Cleaning your rental property before a showing is one of the best ways to attract high-quality tenants. If your property is clean and attractive, you’ll give potential tenants a great first impression.
Prospective tenants will notice if your property is dirty. During a showing, people are forming all sorts of assumptions as they walk through it. If it isn’t clean, you’ll be turning away tenants left and right. A shabby property will also increase your vacancy rate, something every property manager dreads. Here are some tips to get your rental property cleaned to perfection before your next showing.
1. Decide whether you’ll be cleaning it yourself or hiring a professional
Before showing your property to potential tenants, you should decide whether you will be cleaning it yourself or if you’ll be hiring a professional cleaning service.
Professional cleaning services that specialize in move-out cleaning will save you a lot of time and energy, particularly if the previous tenants left behind a mess. Areas like inside the oven and refrigerator are susceptible to build up and can take a lot of time to look good as new.
If the rental property isn’t dirty and you prefer to clean it yourself, then it might make more sense to save money. But when you are doing this, ensure that you use the right products and techniques to clean your property.
2. Remove all trash left behind by the previous tenants
Your former tenants may have left behind some trash items. Before you begin cleaning your property, make sure you remove all the trash and clutter lurking throughout your property.
Check the inside of your appliances, cabinets, drawers, and closets to make sure they’re free and clear. Once you remove all the trash inside your property, you can begin cleaning!
3. Clean from top to bottom
The best way to efficiently clean your rental property is to move room by room and clean top to bottom. It means that you will clean higher ledges and surfaces, move from one direction of the room to the other before you dust and wipe the lower surfaces.
By doing this, all the dust and dirt that falls from the higher surfaces will land on the lower surfaces for you to wipe clean. If you clean bottom to top, starting with the baseboards and moving up, you’ll move dust and dirt onto surfaces you’ve already cleaned. Then, you’ll have to go back over surfaces you’ve already cleaned, using up valuable time and energy.
4. Use a cleaning checklist
It is always a good idea to have a cleaning checklist. If you’re hiring a professional cleaning service, make sure you’re clear on what tasks they include in their cleanings. Some cleaning services charge extra for services like cleaning the inside of the oven and refrigerator during a move-out cleaning. Before you hire a cleaning service, it is essential to be clear about the tasks you want them to perform.
If you’re not sure of their scope, ask them if they have a cleaning checklist they can provide to you. If you’re cleaning the property yourself, it’s helpful to have a thorough cleaning checklist for reference when you’re moving through your property.
It is easy to forget small areas of your property as you’re cleaning. You don’t want to be in the middle of a showing and realize that you forgot to clean the inside of the kitchen cabinets that your prospective tenants just opened.
5. Use high-quality cleaning products
Whether you’re cleaning it yourself or using a cleaning service, you should ensure that you use the highest quality products on your property.
If you’re cleaning it yourself, the number of products you need will depend on how dirty everything is. In general, here’s a list of items you will need:
• Microfiber towels
• Multi-purpose cleaner
• Heavy-duty degreaser
• Dawn dish soap
• Oven cleaner
• Toilet bowl cleaner
• Bathtub cleaner
6. Separate cleaning tasks by room
It’s a good idea to separate each room on your property and focus on cleaning them one at a time. Most cleaning checklists that professional cleaners use will separate tasks by room because it’s the most efficient way to clean a home. Here’s a sample checklist that separates each cleaning task by room:
In the kitchen, start by dusting all surfaces and then wiping down the following areas:
• Inside and outside of cabinets
• Sink and countertops
• Window sills and ledges
• Light fixtures
• Inside and outside of appliances
Microwave cleaning tip
- Wet a paper towel, put a drop of dawn dish soap on it, and place it in the center of the microwave.
- Turn the microwave on for 30-60 seconds.
- Remove the paper towel and wipe down the inside of the microwave. Done!
In the bathroom, start by dusting all surfaces and then wiping down the following areas:
• Inside and outside of cabinets
• Sink and countertops
• Toilet and surrounding areas
• Shower and tub
• Window sills
Once you finish cleaning the kitchen and bathroom(s), you turn your attention to the rest of the house.
It’s important to pay close attention to the walls, windows, baseboards, and corners when you’re moving through the rest of your property.
During a showing, every little detail matters. During your walk-through, it is important to catch any areas that need attention. A few areas that are common to miss are ceiling fans and light fixtures. It can be easy to brush over these areas, but it’s important to pay close attention to detail when you’re dusting and wiping them clean. It might seem insignificant, but every subtle detail adds up.
Then, take a look at the windows. Are they dirty? If so, clean the glass using a bucket filled with warm soapy water and a pair of microfiber towels (one dry and one wet). Wet the microfiber towel in the soapy water and wipe the glass. Then, wipe clean with your dry towel.
Baseboards are another key area that is common to miss during cleanings. Once you’ve finished cleaning the interior windows, we’ll use the same technique to clean the baseboards. Wet a towel in the soapy solution, wipe the baseboard and wipe dry with your other microfiber towel.
Cleaning your rental property before a showing is one of the most essential but often overlooked steps in the listing process. A well-cleaned property gives potential tenants a great impression of not only the property but how you operate as an owner.
To attract the best tenants and reduce your vacancy rate, make sure you’re taking the time to clean it properly and get everything looking presentable. Paying close attention to detail now will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.