Advice for Sellers - Pre-Spring Clean-up (Inside) To-Do List

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 10 March 2015 12:33

If you’ve been waiting for spring to list your house, you wait is just about over. Spring is just days away. One of the things that people look forward to in spring is getting outside and cleaning up the yard, plus repairing the ravages of winter. That’s probably a little further out. The snow is melting ad the ground will be thawing soon; however, it is too early to get or and do anything but get muddy, at least around here in southeastern Michigan.

So, what can one do with all of that spring cleaning energy and enthusiasm?  Well, for one thing, you can use it to finally get around to all of that deferred maintenance inside that you’ve been putting off and to get started on de-cluttering and a good house cleaning. Winter can become a time when we just toss coats or boots or anything else into a corner or when we let the salt residue from outside build up in our entranceways and foyers. Get on that now that the weather is turning better. Winter is also a time when we might walk by the little things that need to be done in our homes – the much needed paint touch-up, the missing knob on a cabinet or the missing or broken switch plate or outlet cover. It’s also a time when we let the windows go a bit because it’s always cloudy outside anyway. Now, with the sun starting to stream in, you can see that they need washing. Get to the insides now.

There are all sorts of other little things that tend to get left for later during the winter doldrums – smoke detector batteries that didn’t get changed, furnace filters that made it through the winter but which are now dirty and clogged, hard water stains on fixtures and sinks that need to be removed, that cracked window pane that you taped over to hold it until later, the semi-clogged shower head that has turned from a rain head into a dribble head, the back heating element on the stove that stopped working and now serves only as a resting place for pots that are awaiting their turn on a good burner. These are the types of things that we all get used to living with, so much so that we don’t even see them anymore.

Believe me when I tell you that a potential buyer will see them and each of them will detract from the perceived value of your home. These are all minor jobs with minimum costs involved; but, they can become major stumbling blocks to a sale. How? They give the impression to would-be buyers that you have no pride of ownership and they begin to wonder about what else might be wrong with the place. Once they see that you didn’t care enough to do some of these, they start to look much harder at things like the roof and the furnace and other infrastructure items. They discount the appliances that might look OK by wondering about what maintenance or repairs you deferred for them, too. They become skeptical about your house and that is not a good thing.

Just the opposite buyer reaction is possible if you’ll take of these things. When buyers walk into a house that appears to have been well maintained and clean, they conclude that the owners have pride of ownership and probably took care of everything that same way. They begin to trust the sellers and they turn their attention to thoughts of how they would live in this great, move-in ready house; how their stuff would look in each room. That’s what you want and it’s as easy to achieve as taking the time now to do your pre-Spring cleaning and repairs. I know that this doesn’t sound like as much fun as getting out in the fresh air and getting all dirty in the yard; but, you’ll have plenty of time to get out in the yard in a few weeks, so use your time now to take care of the little stuff inside. Roll up those sleeves, because most of these things involve mainly elbow grease, get out the cleaning supplies and tool box and get to work. Make the inside look as good as you hope to make the outside look once you get out there.


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Norm Werner

Norm Werner is a Realtor at the Milford office of Real Estate One serving the southeastern Michigan area of Oakland and Livingston Counties. Norm specializes in residential real estate. Norm lives and works in Milford Michigan and is married to Carolyn Werner. Norm and Carolyn live in a historic home just three blocks from downtown Milford, with their two dogs - Sadie and Skippy. Norm specializes in the historic homes of Milford and the surrounding area and is on the Board of Directors of the Milford Historical Society. Norm especially enjoys working with first time buyers and those at the other end of the real estate spectrum who are downsizing into their retirement home. 

In addition to his web site, Norm also owns and m,aintains web site, the web site. He is also the webmaster for and the web site and the MilfordCar web site, as well as his church web site - In addition to blogging about real eastate, Norm has a personal blog - - on which he shares inspirational messages and the occasions personal observation about life.

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