A Complete Guide To Cleaning Your Home For Pre-Listing

July 11, 2024

Are you looking to sell your old home to potential buyers? If your answer is yes, then you’ll need to put your best foot forward if you want to lock the interest of potential home buyers.

One crucial step you have to take to seize their attention is cleaning your home. 

A clean house is a subtle but impactful way of attracting customers and helping them envision an optimistic future with your house. It’s also a respectful thing to do, as having clutter and mess is generally bad etiquette and can be a turn-off to many people.

With that said, if you’re looking to improve the state of your house, you’ve come to the right place. This article will dive into how you can clean your home to prepare it for marketing and listing in real estate online marketplaces. 

Let’s get right into things.

5 General Tips to Clean Your House

If you want your house to get to a presentable state in front of prospective buyers, here are five of the best things to do to prepare your house for pre-listing.

1. Remove Clutter and Rubbish

First impressions matter: and you wouldn’t want any prospective buyer to think that your house is a hoarder’s paradise.

Having too many random trinkets scattered in disarray can be unsightly and can lead buyers to look for houses elsewhere. If you want to make the most of your time entertaining these clients, then ensure that your space is as clutter-free as possible.

Overwhelmed with a house filled with trash? Start small by going from room to room and decluttering trash to dispose of in a garbage bag or box. If you find anything you’d like to keep, sell or donate, sort them accordingly in a box.

Once you’ve covered each room, place the trash in a dumpster or its respective recycling facility. This entire process can take an entire weekend or two, but it’s an effective way of keeping your place clean and a competitive choice for would-be buyers.

Don’t have the time to go on a deep cleanse? You can consider opting into a weekly cleaning service with Absolute Domestics to free up your time while getting your house cleaned.

2. Sort Shelves, Cabinets, and Storage Spaces

Clearing your rubbish out of the house isn’t enough to leave a good impression. You should also ensure that the items still inside your home are all neatly and properly arranged, especially if they’re plainly visible to guests and buyers entering the room.

For instance, if your bookshelf’s books and frames are in disarray, take the time to arrange them neatly. The same goes for your kitchen rack and cabinets. You should also clean the inside of your closet to make it easier for you to find your way around these storage spaces.

By keeping these house furnishings clean, you can make your home more attractive and appealing to potential buyers.

3. Mind Your Furniture Layout

To create an inviting atmosphere, you should be mindful about how to position your furniture. You don’t want to inadvertently block guests from entering tight spaces around your home or have them squeeze themselves into spots due to bad furniture placement.

As much as possible, create as much space in the entryway of your room as possible. Push couches and bulkier furniture away from the door and closer to walls and corners. Make sure there’s ample space for all body types to get in between coffee tables and sofas in the living room.

When your home’s layout is well thought out, it can exude a welcoming atmosphere and highlight its best features. In turn, this can give your potential clients the illusion of a bigger home with better value.

4. Clean High-Contact Areas 

It’s easy for germs to transmit from person to person in high-contact things like doors, flushes, and light switches. Prospecting homebuyers could also become understandably repulsed by your property if they notice that these house components have dark, oily, and dirty spots.

Having said that, be proactive in wiping away fingerprints, smudges, and dust that may settle into your house. You can use a cleaner or a soap solution to clean these problem areas around the house. Be sure to wipe it weekly, at the very least.

5. Dust Windows, Floors and Ceilings

Lastly, another important thing to consider is cleaning wide spaces around the house. This includes your floors, walls, and ceilings. 

Besides wiping these places down (or vacuuming your floor), be sure to inspect and cover hard-to-reach areas as well, like the upper corners of your walls. These areas can accumulate dirt and cobwebs quickly.

If you don’t have a step ladder, you can use an extendable duster to reach high areas. By cleaning these spots, you’re making your property more photo-ready, which is crucial if you want customers to click on your listing and make arrangements to see your property.

Zone-Specific Cleaning Tips

kitchen reno

The house is a big space for one cleaner, but the good news is you don’t have to clean the entire place in one go.

This section will explore zone-specific cleaning tips to make it easier to compartmentalise and control your cleaning process.


The kitchen is a place that you have to keep clean at all costs. Contaminants and spoilages aren’t merely an inconvenience, they can also be a health hazard to you and the rest of the household.

Begin by cleaning the kitchen counters and wiping down surfaces until they’re spotless and free from food residue and stains. Clean all the appliances (the microwaves, ovens, etc) that you’ve used throughout the day and ensure they’re free from food residue as well. 

Wipe down other areas around the kitchen that you’ve come into contact with. Do this at least once every use. Consider spraying a deodoriser around the kitchen to remove any foul orders as well.

By doing these things, you’re making it easier for yourself to prepare meals in the following days. You’re also more prone to leaving a good first impression on your guests and buyers.

Living Room

Your living room is the heart of your space. It’s also the first area within the house that your visitors will see—and most likely the place where they’ll be spending the most time in. As such, it’s crucial to keep it well-maintained.

Cleaning the living room doesn’t have to be too fancy—you just need to be consistent and thorough. Dust surfaces and furniture frequently. Vacuum your floors. Arrange your furniture to make it easier to move around. 

If any part of the living room is broken, like a lightbulb, have it replaced ASAP. Remove clutter too. By doing these things, you’re making your living room look more appealing, helping buyers see your place in a more positive light.

Outdoor and Lawn Area

The very first thing buyers will see when they enter your property is your facade and front lawn. These two things should be properly maintained to set a good impression on them.

Starting with the yard, be sure to mow the lawn and trim the hedges regularly. Pluck off any weeds growing in unsightly areas. You may also enhance curb appeal by planting flowers or adding garden fixtures around the space.

If any part of the garden or facade is broken or deformed in any way, consider removing them altogether and replacing them with something more visually appealing. Doing this can make your entire home look more inviting, which can definitely help in securing a deal with potential buyers.


The bedroom should look peaceful and orderly from the outset. Tuck away loud, personal furniture and instead exude a peaceful and relaxing environment in the bedroom. Approach things with a minimalist mindset to help your bedroom stand out to your potential customers.

Of course, the general cleanliness tips apply here as well. Besides that, remove personal items like family picture frames and medals to allow space for the buyer to envision themselves in the new room.


Home buyers scrutinise bathrooms since they’re some of the most likely places around the home that get dirty. It should be cleaned once a week when in constant use.

To begin the bathroom cleaning process, start by scrubbing tiles, pipes, and fixtures until they’re free from stains and grime. Use a bathroom cleaner to ensure that these parts are thoroughly cleaned.

Following that, wipe your mirrors, walls, and floors with a cleaning solution as well. This can freshen up the ambience of the bathroom considerably. Organise your hygienics to create a clutter-free experience. 

As a finishing touch, you can also add an air freshener to make the space feel more clean and inviting. This can signal to buyers that you take good care of your space, which is vital for pushing them to make a purchasing decision.

Soho is your expert team in Australian real estate, offering an innovative platform for effortless property searches. With deep insights into buying, renting, and market trends, we guide you to make informed decisions, whether it's your first home or exploring new suburbs.
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