Why You Should Clean Your Home Before Moving Out

When you’ve gone through the lengthy and tiring process of seeking out, bidding on, and buying a new home and then sell your home, the last thing you want to worry about is cleaning your old house before you leave.

 However, there’s multiple reasons you’ll want to ensure your old house is clean before you leave. First, as a common courtesy, you’ll want the new owners of your home to have a good first experience and to maintain your rapport with them after closing day. However, there are also legal and financial issues at play.

If your contract states that your home needs to have been “broom-swept” or some other form of cleaning before you leave, then your new owners could technically postpone closing. Furthermore, some states have laws requiring that homes are cleaned by their previous owners before they move out.

 Although it can be difficult to define just how clean a home needs to be, legally speaking, your best option is to do your part to leave the home relatively clean, whether that means cleaning it yourself or hiring a cleaning company.

Legal reasons for cleaning your old house

As mentioned earlier, some states state cleaning requirements in the purchase contract when you sell your home. Their definitions of clean can often be vague, but usually include sweeping floors, wiping down surfaces, stripping nails and hangers from walls, and carrying out all furniture and garbage.

These rules are mostly designed to protect people who purchase a home from getting stuck with bulk items and other surprise issues that they’ll have to pay for.

An exception to this is when your home is sold “as is” or when you have some form of written agreement between you and the new owner that some part f your home will be left as is.

Cleaning your house

The ideal time to clean your house is once you’ve moved everything out. However, if you’re moving over a long distance, you might not be able to return to the house once it’s empty to give it a final cleaning.

In this case, your best option is to have your furniture and boxes packed away neatly in the garage, or in the corner of one room. Doing so will allow you to sweep, clean surfaces, wipe down cabinets, and so on, while your belongings are still in the house.

Just be sure to keep a broom handy once you’ve put everything on the moving truck so you can give one last sweep of the floor before you say goodbye to your old home.

Cleaning checklist

It can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ll want to clean before you move out, so here’s a list to go by:

  • Sweep all floors

  • Vacuum all carpets

  • Wipe down cabinets, shelves

  • Try to sweep under appliances, oven, etc.

  • Spray sinks and tubs, leave air freshener in bathroom

  • Wipe inside of refrigerator, if applicable

  • Remove all nails from walls

  • Do a final walkthrough and remove any trash you’ve missed

Keep Your Home Maintained with a Seasonal Chore Calendar

Cleaning. It’s not an activity we are all particularly enthusiastic to partake in, yet is a very necessary one. After investing in a new home you want to make it maintain its value over time by keeping it in tip top shape. However, life happens and as days become weeks and weeks become months it’s easy to get caught up in the flow of life and forget those once in awhile cleaning tasks that need to be done throughout the year. Never forget another cleaning task again by creating a seasonal cleaning calendar. For best results combine your everyday calendar with your cleaning one so you have everything at a glance.

Spring

  • Inspect roof for any damage that could have occurred from the harsh Winter weather.
  • Look for any other Winter related damage around the parameters of your house.
  • Scrape, sand, prime and/or paint any spots around the home that need it.
  • Clear out lawn and garden beds from any debris to make way for new growth.
  • Plan out your Spring and Summer planting, gardening and landscaping projects.
  • Sort through winter clothes before storing them for the season. Donate any items your children may have outgrown and repair anything that needs mending.
  • Clean your home top to bottom by wiping down ceilings, walls and baseboards.
  • Vacuum and wipe down window panes and sills.
  • Consider holding a yard sale to get rid of any extra clutter that may have gathered over the year.
  • Deep clean the carpets in your home.
  • Clean out the inside of your fridge and vacuum the coils on the back.
  • Test all smoke detectors.
  • Have your air conditioner serviced before the hot weather hits.
  • Pressure wash your house and garage siding as well as your driveway.

Summer

  • Spray insecticides and bug repellants.
  • Inspect fire extinguishers and purchase some if you do not already own any.
  • Flip and rotate mattresses and couch cushions.
  • Regularly prune trees and shrubs.
  • Drain and/or flush your water heater.

Fall

  • Clean all patio furniture before storing it for the winter.
  • Touch up any paint that may be peeling and worn from the Summer heat.
  • Check seals on windows and doors as well as caulking. Make sure your home is well-sealed to prevent any energy leaks over the Winter months.
  • Clean out the gutters along your home.
  • If your home has chimneys have them professionally inspected and cleaned.
  • Schedule a furnace inspection before the cold weather hits.
  • Take the time to clean and organize your kitchen to prepare for holiday cooking.
  • Test and replace batteries in fire alarms.
  • Rake up leaves to prevent debris buildup.
  • Install storm windows to prepare for colder weather.
  • Clean and organize your attic and/or basement.
  • Sort through your family’s’ Summer clothes before storing them for the season. Donate any your children have outgrown and repair any that need mending.

Winter

  • Change your furnace’s filters throughout the season as needed.
  • Check the grout around your home and repair as needed
  • Program your thermostat for maximum energy savings.
  • Schedule a termite inspection.
  • Clean out the vents to your dryer.
  • Before packing holiday decorations up for the year ensure they are clean, organized and in working order.

While cleaning may or may not be your favorite activity it is one that must be done throughout the year. Creating a seasonal cleaning calendar will help to keep these tasks at the forefront of your mind and your home in prime condition. At the end of the year you will have a well-maintained home and can feel good about the hard work you put in to make your house and clean, and welcoming home!

Essential Apps for Homeowners

Technology has streamlined our lives at work, at home, and during our leisure time. We’re constantly updated with emails and notifications from our bosses or our friends about upcoming deadlines or family parties. However, many of us are still old fashioned when it comes to using tech to improve the way we run our homes.

There are apps that can control the electronics in your home, remind you when it’s time to clean out the refrigerator, or even tell the people in your house when it’s their turn to take out the trash. We’ve built a list of the most useful apps that will help you spend less time planning and organizing around the home.

Smart house

Wifi technology is slowly escaping our cell phones and computers and making its way around our homes. Smart TVs are now the norm, and Amazon makes buttons that you can store in your cabinets that automatically order new paper towels or laundry detergent when you run out. Part of this home automation revolution is the introduction of apps that allow you to remotely control your home.

Kits like SmartThings or WeMo allow you to control lights, coffeemakers, and garage doors all from your smartphone.  What’s more, you can control them from work as long as you have signal on your phone. Many of these apps allow you to schedule items to turn on and off at certain times as well, which can help you save on electricity.

Apps to ease the moving process

If you’ve moved recently, maybe you used a checklist app on your phone to keep track of items while packing. What you probably didn’t know is that there are apps that help you even further, including choosing the best prices on moving companies.

Unpakt lets you add items that you’re moving to a list and tells you how many boxes you’ll need. Then it gives you a selection of movers and lets you compare prices.

Keeping up with the chores

The app stores are inundated with tools to help you stay on top of your schedule. But recent additions take it a step further to target other household needs.

Do you run a tight ship at your house? Or would you like to? iRewardsChart lets you track your kids’ progress on their chores and reward them for good behavior. You can award them cash allowance, time watching television, or whatever else you see as suitable rewards.

If you and your family or housemates have a hard time keeping track of whose turn it is to wash dishes, check out Chorma. It’s an iPhone app that let’s you add chores and coordinate them with other people in your house. No more excuses for not knowing it was your turn!

Creating your dream home

The best home and living apps aren’t just about chores and reminders. There are some great apps that are out there to help inspire you to personalize your home. Brightnest is an app that provides cleaning tips, recipes ideas, and DIY projects so your home can keep evolving as you do.

 

3 Last Minute Tips to Prep for a Home Showing

As a home seller, you’re almost ready to list your home on the real estate market.

For instance, you’ve committed a lot of time and money to complete extensive home repairs, conducted massive amounts of cleaning and even started working with a professional real estate agent.

But even after all of your efforts, you still need to complete several last minute tasks to ensure your house is ready for prospective homebuyers to check it out.

So what does it take to guarantee your house is ready for a home showing? Here are three last minute tips for home sellers to get a residence prepared for an upcoming showing:

1. Focus on the Flow of Traffic.

Is it easy for homebuyers to get around your house? If large, bulky furniture and clutter fill your residence’s walking paths, it may be difficult for homebuyers to walk around comfortably. Therefore, you’ll want to spend some time investigating the traffic flow in each room of your home and ensure that homebuyers can explore your entire residence quickly and effortlessly.

In the hours leading up to a home showing, you can improve the flow of traffic in any room simply by rearranging furniture as needed.

Remember, you’ll want to give homebuyers plenty of space, and moving furniture to ensure homebuyers can move around with ease is critical.

You also can rely on your real estate professional for support in this area, as he or she will be able to provide you with last minute guidance to empower you to maximize the flow of traffic in every room.

2. Hide Your Personal Items.

You know the photographs, trophies and other personal belongings that fill various rooms in your home? In order to provide a great first impression of your house, you may want to consider hiding these items before your home showing.

The goal of a home showing is to give homebuyers a glimpse into what life would be like if they choose to purchase your residence. And if you keep your personal belongings out of sight, you can empower homebuyers to realize your home’s potential and improve your chances of making a distinct first impression on homebuyers, too.

Take a few minutes to place personal items in a desk drawer, a box in your attic or basement or other areas where these pieces will be out of sight during a home showing. By doing so, you can help your house create a unique impression, one that may make your home more attractive to prospective homebuyers.

3. Keep Your Home Clean.

Ensure you make your bed, clean up your kitchen after breakfast and perform other last minute cleaning tasks to guarantee your home looks pristine.

Ideally, any last minute cleaning tasks should only take a few minutes to perform. But ultimately, these efforts can make a world of difference in the eyes of prospective homebuyers.

Guarantee your home is ready for an upcoming home showing – utilize the aforementioned tips, and you’ll be able to accentuate the positives of your home to homebuyers at any time.