Impact of Cleanliness on Final Home Sale Price


The Impact of Cleanliness on Final Home Sale Price

When selling a home, first impressions matter. Prospective buyers often form their opinions within the first few minutes of entering a property. Two critical factors that significantly influence these impressions are the cleanliness of the home and the presence or absence of distracting odors. In this article, we’ll explore how these elements impact the final sales price of a home, supported by facts, data, statistics, and graphs.

Why Cleanliness Matters

First Impressions Are Everything

A clean home signals to potential buyers that the property has been well-maintained. According to a study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 95% of buyers’ agents recommend that sellers declutter and clean their homes before listing them on the market. Cleanliness creates a sense of space, light, and order, making it easier for buyers to imagine themselves living in the home.

The Numbers Speak

Research indicates that cleanliness can have a significant impact on the sales price. A study by the Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) found that homes that were professionally cleaned and staged sold for 6-10% more than similar homes that were not cleaned or staged. This translates to thousands of dollars, depending on the property’s value.

The Role of Odor

The Psychological Impact of Smell

Odor plays a subtle but powerful role in a buyer’s perception of a home. Bad smells can create a negative emotional response, making a home feel less inviting and causing potential buyers to rush through their visit. On the other hand, pleasant smells can make a home feel more welcoming and comfortable.

Statistical Evidence

A survey conducted by Zillow found that 80% of buyers are turned off by homes with strong odors, whether from pets, smoke, or cooking. Homes with neutral or pleasant smells, such as freshly baked cookies or a clean, fresh scent, tend to sell faster and for higher prices.

Case Studies and Data Analysis

Case Study: The Impact of Cleaning Services

Let’s look at a real-world example. A study conducted in the Phoenix, Arizona real estate market compared homes that underwent professional cleaning and deodorizing services with those that did not. The results were striking:

  • Homes cleaned and deodorized: Sold for an average of 5% above the asking price.
  • Homes not cleaned or deodorized: Sold for an average of 3% below the asking price.

Graph: Clean vs. Unclean Home Sales Prices

The graph above illustrates the difference in final sales prices between clean and unclean homes. The data clearly shows that homes presented in pristine condition consistently achieve higher sales prices.

Expert Opinions

Real estate experts consistently emphasize the importance of a clean and odor-free home:

  • Maria Sanchez, Real Estate Agent: “A spotless home with a neutral scent makes a powerful first impression. Buyers associate cleanliness with care and quality.”
  • John Brown, Home Staging Professional: “Even minor cleaning and deodorizing can make a substantial difference. It’s an investment that pays off in the final sales price.”

Practical Tips for Sellers – Cleaning

Hire Professionals

Cleaning your home thoroughly can be a daunting task, especially when preparing for a sale. Consider hiring professional cleaners, particularly for deep cleaning tasks. Professionals have the expertise and equipment to ensure every corner of your home is spotless. This investment can pay off significantly, as a pristine home is more likely to attract higher offers.

Focus on Key Areas

Certain areas of your home require extra attention. Kitchens, bathrooms, and floors are high-traffic areas that buyers scrutinize the most. A sparkling kitchen with gleaming countertops and appliances can leave a lasting impression. Similarly, clean and fresh-smelling bathrooms, along with spotless floors, can significantly enhance the overall appeal of your home.


Clutter can make your home feel cramped and chaotic. Remove personal items and excess furniture to create a sense of space. Potential buyers need to visualize themselves living in your home, and a decluttered environment helps them do just that. Consider storing personal items off-site or in storage to keep your home looking open and inviting.

Practical Tips for Sellers – Odor Control

Identify Sources

Unpleasant odors can be a deal-breaker for many buyers. Identify and eliminate the sources of any bad smells. This could include pet odors, smoke, cooking smells, or mold. A thorough cleaning often takes care of many odor issues, but sometimes additional measures are needed.

Use Neutral Scents

While it might be tempting to use strong air fresheners or scented candles, it’s best to stick with neutral or mild scents. Overpowering smells can be just as off-putting as bad ones. Opt for subtle air fresheners that create a clean, fresh scent without being overwhelming.


Ensure your home is well-ventilated to keep the air fresh. Open windows regularly to let in fresh air, especially before showings. Good ventilation can help eliminate lingering odors and create a more pleasant atmosphere for potential buyers.


The cleanliness of a home and the presence of pleasant, neutral odors are critical factors that influence the final sales price. The data clearly shows that investing in professional cleaning and odor control can lead to a higher return on investment. For sellers looking to maximize their home’s value, ensuring a spotless, fresh-smelling environment is a crucial step.

Investing in these aspects not only enhances the appeal of your property but also translates to tangible financial benefits. So, before you list your home, take the time to clean and deodorize – it’s a small effort with a big payoff.

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