Real Estate Information Archive


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Cleaning Your Home After Selling

by The Hat Team

SOLD!  What a relief!  Your house is sold and soon you will be moving out.  Pride in ownership means that you will likely want to leave your house in good shape for its new owners. In some states, the Real Estate Purchase Contract may stipulate that the home is to be “swept clean”, meaning the seller should at least sweep the floors and leave walls and ceilings bare.  But the language can often be vague.  Here is a list of cleaning tips for home sellers to help you leave the house reasonably clean and to create a feeling of goodwill toward your buyer:

Cleaning the Interior of the Home Before Moving Out:

  • Remove all personal property.
  • Vacuum the floors.
  • Clean kitchen appliances including the inside of the refrigerator and over.  Wipe down the counters.
  • Scrub sinks and tubs.
  • Wipe down interior cabinets and shelves.
  • Wash tile/vinyl/wood flooring.

Cleaning the Garage Prior to Closing:

  • Remove personal belongings.
  • Throw away trash.
  • Properly dispose of toxic chemicals.
  • Sweep the floor.
  • Stack items pertaining to the home such as paint cans, roofing materials or extra flooring.  Check to make sure the buyer wants the extra materials first.

Basically, you want to leave the home in the condition that you would like to find your new home.  Your buyers will appreciate it!  What Are House Cleaning Expectations When a Seller Moves

If you are in the market to sell or buy a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

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Tips to Make Your Spring Housecleaning a Breeze

by The Hat Team

It’s that time of year! Spring-cleaning time! Check out these spring housecleaning tips from Angie Hicks, founder of These are tips from the pros to get your home in shape for spring.

housecleaningVacuuming your rugs and carpets weekly is the key to not letting dirt accumulate. If you have pets, more often is better. Here’s a three-step approach for use with wall-to-wall carpet to consider:  

  1. Clean the perimeter with the edging tool.
  2. Begin at the far corner and move backward so you don’t leave footprints.
  3. Vacuum slowly and steadily, rather than using numerous quick passes.

The pros prefer lightweight machines, which use HEPA filters, and come equipped with long hoses to reach under furniture and high ceiling corners. Also, check out this resource for Martha Stewart’s suggestions on carpet maintenance.

Additional miscellaneous expert tips are…

  • To remove rust stains in shower areas make a paste of hot water and powdered oxygen cleaner. Apply the mixture to shower walls and glass and let sit for 30 minutes. Scrub with nylon scrubber, rinse and buff dry.
  • To clean smudges from dark granite counters, wipe down with soapy water and buff dry.
  • To freshen drains and clear clogs pour baking soda over the drain, then pour on vinegar. Use boiling water to rinse the bubbling mixture down the drain.
  • Remove debris from tiny crevices with toothpicks.

Some kitchen supplies that the pros like are…

  • Baking soda can be sprinkled showers and sinks to deodorize them.
  • Mix one part vinegar, one part water, and 5 to 10 drops of eucalyptus or lavender oils to be shaken or sprayed on carpets, sofas, or mattresses.
  • Mix some antibacterial dish soap with white vinegar and hot water to sanitize doorknobs, doors, walls and other surfaces.

If you prefer to outsource the cleaning, line up possible candidates by checking Angies' List or another trusted online source for references. Also, get references from friends. Most cleaning companies will provide free estimates. An initial “deep” cleaning can average $300 to $400 with biweekly cleaning averaging $100 to $150. Of course, specific prices will depend on the size of your home, types of flooring, whether or not you have pets or kids, etc.

You can find more information from Angie Hicks’ article and from Martha Stewart’s guide to cleaning here.

Happy spring cleaning!

Information courtesy of Montgomery AL Realtors Sandra Nickel Hat Team.

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