Clean Your Home To Sell It For Top Dollar

Congrats on making the decision to sell your house! Easy decision or not, now comes the hard part. In order to get top dollar, do it right! Staging and selling your house while it’s dirty is a huge no no. When buyers see a filthy house on the market, they assume that you do not take care of the place. If a homeowner can’t be bothered to vacuum, how on earth are they maintaining their furnace?

Technology has upgraded the real estate market. Drones, 3D house tours and high definition photography are being used to attract potential buyers. However, all that tech is useless if you don’t put in the work first. 

Lucky for you, we have a moving checklist download that can hold your hand through this process. 

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There isn’t a more perfect time to take inventory of what you own. If things are still in boxes from the last move, you do not need to take them with you. Go through everything and decide to keep, sell, donate, or trash. Old electronics can all be donated or recycled. Hold on to sentimental items of course but don’t make excuses just to keep them.

One of the main things new buyers are looking for is how much room there is. If your storage areas are overflowing, they are going to assume that there is a lack of storage space, so keep this in mind when purging. Make room and open space so that they can visualize their things in your home. Pro Tip: You can start packing items you don’t use daily while you purge. Anything you pack now, doesn’t need to be packed for moving! Rent a storage locker, shipping container, or borrow temporary space so you don’t have packed boxes sitting around for people to trip over. While you are showing your home it needs to remain organized, so don’t overstock the pantry, and keep your junk drawer tidy. If there is a garage or indoor parking stall, you should be able to fit a car in it.

Repair and Paint

Repair is a necessity if you want to sell for a good price and in a reasonable timeframe. You can hire these jobs out or tackle them yourself but it needs to be done correctly and up to code. A hack job is a waste of time for you and potential buyers. They will only see what needs redoing. 

These repairs can include: 

  • Filling ALL holes in drywall, including the holes left after you take down shelving, window coverings and media. 
  • If carpet or flooring is damaged, replacement should be considered. 
  • If you know major appliances are broken please be a good human and disclose or replace them. 
  • Wash your walls with powdered Tide® or TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) and repaint any damaged or non-neutral walls. A neutral, easy to maintain paint color will be an asset to any listing.

The seller (you) can always work the cost of paint, product and labor into the price of the home. Doing these repairs and maintenance BEFORE you list shows that you take care of things. Tackle that to-do list to get those items off of the buyer’s mind.

Take Down Personal Items

Your family members are all very beautiful but people need to picture their own decor and family portraits on the walls, not yours. Don’t overthink it, take it all down. It now belongs in your next house. Achievements and memorabilia should be packed up too. Protect yourself by packing away any items or paperwork that could compromise your physical or digital security. 


This might be a no brainer but clutter means different things to different people.  Think: blank canvas. You want your HOUSE to take center stage, not the things in it. Your kitchen countertops can’t shine if they are covered in appliances and other random crap! Go ahead and showcase a couple cookbooks but you do not need all 28 of them out. Same goes for bathrooms, nothing on the counter tops. Buyers don’t want to see your dirty toothbrush, hairbrush, and half empty toothpaste.

Furniture can also be a form of clutter. Too much in one room will make the room appear smaller. Keep in mind that people are walking through the home, so stage furniture to keep pathways clear and as much open space as possible. It may be your perfect room but trust us when we say clutter overwhelms people. 


Natural and indoor lighting is an essential selling feature. Replace old bulbs with new soft white/warm white ones. Natural light is important to show off too. It not only is gorgeous but allows views to be seen. Open your curtains and blinds! If showings are done at night, turn every single light on, and make sure the exterior lighting is functioning properly.

Curb Appeal

Remember that the exterior of your home forms a buyer’s first impression. It can make or break the sale within the first few minutes.  How you keep the exterior of your house says alot about its general maintenance. Cobwebs and caked-on dust and water marks will not get you the feedback you are wanting. Consider how flawless showhomes look and how they draw a desire to live there, even on the outside. It’s the meticulous details that matter. The driveway, stairs, house numbers, deck/porch railings and mailboxes all need to shine. If you don’t own a pressure washer, now may be the time to invest (Canada) (USA). Lawns and gardens should be at their best too. Even if you are selling a small studio apartment, your personal door and balcony better be in tip top shape. 


Keep the house clean while you are showing it! This makes the house attractive and shows that you take care of it. Keep clean hand towels in each bathroom and make sure that toilets are flushed and lids are closed. Double check that there is toilet paper.  

If you have pets, please clean up their messes. This includes training pads, eating areas, carpet stains, outdoor waste and indoor litter. It is best to minimize their footprint (pun intended) in the house. Send them to doggy daycare during showings, or take them with you, if possible.

Once the property has sold and everything has been moved out, you need to do one final deep clean. “Broom swept” may be the industry standard but do the new owners a solid and do your very best. When the house is empty it is an easier task. This may take all day, but recruit family or friends and make it a fun time. Music, pizza and bleach…who could ask for more fun?! Make sure not to pack your essential cleaning tools and products. Garbage bags and paper towels are often forgotten.

  • Start at the front door and work your way in a circle room by room, making your way back around. Vacuuming and mopping your way out!  
  • Remember to clean your windows, inside and out including all the tracks and screens.  
  • Vacuum your way out of the room, Be proud and keep on bleaching on! 
  • The garage or any private storage units that come with the home will need to be deep cleaned as well. 
  • Garbage, recycling and compost bins need to stay with the house, so you should disinfect them for the new owners. This is a job for hot water and bleach.  

Our moving checklist has handy checklists for each and every room in your home if you’d like a more in-depth list.

Best of luck with your next purchase and move. Cherish the memories from this house but leave it knowing that you have created a wonderful home, one that is ready and waiting for the new owners.  Keep the good Karma coming your way, good job! 

For a list of our favorite products, click here.

– Katie @ GoCleanCo

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