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Clean it Like you Mean it.

One of the first thing on the sellers to-do list we hand them is creating a sterile home. A less-than-clean home can cost you thousands off the sale price or completely turn away potential buyers.

A messy house is a red flag for many buyers, who’ll suspect repair problems lurking beneath the dirt. A spotless home sends the unspoken signal that yours is a well-maintained property. It also competes better with newer or freshly remodeled homes.

It’s not as simple as tidying up for a dinner party either. . Buyers are coming in to kick your home’s proverbial tires.

As they decide if your house will meet their needs, they’ll open closets, explore out-of-sight corners and may even shift furniture. A good deep cleaning at the beginning will make it easier to keep your place tidy for showings the entire time your home is on the market.

Hiring in a cleaning crew is one option to get the job done, but it comes with a price. Depending on the square-footage and cleanliness of your house, you could be looking at a full day job for a multi-person team. Angie’s List puts the average hourly cost at $25 to $45 per cleaner, which can add up into the hundreds to get the job done. While this is a good option, there are some things a professional crew just can’t do.

If you take on the job yourself you not only save money, you get a jumpstart on tackling the biggest distraction to buyers: clutter.

Roll up your sleeves, get the cleaning supplies out, and follow along. We’ve put together this easy-to-follow guide for deep cleaning a house while it’s on the market.

Need some help getting started? Check out this tutorial we've created to help you:

Deal with Clutter the Cost-Effective Way

Find and Use the Best Cleaning Supplies

Conquer a Messy Kitchen

Make the Bathroom Shine

Scrub, Dust, Sweep, Vacuum, and Mop Effectively

Give Everything in the House a Final Polish

BONUS: How to Handle Pet Odors and Dander

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