If you are looking at selling your home this year, you will want to get it in top show home condition before you list it. This would be a good time to hire a housekeeping service to help you get your house clean and organized, especially those challenging areas like kitchens and bathrooms.
Housekeeping services can transform your home into a more marketable property, while saving you the constant effort of keeping your house looking like a showpiece.
What should I look for in a housekeeping service?
A good first step when signing up for any new service is to ask your family and friends for referrals. If someone you know and trust gives you a referral for a cleaning service based on their positive experience with one, it saves you from having to research the vendors yourself.
If you do have to find a housekeeping service on your own, the internet is your best research buddy. Search for housekeeping services in your area, and look the vendors up on Yelp, Google My Business, and Facebook to find user reviews of their service quality.
When visiting a potential housekeeping service’s website, see if the company is bonded and insured. This means the company should take responsibility if there is an accident while they are working in your home, or if anything goes missing after a cleaning session.
If you have pets or if anyone in the home has allergies or sensitivities to certain compounds, look on the housekeeping service’s website for the types of cleaners it uses. A growing number of cleaning services are using less harsh, eco-friendly products so as to appear more attractive to customers with pets or small children.
Finally, check if the housekeeping service comes with a satisfaction guarantee. Companies which offer this type of reassurance are confident in the quality of their employees and their service.
If you decide to get housekeeping services from an independent contractor or casual laborer, it’s a good idea to have them sign some form of contract with you, such as a Cleaning Services Agreement. Having an agreement like this in place helps to manage expectations for you and your housekeeper, and avoid any misunderstandings.
How much does a housekeeping service cost?
Housekeeping services cost a varying amount based on your area of the country. That said, there are some factors which will impact the total cost of a cleaning service.
Many housekeeping services let you ask for a price estimate directly on their websites. They will usually ask you to provide the following information:
- size of your home
- which areas of the home you want cleaned
- how many bathrooms your home has
- how often you want the service performed—weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly are the most popular options
It’s a good idea to ask if the company will do a free in-home consultation. Having an employee view your home and listen to you describe what you want done will give you the most accurate price quote.
Most housekeeping services are based on an hourly rate. You should expect (and budget for) the service’s first visit to be the longest one, as this is when your home needs the greatest amount of cleaning. Subsequent visits will usually be shorter than the initial one, as there is less heavy cleaning to do.
One pricing trick to be wary of: a company will sometimes list a rate on their website, say $50/hour for example, but not tell you (except in the small print) that this rate applies for each person in the team that comes to your home. Housekeeping services commonly send out at least a two-person team, which can end up giving you severe “sticker shock” when you get the bill. Double check any pricing you’re given by a cleaning service before agreeing to use them.
What should I expect from a housekeeping service?
The best way to get off on the right foot with a new housekeeping service team that arrives at your door is to be as open as possible about your expectations. Let them know you are trying to sell your home, and that organization is just as important as cleanliness.
It’s a good idea to walk through your home with the housekeepers and point out anything you want them to pay special attention to. This could be certain fragile objects you want them to avoid dusting, or a piece of furniture that’s favored by your pets and requires a more thorough vacuuming to remove pet hair.
There are certain things the housekeepers are not responsible for. For example, a cleaning team will not look after your children while you go do something else. If you need a nanny, you should hire one: don’t expect your cleaners to also babysit your kids.
Don’t try to pressure the housekeepers into doing a task they say they can’t do. Remember, they are just employees; they don’t make the rules, but their employer expects their staff to follow them. For example, they may not be able to do something that requires getting on a ladder, like dusting a high shelf.
If you have concerns over some aspect of the service, try talking to the housekeepers directly. Be courteous and respectful, and they will be more likely to address your concerns.
Housekeeping services can help you sell your home
Professional housekeeping services offer an excellent way to turn your home into a dazzling showpiece. Regularly scheduled visits by a cleaning service will keep your place in show home condition, giving you a better chance of finding just the right buyer after you list your property.
Have you ever used a housekeeping service?