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Tips for hiring the best house cleaners

Friday - 4/20/2012, 11:59am  ET

WASHINGTON - Hiring someone to clean your home is not as easy as you might think. Prices can vary wildly, so pay extra attention when shopping around.

Secret shoppers from Washington Consumers' Checkbook discovered an $85 difference getting estimates to clean the same two story, three bedroom, two bath home.

In person price quotes to clean that home came in between $70 and $155.

Before hiring a cleaning service, decide whether to go with a professional company or a private individual.

A survey of Checkbook subscribers finds people tend to be more satisfied when hiring individuals.

Rated superior for overall performance: 49 percent of the housecleaning companies versus 83 percent of the individual hires.

When hiring an individual, Checkbook recommends discussing with your employee the legal obligations for paying taxes.

If you're hiring a housecleaning company, pick one that is licensed and insured.

Also, expectations should be clearly defined and specified before the house cleaners make their first visit.

WTOP's Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow Kristi King and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)