No matter how hard you try, it's easy to overlook some spots when you spring clean — because you're blind to what you see and use every day in your own home.
So before you say you're done with your spring cleaning, check to see if you missed any of these tasks:
#1 Clean and Inspect Your Vacuum
A clogged and dirty vacuum can undo any cleaning you've done the minute you switch it on. Blame it on that stinky odor that only vacuums seem to emit.
Best to clean it first:
This goes for your wet/dry vacuum, and handheld one, too, if you have them.
#2 Clean the Undersides of Surfaces
The bottoms and underside edges of dining tables, kitchen countertops, and high-chair trays can get pretty sticky.
While you're at it, if your table has leaves, wipe down those alarmingly icky cracks, too. Don't question what the mystery gunk is: Just clean it and forget it.
Check with your city or county for a spring toxic waste disposal event and plan to do your spring cleaning before that day. That way, you can responsibly get rid of all those dried-out cans of adhesives, varnishes, paints, and finishes clogging up your storage space and your DIY workspace.
#4 Pitch Outdated Pantry Staples
Basics like flour, vinegar, and sauces that are past their expiration date lose flavor, and anything containing oil, like nuts, can go rancid.
To bring a bigger bang to your recipes, also replace any dried spices that have been open longer than a year. Going forward, you can buy smaller portions where bulk spices are sold, so you always have a fresh supply.
Even if you wipe your appliances daily, gunk and crumbs can hide in nooks and crannies — like behind the knobs and under the grill on the range, and cracks around your dishwasher buttons.
You shouldn't need more than some baking soda and soapy water — along with an old toothbrush to reach into crevices — to banish the eww factor.
#6 Give Houseplants a Shower (and Clean the Spots Where They Live)
Take all your plants outside for a nice cleansing shower on a drizzly day. Then inside, tackle the spots where they live: the floor, shelf, countertop. Clean the walls and baseboards, too. And check for water damage. A cracked pot or chronic overwatering can allow moisture and dirt to leach out.
It's inevitable that sometimes icky stuff leaks out and crumbs make their way around the bag. But in the rush to get the new bag in there, cleaning it up often gets forgotten. And the can's lid: Have you looked at it, really looked at it lately? Yuck.
Sanitize with a mixture of soap and bleach (don't forget to wear gloves!) and, if your can is stowed in a cabinet, use a vacuum attachment to suck up dust and crumbs inside the cabinet box. And wash the cabinet, too. There's almost always yucky stuff there.
In our quest to clean the deepest crevices of our homes, many of us forget the stuff right under our fingertips all day long. Literally, light switches, door knobs, cabinet handles, and remotes are some of the germiest places in your house. You almost can't clean them enough.
And speaking of yuck, when is the last time you cleaned your reusable grocery bags? Studies have found bacteria easily moves from your bags to your fridge, countertops, etc. - increasing the chances of food poisoning and cross-contamination.
Throw them in the washer or wash by hand with hot, soapy water.
Spring is one of the best times of the year to put your home on the market in our Southwest Oklahoma market, which includes the Lawton, Elgin, Cache and Fort Sill areas. Working to get your home ship-shape for showings will increase its value and shorten your sales time.
Many buyers today want move-in-ready homes and will quickly eliminate an otherwise great home by focusing on a few visible flaws. Unless your home shines, you may endure showing after showing and open house after open house — and end up with a lower sales price. Before the first prospect walks through your door, consider some smart options for casting your home in its best light.
Be proactive by arranging for a pre-sale home inspection. For $250 to $400, an inspector will warn you about troubles that could make potential buyers balk. Make repairs before putting your home on the market. In some states, you may have to disclose what the inspection turns up.
If your home inspection uncovers necessary repairs you can't fund, get estimates for the work. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home and the repairs. Also hunt down warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for your furnace, washer and dryer, dishwasher, and any other items you expect to remain with the house.
Not every repair costs a bundle. Fix as many small problems — sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, dripping faucets — as you can. These may seem trivial, but they'll give buyers the impression your house isn't well maintained.
Clear your kitchen counters of just about everything. Clean your closets by packing up little-used items like out-of-season clothes and old toys. Install closet organizers to maximize space. Put at least one-third of your furniture in storage, especially large pieces, such as entertainment centers and big televisions. Pack up family photos, knickknacks, and wall hangings to depersonalize your home. Store the items you've packed offsite or in boxes neatly arranged in your garage or basement.
A clean house makes a strong first impression that your home has been well cared for. If you can afford it, consider hiring a cleaning service.
If not, wash windows and leave them open to air out your rooms. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Wash light fixtures and baseboards, mop and wax floors, and give your stove and refrigerator a thorough once-over.
Pay attention to details, too. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, clean inside the cabinets, and polish doorknobs. Don't forget to clean your garage, too.
Come on springtime! We are definitely ready for longer days, spring rains and 80s for daytime temperatures. It's good for business! Currently our Southwest Oklahoma market has 844 residential homes on the market compared to 862 last year at this time. There have been 1,534 sold and closed residential properties in the past 12 months compared to 1,386 sold and closed the previous year. Homes that sell take an average of 80 days on the market compared to 83 days last year. Our average sold price has increased from $117,518 last year to $118,743 this year. Homes in our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) with Lawton deemed as their address make up 61.7% of market.
MLS Data shows that there have been 88 new construction homes sold and closed in the past 12 months with an average sold price of $251,040. Sixty-seven of these new constructions were outside of Lawton, in communities such as Cache and Elgin.
All signs are for positive growth in the area in the next few years. If you need assistance in your next move, please let Parks Jones Realty take care of you. We are now available to also assist buyers in the Oklahoma City area by having access to their MLS properties.
In the Southwest Oklahoma real estate market, it is routine for buyers to complete a professional home inspection once their offer is accepted on a home. This professional home inspection is a thorough examination of the current condition of a home by a trained and certified home inspector. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses this knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase.
When a buyer and seller enter into a real estate contract, it is based upon information that is known at the time and is contingent upon the buyers' acceptance of findings by the home inspector. In our market, the buyer has ten days after signing the contract to complete the home inspection.
Renegotiation typically takes place after the home inspection because new information about the condition of the property has been revealed. This means that the deal you worked so hard to finalize, during weeks of negotiation, was tentative at best.
When buyers obtain a home inspection, they use it for their own benefit. Some sellers hire an inspector of their own when the property is listed for sale. This enables them to present full disclosure of the property's condition to each prospective buyer, before negotiations begin.
By obtaining a presale inspection, sellers accomplish four valuable objectives:
The case for presale home inspections is a strong one. Only a small percentage of sellers have recognized these advantages. At Parks Jones Realty, we see the benefit in home inspections for both buyers and sellers. It is our hope that more sellers will see the benefits of taking control of the disclosure process by completing a home inspection when listing their property for sale.
Install the Visit Lawton Fort Sill mobile app to discover area attractions, restaurants, shopping, things to do and so much more in Southwest Oklahoma. This well designed mobile app was created by the Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote the wonderful Lawton Fort Sill area, including Cache, Elgin, Medicine Park and the gorgeous Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Plan your next meal, shopping trip or weekend adventure using the Visit Lawton Fort Sill app.