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SELLING SMARTER: The No. 1 Home Improvement to Boost Your Price


Hampton Lake IndoorsHampton Lake, Bluffton, SC: Lakefront home polished and ready to sell.

The No.
1 thing you can do to make your house stand out from the competition is to
clean it from top to bottom.

Cleaning has ranked as the top home improvement suggested by realty
professionals in the HomeGain survey since 2003. According to the survey, real estate agents said that


Spending $400 translates to

$2,000 more at closing.



$400 on cleaning is likely to gain sellers $2,000 more at closing. If
you are planning to invest in one thing in an effort to maximize you home’s
closing price, let it be cleaning supplies and elbow grease.

Dust the walls and fan blades
and replace and dust light bulbs in preparation to shower your home in light. You
may not notice the cobwebs in the corner of your living room or the dust on the
ceiling fan, but your potential buyers will look everywhere. 

Make It Shine
Wash the windows, inside and
out. To avoid streaking, wash on a cloudy day. Window treatments will also need
dry-cleaned, or, at the very least, vacuumed. 

Boost Your Biggest Asset
The kitchen can be a major
asset to your sale. You want everything to shine. If you have burner drip trays
in bad condition, replace them. If the trays only need cleaned, soak them in a
50/50 mixture of water and ammonia for a day and then scrub and rinse.

your drawers and pantries – buyers will want to inspect these places as well.
You don’t need to replace cabinet doors, but, as a less expensive alternative,
deep clean the doors and then apply a wood restorer to make them look like new.

Watch Your Step
Shampoo the carpets once and
vacuum daily. Visible carpet pile lines “scream clean,” according to The Maids,
a residential cleaning service. Wood and tile floors should be mopped. Your
home should stand out as a clean home in good condition.

Clean the Bathroom
Scrub the shower, sink and tub. Wash the shower curtains and
liners. To remove water rings in the toilet bowl, drain
the bowl and saturate several heavy-duty shop paper towels with white vinegar.
Plaster the sides of the bowl with the towels and let it sit for several hours.
Undiluted, heated white vinegar is a great spray to remove hard-water spots and
soap scum. Let the spray soak for 15 minutes before scrubbing.

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