You might have staged your house or had professionals do the job for you and it no doubt looked perfect, but once the furniture is removed and the place is empty, it’s usually a different story.
Even though you were proud of the way you kept the house clean during the inspection period, the house will not be as clean as you thought when it’s bare, so yes, cleaning is a must.
Imagine a first-home buyer, or even a seasoned buyer with lots of experience feeling excited about moving into their new house. They arrive with all their furniture ready to move in only to be faced with a mess left by the previous owners. What a disappointment it would be! It would cloud the joy of moving in.
If you thoroughly clean your empty house before settlement, at least you’ll be sure the people who buy it will find it spotless, and the favour might be passed on to you when you move into your new home. The old saying, what goes around comes around?
Moral and Legal Obligations
It’s true that leaving a clean house after a sale is a moral issue, whether it’s a family home or an investment property. However, for the pre-settlement inspection, the property needs to be in the same condition as when viewed during the selling period.
If the house is in a more imperfect state, the buyer can in some cases make a claim against the seller. Considering that it’s usually the case that you must move out as soon as the sale is settled, it can be a busy day so if you don’t have the time or the energy to do a thorough clean, why not hire a professional cleaner to do the job?
Tips For Cleaning Before Settlement
This is where some organising will come in handy. Unless you’re going to call in the professional cleaners, don’t pack the vacuum cleaner, dusters and brooms, the hose, cleaning products, bucket, step ladder and mop to go with the removalist.
Cleaning an empty house is much easier than you might think, since there’s no furniture to clean around, and you have a clear area to work on. You’ll more easily see cobwebs, finger marks and dust so go from room to room and clean from top to bottom.
Don’t forget sliding door tracks, light fittings, curtain rods, air conditioning vents and ceiling fans. The cupboards might have looked very clean when they were full, but there will be dust and marks, the same with wardrobes and shelves.
Clean the bathtub, toilet and shower, the wash basin and the tiles and leave behind a roll or two of toilet paper. One of the most important fixtures to clean is the oven, stove top, and range hood.
Don’t Forget the Hidden Grot
Make sure you clean the rubbers on the refrigerator door if you sold the house with the fridge included.
Have both the carpet and the windows professionally cleaned, and remove finger marks from light switches, door handles, and don’t leave the garage dirty or untidy – sweep the floor and hose it, get rid of oil stains there and on the driveway.
Take away all garbage, lawn and garden clippings, and empty and thoroughly clean the rubbish bins.
Leave Manuals and Operating Instructions
Finally, leave the new occupants any user manuals and operating instructions for any fixed appliances, and if the air conditioner or oven have any warranty left on them, leave the details handy. If there’s a spa filter system, a security system, gate or garage door remote control device, make sure they’re left in a safe place as well.