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Tips for Cleaning Your
House for Sale

March 15, 2022

A home’s appearance can make all the difference when it comes to how fast a property sells. If you do a thorough and careful job, you will see a payoff in your efforts. Location, price, and architectural design will always be major selling points, but the cleanliness of a home is a critical factor for engaging buyers. Thankfully, learning how to clean your house to sell is easy when you use a proven cleaning checklist before showing your home.

Cleaning a House to Sell Checklist

According to, only one in ten homeowners keep their house as clean as it should be for house showings. But when you know what to clean when selling your house, you can make a memorable first impression no matter how many showings you host. While keeping your home show-ready day after day and keeping your sanity may be a challenge, we’ve got your back. Use this cleaning checklist for selling a house to cover all the bases.

Cleaning Your House for Sale: Interior

Use a thorough spring cleaning checklist for cleaning the bulk of your home and give a little extra attention to the following:

Fixtures and Switchplates

Light fixtures and ceiling fans collect a lot of dust, debris, and bugs. Clean all your light switches, use a dry cloth to wipe down light bulbs, and soak globes in warm soapy water.


Kitchens are typically the most expensive room in a house per square foot, so you’ll want to give your kitchen a professional clean that sparkles.


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Keep your bedrooms swept, vacuumed, and dusted to be prepared for surprise showings, and always have the beds made up with fresh, clean-smelling bedding.


Bathrooms should always shine and be free of odors, mold, mildew, used towels, and toiletries around the sink.

Cleaning Your House for Sale: Exterior

When it comes to first impressions, the exterior of your home can make or break its value. Even if you’ve prepped your home with impressive staging and polished floors, interested home buyers will still see the overgrown yard on the outside first.

Don’t make the mistake of leaving out your exterior when it comes to budgeting or revamping. Remove the dead plants sitting outside and fix the wobbly steps to show that your home has been maintained. Even cleaning the windows on the outside, adding a fresh coat of paint on your door, or placing a small pot of greenery can make your place look well-maintained.

Touch-Up & Repair

Ultimately, home buyers are looking at the value of the house and the property, so when it comes to touch-ups, leave nothing visible in poor condition. Common areas that are overlooked include scratches or cracks in crown molding, walls, floors, and doors.

Making small investments in home improvements like repainting the walls, replacing door knobs, or getting new blinds will add to your home value and pay off in the long run. Consider doing more significant renovation projects if your home needs it.

Ask yourself if you would purchase your home in its current condition. For example, uneven flooring can become your greatest enemy when it comes to selling your home. Even when you think you got everything, do a quick walk-through of your home to see if anything stands out.

Depersonalize and Stage

When you’re learning how to clean out a house to sell, it’s important to stay objective and keep your eye on the end goal. While one or two family photos can add a nice touch to portraying a warm home, you’ll want to depersonalize the rest of your furniture. Remove your children’s latest art class project from the fridge and pick up their toys. You’ll want buyers to envision a life in your home, and unfortunately, these items often clash with the latest interior trends.

The importance of staging comes hand-in-hand with presenting a well-maintained and presentable home. Typically, simple and neutral furniture is the easiest to work with, and it’s always better to declutter than to add. Another option is to hire a professional home stager who can bring out the best qualities of your home.

Remove Odors and Signs of Pets

Get rid of any items with a bad smell and use light, naturally scented items, such as an indoor plant to freshen up the air. For pet owners especially, remember that even minor pet odors can deter potential homebuyers from wanting to buy your home. Smells aside, it’s also a good idea to remove pet-related things like litter boxes, dog beds, toys, and food and water bowls.

Avoid lighting up scented candles in every corner of the home, making it evident that you’re trying to cover up the smell. It’s okay to use air fresheners around the house, but not more than one per room. Don’t mix and match your scents and choose a popular scent like vanilla, linen, or even a seasonal potpourri.

If you have sufficient notice, baking a cake or fresh bread will give your house aromas that make buyers feel more at home. Even without much notice, you can still brew a fresh pot of coffee for a fresh scent and something to offer your guests.

Hire a Cleaning Service

Cleaning out a house to sell it can easily upset your routine and put a strain on busy schedules. While this cleaning guide will certainly make things easier, maybe hiring a residential cleaning service would be best for your circumstances.

A sparkling home is essential, and if you’re short on time or manpower, this is the most efficient solution. Preparing your house for viewings means you need more than a quick sweep. From window blinds to lampshades, many areas can be easily overlooked if tackling the job on your own.

Now that you know how to clean your house before selling, you have the option of doing it yourself or letting The Maids handle the job. Get your free estimate today to see how affordable seasonal cleaning and other residential cleaning services can be for your home. With our 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, you have nothing to lose and a quick sale to gain.

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