I was my first time hiring a maid and we needed cleaners for our new house, recently purchased before we moved in. Although I got tons of email quotes from other cleaners which were confusing, I didn't get me sense of comfort or price was too high. ($500?! for the house)
I mean, I had no idea how much these things cost, but $200 to me seems reasonable. Granted, Alison's call was one of the few I actually answered, but even speaking to her, she asked me the right questions, was the only one that upfront they sanitize the bathrooms and kitchen (without me asking), and guided me through the conversation, not the other way around.
She made an appointment with us for a no obligation quote. Meeting her at the house, we took a walk through, and she asked us what needed to be done, and there was a comprehensive checklist.
On the day, they showed up on time and early. With another lady, the started at the top (1 room and bathroom) and went to the bottom. She did say that they would go from 9am to 1pm, but it was only 1pm when they got to the downstairs! They worked from 9am without any break, which I though was commendable.
They don't pull out stoves or fridges to clean. They also don't wipe the ceilings, but will dust off the cobwebs (I had to remind them). There were also some marks that she claimed couldn't come off, but I used my magic eraser and they came off.
I hung out with them the entire day, and we had some good conversation which I think is nice to be able to get along with. They showed me some of the potential problem spots and how to clean them in the future, as I took notes. I think it was also better because I don't feel like I was being judged for my mess at all.
My only caveat is due to the time, and I guess tiredness, the kitchen was not done as thoroughly as I would have liked and the attention to detail from the upstairs was lacking. Okay, but honestly it was the best $200 spent as now, at least my own dust bunnies can accumulate rather than living with someone elses.