Home sales traditionally peak in the summer months, which means that come springtime, would-be homeowners are already out and about in full force. Chances are, today’s savvy home-shoppers are hitting up several open houses each weekend — and immediately texting their REALTORS® their reviews of each one.
While the Oahu real estate market is tipped in favor of sellers, ensuring your home makes a good first impression is key to standing out in the summer crowd. A dusty, dirty home can give homebuyers the impression that if basic housekeeping has been neglected, larger problems may be lurking in the home, too.
So, if you’re considering putting your home on the market this spring or summer, you’ll want to tackle these easy — and inexpensive — spring cleaning tasks first. Short on time? Focus on the kitchen and baths — typically, these are the rooms that can make or break a home sale.
Make your windows sparkle
Bright, natural lighting is at the top of almost every home-shopper’s list. To make sure buyers see your home in its best light — literally — clean window panes, sliding doors and window screens with a mixture of equal parts warm water and vinegar to remove dust and grime. Pro-tip: Clean your windows on a cloudy day for a streak-free shine. If you can, remove your window screens and hose them down before cleaning with the vinegar solution.
Use your vacuum’s upholstery attachment on dusty drapes. If you have dark or heavy curtains, consider swapping them for sheer curtains that will allow more light into your home. Don’t forget to give your light bulbs some love, too. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth on a cool bulb to remove dust and instantly brighten your rooms.
Clean up the kitchen
A newly renovated kitchen can net sellers big bucks, but if a total overhaul isn’t in your budget, all it takes is a little elbow grease to make your kitchen more inviting. When homebuyers step into your kitchen, make sure they won’t be greeted with unpleasant odors. To rid your refrigerator of smells, remove all food items and spray surfaces with a mixture of one cup vinegar and two cups warm water. Wipe dry with a clean microfiber cloth. Pro tip: Add a few drops of lemon-scented essential oil to your homemade cleaner for a fresh, citrusy aroma.
Don’t neglect the garbage disposal. To quickly and easily ban bad smells, toss in any of the following: small pieces of cut lemon, cubes of frozen white vinegar or ice cubes and salt, and run the disposal.
Beautify your bath
Humidity is the enemy of bathrooms, so keep it at bay with a fan, dehumidifier or open windows. To remove mildew from caulk in the bath, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar or baking soda all make excellent natural cleaners. If you’re not able to remove mildew from the shower or tub, consider re-caulking it yourself — it’s an inexpensive task, but patience is required. To remove mildew from a shower curtain liner, soak it in warm water and bleach, then run through the washing machine using warm water.
Finally — and possibly the most important step — because most open house visitors will (hopefully!) remove their slippers or shoes before stepping foot in your home, ensure that floors have been vacuumed or swept before opening your doors to the potential new owners of your home.
For more tips on how to make your abode more appealing to potential homebuyers, talk to your REALTOR®.