fllorWe get used to living in our own filth or we just don’t look at it as a priority. Regardless of which it is for you or your clients, everyone will notice a dirty house as much as they notice a clean house, no matter their personal standards.

I want to discuss floors in this issue. So let’s start with the look, feel, condition and cleanliness of your carpet.If it smells and you have had it professionally cleaned twice to eliminate the odor, you may need to remove the carpet and replace the pad. But, let’s try a few old remedies first. Use air absorbing products such as baking soda and charcoal in abundance for the duration of your rehab and when you are not showing the house.

You can leave multiple open containers of baking soda and tin dishes of charcoal briquettes out in the open, all over the house. Both of these products absorb order without leaving a cover up odor in their path. They look terrible, so you have to make sure they are out of view when showing the house, or when people are peaking in the windows.

I also recommend that you use baking soda in all of your appliances and cabinets and the dishes of briquettes in all of the closets. You should put them all away before showing a house.

If you still can’t get out the smell, there are a variety of other products that people use, choose your favorite as I think they all work about the same. I would also recommend that you work with a carpet cleaner that specializes in smells. Yep, there are some that do and some that don’t so get a referral.

Okay, enough of the smells. Your carpets, when cleaned, will often bring other spots to the surface and force a dark line of gunk to the outside edges near the baseboards. Be prepared in advance for this and ask the cleaning crew prior to their first cleaning, what sort of guarantees they have for this type of situation, should it arise. You need a good crew that has the correct tools to lift all the stains while they are there and run next to the baseboards, or at least one that understands the process well enough to offer a free second visit.

Next, be prepared to let these rugs dry. Don’t rush them or let people walk on them while they are wet. If this happens, the wet rug will actually attract more dirt than the dry one and all of your efforts will have been in vain.

Finally, once the rugs are completely dry, you will need to vacuum them. Do this in both directions to really get the fibers to lift. The slower that you can vacuum, the better the carpet will look when you are finished. By following this process carefully, your carpets will look refreshed, soft and clean. Just what the new buyer ordered.

Obviously, linoleum can be cleaned with soap and water, but with hard wood floors, I prefer Murphy’s. There are many hardwood floor cleaners, but this one continually makes the floor look clean without leaving streaks.

Make sure you are using warm water, not hot and that you add the solution to the water. I also prefer a soft head mop instead of a sponge mop as you are able to clean in circles versus a straight line, eliminating the chances of missing a strip or leaving a streak.

Once again, leave plenty of time for the floor to dry before you allow anyone to walk on it so you don’t have “foot prints” across your nice clean floor.

The cleaner each aspect of your home, the faster and more profitable your sale.

Karen Schaefer is an Investor, Writer, Speaker and Property Designer. She is the founder of Simple Appeal, Inc., the Premier Nationwide Staging and Design Company as well as APSD, The Association of Property Scene Designers. She is known nationwide as the Expert on selling properties in ½ the time at full market value. If you would like to learn more about Home Staging, Curb Appeal, Real Estate Marketing and Selling.