Why you should hire a professional cleaner when you’re selling your home.

I see a lot of houses in the course of a week: the ones I’m listing, the ones I see at agent Open Houses and the ones I take my buyers through. The ones that often stick in my mind are the ones that were dirty, and that’s the wrong reason for an interested buyer to remember a house. You want buyers to leave with a good impression, not a bad one.

Cleanliness really is a subjective quality. I know people who don’t feel comfortable unless they live in a clean, well-organized house; they can even be obsessive about it. These are the  kinds of people who wipe down their mailboxes every morning. At the other end of the spectrum, I know people who think their homes are clean but where I actually shudder at the idea of removing my shoes when I go to visit. (Those are the folks I usually arrange to meet elsewhere.)

The nice thing about a professional cleaner is a) nothing disgusts them  and b) they’re not judgmental.  They come in to do a job; they do it, and they leave. And when the best ones are gone, your shower is clean; your faucets shine, and even your light switches have had a good wipe.

The cleaners I recommend to my clients charge $ 25/hour and bring their own supplies. I’ve found they take about eight hours to do an average-sized house but will take  less time if less is needed.

One of the women I frequently recommend to clients works magic on tubs. I can show her an old stained bathtub that has black mould in the caulking and looks like it should be replaced and when I come back, the grout is clean, the caulking is white, and the bathtub looks new. She’s amazing: she wipes down every light fixture too. She takes great pride in knowing that when she walks out the door, that house is ready to go on the market.

Another one I’ve been recommending a lot lately not only cleaned the fridge in a house I had up for sale but left behind a nightlight in the bathroom that was stylish, and looked great. (She re-folded my staged towels too; I tell you, this woman is an artist. She made them look like the bathroom was a spa.)

I have clients I adore who think their homes are in that state of readiness but really aren’t. They don’t see the dust on the baseboards or  the fur balls under the bed or the brown stains in the toilet : after all, they live with them every day. But a buyer will notice. Trust me.

So if you’re putting your home on the market, get a referral from your realtor and hire a pro. They’ll be in and out in  a day, and you’ll be amazed at the bang you get for your buck. In this day and age, a good cleaner is worth every penny and they add great value to your home.

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