Why Are You Getting All Dressed Up and Not Taking a Shower?

Home Stager with Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com

As a stager I end up in a lot of homes.  On any given day I can find myself in a cute cottage or a multi-million dollar mansion. One thing that is common among every single home I walk into, no matter the size, location, or price is the need to be clean when your house is on the market.



You would never go buy a nice dress, find the perfect shoes and jewelry, have your hair and nails done and forget to take a shower, would you?  Then why hire a Realtor, pay for a stager, rent furniture when necessary, leave the lights on for showings and not clean the house? 

Putting your house on the market without giving it a good deep cleaning is like going to the prom without taking a shower.




So, let's talk about some of the common areas home owners miss when they put their home up for sale:

                                      cleaning supplies

1.Windows - Good clean windows let the sunshine in and open up a house. Dirty fingerprints, smudges from dog noses and kids stickers can block the outdoors from coming in and also make the house feel small.  Give those windows a good cleaning inside and out and don't forget to clean the sills.

2. Cabinet Doors - Years of cooking in the kitchen can leave cabinet doors with layers of dirt and grime. Wipe them down with a good cleaning agent, including the handles. Bathroom cabinets can accumulate the dirt too. Years of opening and closing along with toothpaste spills can be hard on the doors.

3. Baseboards - It's amazing the kind of impression good clean baseboards can leave with a buyer. It's one of those things a buyer won't notice if it is done, but they will notice it if it is not done.

4. Return Air Vents - This is an area that collects a ton of dirt (especially in the Middle Tennessee area). Wipe down the vent and go ahead and change the filter while you are at it - unless you are one of those homeowners who changes their filters every month. ;) When a buyer sees a dirty return air vent they wonder if the hvac system is in good shape.  Don't plant a negative seed in the back of their mind!

5. Light Fixtures - Yep, get up on that ladder and clean out that dead bug collection you've had for years. While you are up there you can change the light bulbs too. Buyers like light and bright not dark and dirty.

6. Door Handles - Especially if you have little ones, door handles and the area around them can mysteriously collect the sticky from jelly, candy, and who knows what else the little hands get into. Cute when it is your kid - not so cute when it is someone else's.

7. Showers/Tubs - Keep the science experiment at school and remove all the mold and grime that is growing in the shower and tub.  Bathrooms are considered money rooms and can make or break a sale. Don't lose a buyer because your bathroom can be mistaken for a science lab.

8. Tile Grout - Here is another opportunity to dazzle a potential buyer. When tile grout looks old and dingy it makes the bathroom seem dirty and cheap. To clean grout mix 1 part baking soda to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. Grab an old toothbrush and scrub away. In no time your grout will sparkle like a new set of pearly whites.

9. Kitchen Appliances - Yes, buyers will look inside your refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher. Toss out old food, wipe down the doors, and don't forget the top of the fridge.  Years of melted cheese pizza on the bottom of the oven can send shivers down a buyer's back. You may not have the most updated appliances, but super clean will go a long way.

10. Exterior - Many times houses with siding can grow fungus in areas that don't get much sun throughout the day. Rent a power washer and remove all signs of it. Mold is a dirty word in real estate and will run buyers off faster than a speeding bullet no matter what type or if it is harmless.


Taking care of the little things (like taking a shower) can make all the difference in the world.  If you want to have a good time at the prom or entice the buyer to write an offer on your home a good, deep cleaning is a must. 

Posted by


Anthea Click is the President of Fresh Perspectives Property Merchandising Services specializing in staging vacant homes, model homes and owner occupied redesign in the Middle Tennessee area including:Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Spring Hill, Fairview, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, and Lebanon. She is also a certified CSP Elite instructor, educating agents on how to incorporate staging into their business. For information on staging your home for sale contact us at 615-465-8086 or visit our website www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com




Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Sharon Tara 03/02/2010 10:48 AM
  2. Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528 03/02/2010 11:40 AM
  3. Jon Sigler 03/02/2010 01:09 PM
  4. Melissa Marro 03/04/2010 11:16 AM
  5. Diane Williams 03/04/2010 02:20 PM
  6. Bridget Cella 03/04/2010 02:22 PM
Tennessee Williamson County
Stage It Forward...
Staging Secrets
Tennessee Realtors - Join Hands
Franklin tn Keller Williams
home selling

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Wanda Richards
Shows Great Home Staging and Web Solutions - Roanoke, VA
Shows Great Home Staging

Excellent post with a lot of great information. 

Mar 02, 2010 08:56 AM #6
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Anthea - I agree, I've seen a lot of homes that were passed over because they weren't clean.

Mar 02, 2010 08:59 AM #7
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

As obvious as I would like to think this point is, I continue to be surprised at just how many sellers don't have a clue.  Great post!

Mar 02, 2010 10:43 AM #8
Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528
Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956 - New City, NY
Real Estate Salesperson

Anthea - what a great title and what super advice.  You'd think that most of it is a no brainer, but sadly some sellers just don't get it.

Mar 02, 2010 11:33 AM #9
David Henke
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc - Newtown Square, PA
Realtor, Homes Just West of Philadelphia PA

Great advice across the board.  Thanks for the tips.  Every seller needs to consider these.

Mar 02, 2010 11:47 AM #10
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA

So many homeowners still have dirty driveways and fences-it really shows on MLS. A good pressure washer can make them shine like new. Great post!!  

Mar 02, 2010 12:13 PM #11
Liz Gallagher
LG Home Harmony - Home Stagers & Organizers - Montreal, QC
Montreal Quebec RESA member

I wrote a blog when I first started with ActiveRain http://activerain.com/blogsview/887710/dress-for-success-

... it talks about exactly the fact of dressing up for a special occasion ... selling your house is one of those occasions ... take a shower please! ;o)

Mar 02, 2010 11:58 PM #12
Anthea Click
Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com - Franklin, TN
Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!

Margo - Glad the tip will help!

Andrew - Yes, they both get the same reaction from people - RUN!

Melissa - So true! Thanks for stopping by. :)

Chris - Thank you. :)

Brian - Good, hope it helps.

Wanda - Thank you!

Larry - Isn't it surprising how some people show their house? No one wants to live in someone else's dirt.

Sharon - I totally agree. I guess we get accomstomed to looking at it that we don't notice it anymore.

Leah - Thank you. Yes, so true. I learned a long time ago my definition of clean may not be your definition of clean.

David - Thank you. And yes, every seller should do this!

Cathy - Great point. I need to add those to the list.

Liz - I will have to read your blog.

Mar 03, 2010 06:35 AM #13
Nancy Lee - An OrderLee Home,
Hendersonville, NC

Replace all air filters.  It is amazing how those get forgotten....and the nastiness they can contain.  I LOVE your article and titile!

Mar 03, 2010 08:31 PM #14
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Very good advice!!  It's amazing what we see in properties these days....

Mar 04, 2010 11:15 AM #15
Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Anthea, we have found that there are some Sellers who don't even know the difference between taking a bath and not. They say they will clean their house and we go back and they have not done much at all except to wipe down the counters... Great analogy!

Mar 04, 2010 11:20 AM #16
Diane Williams
Pell City, AL

An excellent post for anyone who is thinking of putting their home on the market. It is just amazing at the sellers who don't clean, then wonder why their property doesn't sell.

Mar 04, 2010 11:28 AM #17
Bridget Cella
Re/Max Connection - Sewell, NJ
e-Pro, Realtor

Sound advice!  Thanks for putting it in perspective!

Mar 04, 2010 02:22 PM #18
Susan Neal
RE/MAX Gold, Fair Oaks - Fair Oaks, CA
Fair Oaks CA & Sacramento Area Real Estate Broker

Hi Anthea - This is excellent advice.  Just like potential buyers get distracted by knickknacks, they also get distracted (and turned off) by a dirty house.

Mar 04, 2010 02:26 PM #19
Anthea Click
Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com - Franklin, TN
Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!

Nancy - Yes, the do often get overlooked by sellers, but not by buyers.

Melissa - Thank you! You are not kidding.....

Frank and Sharon - My definition of clean is not necessairly someone else's. Being specific makes a huge difference.

Diane - Thank you and yes, I totally agree!

Bridget - Thank you!

Susan - Absolutely. Who wants to buy someone else's dirt?

Mar 05, 2010 06:48 AM #20
Dean Williams
Century 21 Premier - Nashville, TN

Great post, Anthea!  I had a seller recently who was pretty OCD with cleaning, but I pointed out a few flaws in her regimen. When I went back to see how she did, she was so excited about the light fixture in the dining area. It had been there since she moved in. She unscrewed the individual coverings and put them in her dishwasher (top shelf, of course) and they came out looking better than when she first moved in!

This will also go a long way to help ward off odors. The slight odor from old dirt is undetectable to the owner, but buyers notice it instantly.

Mar 05, 2010 08:54 AM #21
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Excellent post Anthea!  Flagged for a feature.  If I can see the crud issues then I know that potential buyers can and no one wants to buy some elses dirt. 

Mar 05, 2010 12:48 PM #22
Lee Barroll
SWBC Mortgage - Brentwood, TN

A nice list of things to be done.  Thanks.

Mar 06, 2010 06:34 AM #23
Anthea Click
Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com - Franklin, TN
Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!

Dean - Clients obsessed with cleaning is very unusual. I bet you wish everyone you worked with was like that!

Ginger - Thank you so much! And no, no one wants to buy someone else's dirt even if their own home is filthy.

Lee - Glad you enjoyed. :)

Mar 07, 2010 12:07 PM #24
Nancy Robertson
Signature Style Staging - Dallas, TX

Great post!  I have been in so many homes on the market that are not only cluttered, but just plain FILTHY!  It is amazing that a seller would expect to get top dollar (if it sells at all) with all the filth.  I recently saw nasty toilets and bathrooms in $450,000 homes along with all the dirty laundry and underwear piled up in the floor.  UNBELIEVABLE!  Also some ideas for your list is cleaning the ceiling fans and the bathroom mirrors!

Mar 09, 2010 07:40 AM #25
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Anthea Click

Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information