Cleaning your windows can be a real pane. Misspelling intended.
Nevertheless, if you’re planning to sell your Houston home, it’s important to sweat the small stuff in order to display your house in the best possible light and get the maximum value from selling your investment. Why are clean windows so important? For more reasons than you might think, as you’ll find out if you read on.
First Impressions Are Key
You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that old saying is doubly true in the Internet age – and in a COVID-19 displaced world – when home buyers are doing more and more of their own research.
If your home doesn’t look good from the street – or the photos online – some buyers are never going to give it a fair shake, and even for the ones that do, it’ll be fighting an uphill battle against their negative first impressions.
There is a psychological phenomenon called the “primacy effect” that applies here. It means that people place a disproportionately high value on the first piece of information they receive on a subject.
For many, that first look will stick in their minds long after impressions of other interior spaces have faded. In order to make that principle work for you, take advantage of affordable ways to improve your home’s curb appeal – such as washing the windows.
Showcase Your Space
Portraying your home in the best possible light also extends to the interior, and having clean windows can help there as well. Abundant natural light creates more appealing atmosphere and makes your rooms seem much larger than the dimensions that are listed on the floor plan.
Conversely, rooms with dirty windows, whose blinds or curtains are drawn, will feel small and dingy, making home buyers uncomfortable on a subconscious level. The better your buyers feel when they’re inside, the more likely they are to make a high-value offer on your house.
The benefits don’t stop there, either. Windows also frame views of your surroundings, from tasteful landscaping or a wooded backdrop to scenic views that extend for miles. If there is something outside that’s worth seeing, make sure that whatever it is, it looks as good as possible, and isn’t covered with dust and fingerprints smears.
Windows Aren’t Just Windows
Little details like clean windows matter for another reason: They demonstrate your pride of homeownership, and serve as evidence as to whether or not the rest of the home is well maintained.
Cleaning windows isn’t a difficult task, and if an owner doesn’t bother with that sort of thing, or other small jobs like vacuuming or yard maintenance, how much confidence can the buyer have that the owner will have been diligent in handling larger issues, like a leaky roof, invading insects, or water in the basement?
If you want to sell your home, you need to be able to think like a buyer and understand the way that home buyers perceive the things that you don’t notice in your day-to-day life.
You Need to Live in Your Home, Too!
Until the listing sells, it’s still your home, and you may be living there while it’s on the market. A big financial transaction like selling a home is stressful enough on its own, so why not try to remove as much tension as possible from other areas of your life, especially in these uncertain times.
If you stay on top of easy tasks like cleaning the windows, having tidy living spaces with natural light and views will enrich your life and improve your day in a thousand tiny ways that you may not even consciously notice.
DIY Window Cleaning
Cleaning your own windows does not have to be such an arduous task and it is perfectly possible for you to do a near professional job yourself is you keep the following tips in mind as you work:
A simple solution of warm water and dishwashing liquid is every bit as effective as those pricey window cleaners from the home store. Don’t cover your window in suds though, a thin sudsy film will suffice.
Proper use of a squeegee is the real key to a good window washing. Start from the top of each window and firmly pull the squeegee through the cleaner in a reverse S-pattern. After each swipe wipe the squeegee clean with a lint free rag.
To clean multi-pane windows, buy a smaller tool. Do not be tempted to use rags just because of the relatively small size of the windowpane. Rags, even clean ones, cause streaking and staining and rather than actually getting your windows clean they tend to just spread the dirt and grime around even more.
Tackling Stubborn Dirt and Stains
If it has been months since your windows were cleaned, or you encounter tough stains that do not budge with soap and water (especially likely to happen if there is a smoker in the house) it may be time to head to the store to buy something that is a little stronger. Windex Cleaner Window Outdoor is a good choice and it even comes with its own window cleaning tool.
As to when to wash is the old wives’ tale true that you should wash your windows on a cloudy day? It is a smart tip, because the sun can dry your glass cleaner faster than you can wipe it away, which only causes another problem; streaking.
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