From Just Listed to Just Sold. No. 1 tip for Maryland home sellers.

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® 240.593.2860 MD594797

Being out and about touring homes this year, my buyers repeatedly had one question that I was not able to answer. That doesn't happen often. If I don't have an answer right away, I will find out. But this one question had me puzzled. 

What's that question you wonder? 

"Why haven't the sellers cleaned their house before putting it on the market?"

My honest answer was that I am not sure. My best guess was that it may be a case of 'in a hot market we don't have to.'

I beg to differ, of course. It doesn't matter what the market conditions are like, a house that has been prepared to be in its best showing condition will always yield the best results. In a slow market that may mean a faster offer. In a hot market, it could be the difference between receiving 2 offers or 10. In both markets, it can influence the price a buyer is willing to pay. 

A clean house shows pride of ownership. It simply shows better and it also tells buyers that this house has been maintained. A dirty house raises questions. If they didn't care to clean, did they maintain all the systems properly? What else was the seller negligent about? 

When I begin to work with Maryland home sellers, I'll always ask for a tour first. I'll take notes and pictures to help me remember later when I write my to-do list for the seller. I always prepare one and include must-do items, do-if-you-can-items, and some general tips. 

Not every seller has the financial resources - or time - to make big changes, but A LOT can be achieved on even the smallest budget. Cleaning - or having the house professionally cleaned - is one of the best pre-listing investments a seller can make. It shows and it pays! 

My buyers this year, more than once decided to pass on a dirty house. It just didn't give them a homey vibe and they didn't want to find out what else the seller neglected. 

My number one tip for Maryland home sellers even on the tightest budget, make sure your house is clean, from top to bottom, inside and out, before putting it on the market. 

Getting buyers to fall in love with your home starts with a clean house. Add staging and the right marketing, and you'll be in great shape to sell for highest and best in no time! 

Posted by

Andrea Bedard
Thompson Co., REALTORS®

Silver Spring, Maryland

Fluent in Real Estate and German.
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Comments (8)

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI
HomeSmart Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona Homes and Land Group/ Buy or Sell

I am with you Andrea. Clean the house, make the yard the best it can be. Pet stuff, put away. Soothing music YES. All this equals SOLD! Jeff

Sep 05, 2023 03:53 PM
Andrea Bedard

Yes, yes, yes! All these things matter SO MUCH! 

Sep 05, 2023 04:41 PM
Dennis Neal
RE/MAX, Big Bear - Big Bear Lake, CA
Your Home Sold in 21 Days or We Sell It For Free

A clean home and great curb appeal puts buyers in the mood to fall in love with the house.

Sep 05, 2023 04:04 PM
Andrea Bedard

.. and that's the goal! Buyers who fall in love with a home really want it, and their offers usually reflect that. 

Sep 05, 2023 04:42 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Andrea,

You are right a clean home is a must when listing your home. As Barbara Todaro always says "The eye buys!"

Sep 05, 2023 04:30 PM
Andrea Bedard

It sure does! I couldn't believe how filthy some of these homes were. It doesn't take much to wipe the cabinets clean, use a magic eraser on some of the scruff marks, vacuum... I don't get it. Thanks for stopping by, Dorie Dillard Austin TX!

Sep 05, 2023 04:44 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Andrea - I believe it's true that homes "tell" stories.  Clean and dirty ones alike. So much can be revealed or at least assumed.  We know what can happens when assumptions are made.  And it's generally not good.  

Sep 05, 2023 05:37 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Andrea. Isn't that just the truth! Buyers can just "feel" a home when it's truly clean. And they can "feel" a home when it's not.

Sep 06, 2023 05:51 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I totally agree with you this is a top tip. I also have had buyers walk out of dirty homes for exactly the reasons you give. What else has the seller neglected?

Sep 06, 2023 07:33 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Sep 07, 2023 02:17 AM
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster Real Estate - Gainesville, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I've seen the same thing this year over in Virginia.  Too many sellers think slapping a sign in the yard and getting in the MLS means an instant bidding war.  There is always a need for preparation if you want the best result.

Sep 20, 2023 06:00 PM