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How to Negotiate Price with Residential Cleaning Customers

Steve Hanson
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These days everyone is looking for bargains and it's no different with residential cleaning customers. You're always going to have potential customers try to negotiate their price, so here are a few tips on how to handle the situation:

  1. First, don't ever negotiate the first-time cleaning price. The customer doesn't usually realize just how dirty their home is, so you need to make sure you're charging enough so you don't lose money on the first cleaning.

  2. Offer to take a look at the cleaning price after the home has been cleaned three or four times. By monitoring the time it takes to clean you'll be able to tell if you have room for a price adjustment.

  3. Offer to adjust the price now but let the customer know that after you've cleaned the home three or four times you reserve the right to increase the price back to the original quote if you find that your original quote was right on the mark.

  4. Offer to adjust the list of cleaning specifications to match the lower price. For example, if they want to pay $100 per service and your quote was for $120, then perhaps you could clean a lesser used bathroom and the bedrooms every other visit. Or perhaps you could reduce the frequency of detailed dusting to get the price down. Learn to be creative with your cleaning specifications so you not only meet the needs of the customer, but meet your own profit needs as well.
If you're new to pricing residential cleaning then these might be good options for you to get your foot in the door with a potential customer. But keep in mind that negotiating price is not something you want to suggest to a customer or do often. The more experienced you get at judging how much time it takes to clean, the better you'll become at pricing accurately. And when that time comes you won't need to negotiate with your customers -- you'll know that your price is right on for the profit needs for your business.

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Steve Hanson has been a building service contractor for more than 20 years and now uses his knowledge to help owners of residential cleaning companies build a more profitable and successful cleaning business at Read inspirational cleaning success stories at, and sign up for House Cleaning Profit Tips at

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