05/28/2015 11:54 am ET Updated May 29, 2016

5 Unique Things To Do Before You List Your Home

Home sales tend to peak in June, so now is the perfect time to get your home ready to be put on the market. While we all know the basics of what you need to do before your home is listed (clean, de-clutter, get rid of personal items, etc.), as the CEO of a professional cleaning company, I have found there are 5 things people rarely do--but should.

Here are 5 things you should do now before you list your home:

Clean Your Drains
There are two things prospective homebuyers will do when they look in your kitchen and bathrooms: check for odors and run the water. Your drains--whether sink or tub--become the star of your showing, so spend some time making sure they are unclogged and clean. The most common DIY eco-friendly cleaner is pouring one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of cider vinegar down each drain. Let it sit for several minutes (or even overnight) before flushing with boiling water. Same method will work for sinks that include garbage disposals. You can also grind half a lemon in the garbage disposal for an instant burst of freshness.

Freshen Your Curtains
We often think about cleaning our windows and blinds, but you also need to freshen your curtains. Curtains not only hold odors, but they hold dust and dirt--two things that are immediate turn-offs for homebuyers. Dust or vacuum each panel working from the top down (pay special attention to hems and folds) and use a damp cloth to clean any noticeable spots. Toss curtains in your dryer (gentle cycle) for a quick fresh fluff.

Empty Your Closets
Storage is something that buyers are always looking for in a new home, which makes closet space a high priority (trust me, buyers will open every closet). Empty all closets as much as possible with the goal of eliminating half of everything you see. Donate clothing to charity, return items you may have borrowed from others and pack away out-of-season items. This same rule can be used for drawers and cabinets--when buyers open up these key storage areas, you want them to see space, not clutter. You can store extra items with ease by using a service like MakeSpace, which has been called the Dropbox of physical storage. For a monthly fee, they will pick up and deliver your items to and from a storage facility--one more thing you don't have to add to your moving to-do list.

Spruce Up the Entryway
According to, most buyers decide in the first 30 seconds of seeing a home if it has the potential of being "the one." Not only should you improve the curb appeal of your home (new paint on the front door, flowers in the garden, lawn mowed), but you also need to spend time cleaning and organizing the entryway. Get rid of coats, shoes and backpacks and add a small bench or table with a vase of flowers. You can get some entryway inspirations here.

Improve the Scent
When it comes to buying a home, smell is one of the senses we use the most. Even if you think your home doesn't smell bad (tip: invite an honest friend to do a quick walk-thru to evaluate), you should err on the side of caution and add some elements to your home that will make it smell fresh and clean. Open your windows, simmer lemon peel on the stovetop, burn odor-eliminating soy candles (I love these from Fresh Wave), add fresh flowers, or make your own all-natural room spray (here's a 3-ingredient recipe from Apartment Therapy--it includes vodka!). If you need a quick scent-booster before a showing, pop some cookies in the oven--the smell of baked goods is said to make your home more attractive to buyers.

Talk to us: What things do you notice when you are looking to purchase a new home?

This blogger graduated from Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.



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