We all have lists, right? A packing list when going on a trip. A grocery list when we go to the store. A daily list of important tasks that we hope to get through in a day. Lists make us feel productive, and when we check off items on the list, we feel like we hit a home run.
When I prepare a house to go on the market I have list after list after list. I have a list for light fixtures and paperwork and marketing; I have a list for inspections and repairs and reimbursements. But the best list of all is my deep cleaning list. After preparing hundreds of home for sale, this list is the one that I take home with me. Why? Because day to day living is messy work and most don’t realize how much yuck they have accumulated until they have moved out.
There are two items that CONSISTENTLY rank the highest on my house-prep cleaning list that are the most disgusting of all disgusts, yet are so easy to clean. Any guesses as to where they are found? (And it is not the bathroom).
#1. Let’s talk dishwashers. Did you know that the dishwasher secretes food into the filter and into the door seal? Gross. And you thought your dishwasher was clean. When selling a house I will rarely ask the cleaners to clean out the filter, but I will always ask them to wipe down the sides and top of the door, plus the seal. MY TIP: after the dishes are clean, and the air is still steamy, open up the door and wipe down the sides and top. Your dishwasher will be good as new.
#2. Ok, now the hood filter. Or, should I say, the catch-all for grease and…hair. Yes, I’ve even found hair on these nasty things. PEOPLE! Help a Realtor out and clean these dang things! MY TIP: set a calendar reminder 1x/year to pop these puppies out and clean them. Fill the sink with hot, soapy water and let them sit for 30 minutes. Rinse, dry, return to home. It is SO EASY!
I couldn’t leave this next one off the list because it is the GROSSEST of all gross. #3 is the door seal to the freezer. If you have a bottom loading freezer then you know what I am talking about. Those little bits of crumbs magically land in the crevices. And if you don’t clean them out on a regular basis, they will grow into their own magically delicious grossness. PLEASE. Puleeze. Add this cleaning item to your list. MY TIP: don’t be lazy! Just wipe it clean. Done.
Stop right now and walk to your kitchen. Inspect these items. If yours are clean, then you are amongst the 10% of Sellers who actually clean these (which means that 90% do not!) and you get a gold star! Which category do you want to be in? Less than 10 minutes of cleaning and you will land on the clean team; if not, expect the grease and grime monsters to show up in your dreams tonight.