cleancult recommends a combination of vinegar, baking soda, a toothbrush, and dish soap. Other overlooked appliances? Your refrigerator, your stovetop and oven, your microwave (inside and out), and washer and dryer.

#4 — Final Touches

Now that you’ve deep cleaned the whole house, it’s ready for your finishing touches. This is where staging professionals can really shine. They can change furniture, bring in art or decorative decor, or even work with the owner’s existing pieces (you’d be amazed what they can do with things you’ve had for years). But there’s little things you can do too. Open the blinds and let in the light (make sure those windows have been washed so the sun can shine in). Have worn and scratched floors? Consider adding an area rug for a splash of color and help divert attention from it. Don’t forget the outside of the home. This could be an entire post on its own. But in short, mow your lawn, trim the bushes, clear out weeds, remove yard clutter, and plant some flowers. Outdoor living spaces are a big trend in the DC Metro area in the summer. A decorative rug and some inexpensive outdoor furniture for your patio can be very inviting for a potential buyer.