The sensitive subject of cleanliness

No one wants to hear that his or her home is dirty. For this reason, you may not hear your real estate agent comment on the cleanliness of your home when you are preparing to put it up for sale. Every real estate agent knows, however, that clean, organized homes sell quicker and at a higher price than competing homes that are not as well kept.

In today’s world, everyone is on the go. Single parents are trying to raise their children, provide a good home environment, and compete in the workplace for a decent income. Many couples have both spouses working outside the home. Singles also have a busy life that is very demanding and allows little time to keep the house in shape. So there are many reasons why your home may not be considered clean enough to compete with similar homes for sale. Here are some of the consequences of trying to sell a home that is not as clean as it could be:

Fewer showings: Soon after your home goes on the market, the word will get out regarding its condition and cleanliness. A clean home will get more showings and quicker showings than others. These showings will result in a higher selling price with minimum time on the market.

Adverse emotional impact: If your home is not clean and well-kept, potential buyers will begin to worry that there may be other concerns such as mechanical, electrical or plumbing problems that are not easily detected. If the buyer becomes worried about hidden defects, he or she will decide to either buy another home or make a lower offer on your home. This lower offer often indicates that the buyer may anticipate substantial fix-up and repair bills after the sale. Many of these anxieties could be avoided by keeping your house in the best possible condition while it is being offered for sale.

ADVICE: Remember the importance of a clean home when considering ways to maximize your selling price. Also, don’t underestimate the value of cleanliness as an important marketing advantage over competing homes. If you can’t keep it clean, hire professional cleaners during the marketing period.

Thomas Ervin writes the nationally syndicated column “Let’s Talk About Real Estate” for