When I sell my house do I have to clean it? YES, YES, YES
By Amanda Scali

27/10/2016 12:00am

When I sell my house do I have to clean it? YES, YES, YES

When I sell my house do I have to clean it, is a question that has a simple answer: Yes.

If you pride yourself on keeping a clean house, you may be dismayed to discover that it doesn’t look quite so clean once it’s completely empty.

Now imagine meeting the removalists at your new home to discover that the former owners, who weren’t as houseproud as you are, hadn’t bothered to clean the house completely before they left.

While dealing with that disappointing start to life in your new home, at least you could be comforted knowing that the new owners of your former home would be having a better time in the thoroughly clean house you left for them.

When I sell my house do I have to clean it? There's a moral and a legal answer

Although cleaning your house before settlement is more of a moral issue than a legal one, the buyer can make a claim against the seller if, during a pre-settlement inspection, the house is found to be in poorer condition than when they viewed it.

Moving day is always busy, so if you think you won’t have time to clean your home properly before you leave, ask your local real estate agent to recommend an experienced cleaner.

Pre-settlement cleaning tips

If you are going to do the final clean yourself, remember not to send your vacuum cleaner, stepladder, hose and fittings, broom and duster, cleaning cloths and products, carpet spot cleaner etc. off with the removalists.

It’s much easier to clean an empty home than a furnished one, because you don’t have to clean or work around the furniture and you can more easily see any dust, cobwebs and marks.

Work methodically room by room, cleaning from the top down, including curtain rods or tracks, light fittings, ceiling fans and air-conditioning vents.

Clean the shelves inside wardrobes and cupboards, taking care in bathroom, laundry and kitchen cupboards where spills may have occurred.

Make sure the shower, bath, vanity, mirrors and toilet sparkle; it would be thoughtful to leave behind a roll or two of toilet paper too.

Give the oven, rangehood and cooktop special attention, especially any burnt-on residue, using cleaning products that are purpose designed for any speciality finishes.

Attention to detail will win the day

Thoroughly clean spots that are normally hidden, like inside the fridge alcove and the carpet under where the beds normally go.

Remove fingermarks from around internal and external doors, clean screen doors, sliding window tracks and any windows that need attention—for example, where your dog has been practising his ‘nose art’.

Don’t forget the garage: clean inside any cupboards; dust, wash or wipe down the garage door, inside and out; sweep or hose the floor; and remove any oil stains from the floor or driveway.

Remove all rubbish from the property, including garden clippings, and clean the rubbish bins.

A clean house for a clean start

Lastly, leave the instruction booklets and any current warranties for fixed appliances such as the oven, rangehood, cooktop, air-conditioning system, security system, and spa or pool filtration system, as well as garage door and gate remotes and instructions.

That’s how it’s done.

The local experts from McGrath Real Estate are with you all the way through the sale process from listing to settlement.

Our agents are happy to give you the benefit of their extensive experience in helping a great number of clients successfully sell their homes and smoothly make the transition to new ones.