Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mrs Clean Does Not Live Here!

Wow! I've seen some dirty houses on the market in recent weeks. I'm not talking dust bunnies, I'm talking dust gorillas. And these aren't cheap houses either.

At one of these houses, my client turned to me and said I feel like I'd just be buying their mess. I assured her we could require that the house be professionally cleaned at closing but the husband shook his head and said, “If they can't keep up with cleaning, what makes us think they have kept up with maintenance items?” Good point!

At another house I showed, the floor was so dirty that we went back to the front door and put our shoes back on to protect our feet. Then when I walked into the dining room, I saw that someone had swept that floor but there was a pile of debris just waiting for someone to appear with the dustpan! This is not an exaggeration!!! This house was listed in the $175,000 to $185,000 range and we had to give 24 hours notice in order to see it. Unfortunately, they did not use that 24 hours to prepare for our showing.

Ladies and gentleman, if you want to sell your house at top dollar, start with a good cleaning. If cleaning is not your thing, then hire it out. And by a good cleaning, I mean wipe down your walls and doors near light switches and door knobs. Organize your cabinets and closets. Clean out your window wells because buyers will be looking at your windows. And yes, do the windows as well. Heck, I also recommend that you eliminate cob webs, even in the basement and attic. It doesn’t hurt to dust the hot water heater and furnace. Send the message that you have loved this old house and have been compulsive about its care. And as long as your house is priced properly for its location and condition, you will have a much greater chance of getting a full price offer.

Mary Shelsby
ReMax First
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