12 Places Most People Forget to Dust Before an Open House, According to a Stager

published Sep 19, 2022
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Most homeowners’ questions about maximizing their home’s value focus on potential renovations or repairs. But the simplest way to make your house more appealing to potential buyers is by giving it a good dusting before an open house.

Where does a well-intentioned duster even begin? Should you do a deep clean or just a light dusting?

Shamrock Hill Designs founder and creative director Kerry Whippee explains that potential buyers may not notice dust in photos, but they will in person. “There are a lot of potential areas that sellers tend to forget to clean. A staging consultant can point these places out, as attention to detail is part of the staging job,” Whippee explains.

In addition, remember that bathrooms still need to be thoroughly cleaned before pictures can be taken, and that everything from the furniture to the flooring should be spotless and polished before an open house.

Where do most people tend to miss?

The most important time to dust and clean is before showing your home to a potential buyer. One area you can’t forget is the bathroom.

When it comes to deep cleaning bathrooms, homeowners tend to forget spots or simply think they may not be as important. Whippee says to not forget the dust and grime that can build up under the toilet and behind the faucets. There’s nothing worse than going to an open house and walking into a filthy bathroom.

Whippee adds that people tend to forget or simply get used to the dust in these spots: 

  • Ceiling fans 
  • Lights 
  • Baseboards
  • Boardboard heaters and radiators
  • Ceiling and floor vents
  • Under furniture 
  • Laundry rooms (lint can really coat things!)
  • Coat closets
  • Closet floors
  • Next to and behind appliances
  • Corners where the walls meet the ceiling

Certainly, these areas are more difficult to see and sometimes even tougher to reach. Nonetheless, many potential buyers pay close attention to the areas that are more difficult to access, since they might provide a more comprehensive picture of the property’s actual condition.

Think about it this way: If the homeowner won’t put effort into keeping these areas clean for open houses, what else was not taken care of?

Here’s how to minimize dust before an open house.

“The best way to minimize dust in a house is to keep on top of it by cleaning often,” says Whippee.

One option is to use an air purifier to reduce dust in the air. However, Whippee says that this should be done only before and after the open house, not during open houses, to avoid raising suspicions about what could be wrong with the ventilation system. Whippee also proposes new vent covers as a low-cost, low-maintenance, and simple solution to the dust problem.

“It’s hard to see things with a fresh eye when you are the homeowner,” Whippee says. “Invite a neighbor or friend over, ask them to be brutally honest, and to spot any issues with the house. Don’t take offense, take action on what they find.”