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Am I Required to Clean My Condo Before I Sell It?

By in Home Selling with 0 Comments

When housing market conditions favor sellers because of strong demand, the Multiple Listing System (MLS) starts getting flooded with properties prospective buyers would normally skip over if they were just looking at photographs of the homes. During speculative real estate bubbles, it’s not uncommon to come across MLS entries for properties that aren’t only in ghastly states of blight, disrepair, and filth—we’re talking about listings that only have location and low prices as redeeming qualities. Naturally, cleaning up these properties isn’t something sellers are concerned with. If you’re looking to sell your downtown San Diego condo, you’re probably wondering how much deep cleaning should be done before heading to the closing table.

Selling Dirty Homes Isn’t Against the Law

When you look at the standard real estate contract drafted by the California Association of Realtors, you’ll find cleanliness isn’t mentioned. The closest this template contract gets to discussing this matter is a section stating the property should be transferred in the same condition it was in when originally purchased. This could be a problematic clause for a bank that took possession of a condo unit through the foreclosure process and never bothered with repairs or cleaning, which is why banks often have lawyers amend contracts so they state properties will be delivered “as is.” 

Real Estate Etiquette Counts

Housing markets tend to reflect the idiosyncrasies of their residents. In Chicago, for example, turning over a spotless property to the buyer is a tradition. In Miami, not so much. San Diego is less like South Florida and more like Chicago in this regard, so there’s a good chance your real estate agent will recommend you deliver your condo in at least “broom clean” condition.

What Really Matters Is the Contract

How much cleaning must be performed at closing can be stipulated in the contract. In fact, this can even be a bargaining point in some cases. A picky buyer who wants to take ownership of a spotless condo unit can be persuaded to hire a professional cleaning service at his or her own expense prior to closing. In other cases, real estate agents may take care of this step.

Clean Condos Sell Faster

Some listing agents who believe in the power of staging insist on presenting the condo not only clean but looking like it should be on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. Quite a few prospective buyers, particularly women, are very receptive to the effects of good staging.

When it comes to San Diego real estate, downtown properties are some of the hottest commodities. If you own a condo, loft, or penthouse and are planning to sell, make sure to connect with a local real estate agent who knows the downtown districts well. Reach out to 92101 Urban Living today at 619-649-0368.