Anna Hart's top tips for selling your home

Published : 11th March 2014


When you’re selling your house, it’s a good idea to make sure that everything is clean. Think about the homes of friends and family that you visit. Do you recognise any of these characters?

• Super-Clean-Queen: Makes you take your shoes off at the door, whips a coaster under your glass like a ninja and has a duster practically glued to her hand.

• Lazy Student: Most things wait around six times longer than in other houses to be cleaned, if at all – think bed linen, floors and bathrooms.

• Busy-Busy Person: what you can see is clean, but you get the distinct feeling that what you can’t see definitely isn’t.

• Pet Lover: they just don’t notice the hair everywhere, the stinky food bowls, the ghastly litter trays, the smells, the damage and the ‘presents’ on the lawn.

• New Parent: all the baby’s paraphernalia is sterilised to within an inch of its life, but things above knee-level may be a bit suspect.

Just like we all have different tastes in houses, in clothes and in music, we also have very different ideas as to what ‘clean’ really means. There really are at least 50 Shades of Clean.

Usually that’s ok (unless you’re making your guests ill of course) but when you’re selling your house you just don’t know which of the characters above will be viewing your house next. They might not be bothered by the dust on the mantelpiece, or they might be mortally offended by it – you just don’t know.

So the only way to make sure that the state of your house doesn’t put any buyers off is to shoot for the top: you’ve got to be a Super-Clean-Queen – Or King.

It’s best to have a massive deep clean once you’ve finished your de-cluttering, and then make sure you keep on top of it with regular sessions throughout the marketing period.

Do get some help – from family, friends or hire a cleaner. Just make sure they all know the Queen herself is coming round.

Five things that must be super-clean:

1. Kitchens – along with bathrooms, these are the most important rooms to clean and you should expect to spend at least twice the amount of time cleaning these rooms than any others. Stainless steel, chrome and taps must sparkle, surfaces must gleam, hobs & ovens must show no signs of the food they have prepared.

2. Bathrooms – up there with kitchens, all bathrooms must be squeaky-clean. Get rid of mould, mildew, limescale, hair, dust and soap scum. Bleach, scrub and polish until everything sparkles.

3. Front door – get rid of all dirt, grime, leaves and cobwebs, then polish up any brass or chrome door furniture. Beat the dust out of the doormats and sweep the paths.

4. Windows – it’s important to let maximum light into rooms and allow unobscured views, so sparkly, smear-free windows are a must. Clean marks off the frames too.

5. Floors – hard floors need to be buffed to a shine and carpets will always look (and smell) better if they’ve been professionally cleaned.

A super-clean house will give you the best chance of impressing buyers, so put some loud music on and get scrubbing.