Whether you’re selling your home to an investor or working with a more traditional real estate broker, you naturally want to make the strongest first impression possible. Common sense dictates that, before you put your house on the market, you do whatever you can to make it look clean and tidy. Pay special attention to your bathrooms. You can rest assured that buyers are going to be paying close attention to these all-important facilities; and needless to say, a bathroom that smells bad, looks disgusting, or simply doesn’t seem well-cared-for is going to be a major turnoff.
The question is, how can you make sure your bathrooms look their absolute best? How can you make them assets, not liabilities, in your quest to get the place sold?
Below, we offer some tips for making your bathrooms pristine. We invite you to consider these steps before you open your doors to house hunters.
Our Tips for Cleaning Your Bathrooms
With no further preamble…
- Do the ceilings. Yes, really. Microscopic soap particles can cling to your bathroom ceiling and cause it to accumulate mildew and grime. To clean it, we recommend applying the entire ceiling with a coat of all-purpose cleaner. Turn on a hot shower and let the steam do its thing for 15 minutes or so. Then, just wipe it all down with a clean cloth.
- Clean the vent cover. Your vent cover, too, can become quite dirty, sucking up dust and debris and really looking dingy over time. We’d encourage you to remove the vent cover/grate, soak it in soapy water for a while and then rinse it clean. Dry thoroughly before you reapply. And before you put the vent back into place, use a paintbrush to wipe dust and debris off the motor.
- Take care of the tub. To get your house sold, we recommend vigorously cleaning the bathtub, particularly paying attention to the water line. Do this by applying soap scum cleaner to the water line, then scrubbing in a circular pattern with a scrub brush. Thoroughly rinse when you’re done.
- Unclog your drains. Will house hunters run water in the sink, or even in the shower, to see if things drain properly? Don’t put it past them! A significant drain clog can be a red flag for buyers, and even if they don’t notice, it may come up in the home inspection report. Thankfully, most drains are easy to unclog. Try using a simple plunger, and if that doesn’t work, consider a drain snake and/or a white vinegar and baking soda combo. Use chemical drain cleaners only as your very last resort.
- Shine the showerhead. Over time, it’s pretty normal for your showerhead to accumulate soap scum and other kinds of grime. This is an easy clean-up job! Get a plastic baggy and fill it with white vinegar. Then use a rubber band or zip tie to attach it to the showerhead. Let the showerhead soak in the vinegar for an hour or so, then take the baggy off and wipe everything down.
- Wipe down your mirrors. The secret to mirrors that are clean and streak-free? Spray just a little bit of glass cleaner onto a micro-fiber cloth, then wipe. Spraying the cleaner to the mirror itself tends to result in oversaturation, and thus streaks.
- Don’t overlook your faucets and handles. It’s easy to forget these pieces of hardware, so make a note to wipe them down with a cloth and some simple, all-purpose cleaner.
- Take care of the toilet. Alright, here’s the part you’ve been waiting for… what we recommend for toilets is white vinegar for the rim, base, and seat of the commode. Make sure you scrub the bolts, too, which can look dingy over time. For the inside of the bowl, simple toilet cleaner and a curved brush generally work best. A little bleach may also help to clean and deodorize.
- Vacuum the bathroom floor before any showings. Simple but important. Don’t let house hunters see dust or stray hairs! (Ewwww!)
- Freshen the scent. Finally, remember that even a very clean bathroom may still smell musty, so be sure you have an open window, potpourri, or scented candle you can use to take care of residual odors.
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