Portland Spring Cleaning Tips – Sell your home faster

portland spring cleaning staging tips

Early spring in Portland is when we get some breaks in the rain, the irises and daffodils bloom, and home buyers come out of winter hibernation. Is your home ready to be admired?

Here are our three easy steps to getting your Portland home in shape to sell this spring.

Portland Home Staging Step 1: Declutter

It’s been a long winter — and stuff tends to pile up. If you haven’t quite finished putting holiday decorations away, now’s a good time. Moreover, clutter is distracting. You want their eyes to be focused on the great features of your home, not on your stuff. 

Here are a few more decluttering tips we recommend for our Portland real estate clients:

  • Stuff your garage. Where to put all your extra stuff? If you can’t get rid of it, put it in the garage. The buyer should have easy access into the garage and should be able to see how large it is, but if you have to stock boxes somewhere – use the garage.
  • Work on the Master closet. Buyers will not open most of the closets, but they will almost certainly check out the Master closet – that’s where their stuff will go! Give yourself a break on all the other closets in the house, but make sure the Master closets are clean and tidy or empty altogether. As for the rest of the closets, feel free to stuff them, but try to keep the floor space cleared. The closet will feel larger if they can see the full dimensions.
  • Start small and beat the “I don’t have time” excuse. Decluttering experts recommend giving yourself five minutes to spend on getting rid of some things, or just starting with a single drawer. Warning: Once you start you might not want to stop!
  • Don’t put off hauling it away. Deciding to get rid of something is just the first step: It has to go somewhere. If you don’t have time to make a run to your nearest thrift shop, call one of Portland’s many junk hauling services. Or try posting your stuff on your Portland neighborhood’s Nextdoor.com site — your neighbors might love it!

Portland Home Staging Step 2: Clean

Ah, spring cleaning. Okay, maybe this isn’t the most exciting step for you, but the rewards can be great. In our experience, homes that are decluttered and clean sell faster and for more money, on average, than homes that aren’t. Put yourself in the buyers’ shoes: Would you want to move into a place that makes you feel overwhelmed?

If you can’t get around to cleaning before you list your home for sale, hire a maid service. Typically they’ll be able to quote you a flat rate to do the whole house — and your real estate agent will almost guarantee a return on that investment. 

When cleaning your Portland home to sell, here are some areas to be sure not to miss:

  • The windows. They’re the eyes of the home, but after a muddy Portland winter, they can get pretty clouded. To get the best clean on the exterior of the window, use a bucket of water with just a little soap added. Scrub the windows with a microfiber cloth, then rinse with a hose. Use a squeegee to wipe them dry and avoid water spots. 
  • Window screens. Wiping them with a damp microfiber cloth should take care of most of the dirt. 
  • Cobwebs up high, indoors and out. Use a spider mop — a special round broom with an extendable handle — to take care of all those spider homes in your Portland home. 
  • Floors. After you decluttered, you can see a lot more of it, right? Consider renting a carpet cleaner if it’s been a while. Mop with the right product to clean and add shine to wood floors, tile, linoleum, etc.
  • Kitchen counters and sink. It’s one of the most difficult parts of keeping a home ready for showings — staying on top of the dishes. Buyers absolutely love an immaculate kitchen, so communicate to your family that this is a priority. Wiping down counters after every meal will help keep the mess from re-accumulating after a deep clean. For all the kitchen counter mail and other stuff, designate a drawer that you can sweep everything into before the showing. 

Some good news: It’s okay to skip areas that buyers won’t see on the first walk-through. Upper shelves and cabinets can get a free pass if you’re short on time and energy to clean. 

Portland Home Staging Step 3: Refresh

Now that you’ve gotten rid of unnecessary stuff in your home and made it sparkling clean, the final step is the staging itself!

For a fresh spring look, the classic choice is fresh flowers. They’re colorful, and they make the house smell great. A bouquet on the coffee table will make the living room seem brighter; a small vase in a windowsill brings attention to the window.

Other key Spring home staging zones:

  • Entry. The front door is the first impression of the home, and buyers should find it easy to remove their shoes and hang their coat. Put out a new welcome mat, add some hooks if there are none available, and consider an umbrella stand and shoe rack to protect your nice clean floors. 
  • Bathrooms. A new shower curtain and towels can do wonders, but be sure you’ve cleaned first. Again, keep personal items stored away, or pared down to one bottle of shampoo in the shower and one soap by the sink. 
  • Closets. Go ahead and box up the winter wardrobe to show off more space. 
  • Bedroom. Time to throw off the winter flannels and heavy quilts and bring out the bright colors.

Now that you’ve overhauled the indoors, don’t forget to stage outdoors.

  • Get the front steps and porch in tip-top shape. Loose boards and railings not only look bad, they’re a safety concern for those coming to look at your home. Invest in some non-slip mats and keep everything swept and clean during these late-spring storms.
  • Check for new cracks or raised areas in the walkway and take appropriate action. If it’s something someone’s going to trip on, fix or mark it.
  • Spruce up the mailbox with new hardware or replace it entirely if it’s in a prominent place. Ditto for anything else visible from the curb — porch lights, door knockers and outdoor furniture. 
  • Fill in holes in the lawn and reseed now. Check out our Portland Spring Lawn and Garden Guide. 

Ready to sell your home this spring? Our top 1% seller’s agents are ready to help. Contact us today.

March 8, 2019
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

Pay less (4.5% commission max.) and get more with his top 1% listing team or buy your next home with his excellent top 1% buyer’s team. We work from Salem, Oregon to Vancouver, Washington and beyond. Check out our full services areas on the top menu.