Cleaning a home for sale in advance of an open house is a must, given how many potential buyers will notice whether the residence is neat and tidy or messy. You'll likely know to scrub and vacuum your floors, clean the bathrooms from top to bottom, and even wipe down your walls. There are other cleaning tasks that you might overlook, and while leaving these things as-is might not ruin your chance of making a sale, they won't help the situation. Here are three things that you should always wash before your first open house.


You probably wouldn't think about washing your driveway before your open house, but it's important to remember that this is the first place that people step upon getting out of their cars. A dirty driveway doesn't feel nice underfoot or look particularly nice, but the bigger concern is that people can drag dirt, sand, and other things such as leaves into your home. By the latter stages of the open house, the entrance area of your home won't look as clean. By washing the driveway with a hose and scrubbing it with a brush, you won't have this issue.


Washing your home's windows can be a hassle, which may make you overlook it when you're beautifying the dwelling before your open house. However, dirty windows can detract from the look of the house both from the exterior and the interior. Someone standing in an upper-floor room and looking down into the backyard, for example, could be distracted by streaks on the window and dirt in the screen. Similarly, someone standing in the front yard and assessing the front exterior of the house may notice that the windows look dull, rather than have a welcoming sparkle that entices them to step foot inside.


While it's true that washing your drapes can be a hassle, the act of taking them off the rods, washing them, ironing them, and hanging them back up can be worth it in advance of your open house. Dirty drapes can indeed look dirty, but the graver concern here is that they'll put out a smell that is off-putting. Over time, the drapes throughout your home can absorb smells. The biggest concern is the smell of tobacco smoke if you're a smoker, but the drapes can even take in scents from the kitchen. The result can be a stale or sour smell that you might not notice, but that potential buyers definitely will.