How a Home Should be left on Closing Day

I very often am asked how a home should be left on closing day.  It’s a very important question, and there are certainly standard expectations to keep in mind.

If you have sold your home, and have purchased a new home to move into, or are renting an apartment, please consider taking possession of your new home a few days prior to closing.  This will allow you ample time to move all of your belongings as well as leave you time to clean afterwards.

If you are selling an investment property, and the tenants are moving out, be sure to leave about a week between the last day that the tenants are in the house and the closing day.  You will appreciate the extra time to get things in order and take care of any things that the tenants may have left behind.

Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when preparing a home for closing;

  • Home should be completely empty of all belongings, debris, and garbage.  If you are considering leaving paint behind for the new buyers, it is better to ask if they would like the paint than to assume.  Many buyers end up having to dispose of many gallons of leftover paint that they will not use, or, put in a complaint on closing day that they would like it removed at the Sellers expense.  Better to be proactive when it comes to leftover cans of paint.
  • Floors should be swept clean, and mopped, and carpets should be vacuumed.
  • Cupboards, pantries, countertops and appliances should all be wiped down and clean inside.
  • Please don’t leave food in your fridge or freezer.
  • Bathroom should be clean.  It is fine to leave a roll or two of toilet paper and even paper towels.
  • Basement should be empty- don’t leave renovation materials, heavy items, or unwanted appliances behind for the buyer to deal with.
  • Shed should be emptied, completely, and ditto for the garage.  Start this task early in the process.  Many of us accumulate tons of extra things that just gather dust and are stored in either the shed or garage.
  • Clean the yard- pay attention to the area behind the shed and garage.  Piles of wood, concrete blocks, and those types of things need to be removed.
  • While I’m on the topic of outside, PLEASE CLEAN UP PET WASTE.  I have a dog too, in fact 3 of them, but let me assure you, no one wants to adopt a yard full of someone else’s pet waste.  Yuck!
  • If you are closing in the winter- please make sure that the driveway and path to the house are free of snow.
  • Don’t remove fixtures from the home.  Fixtures are things that are screwed, fixed, or wired into the walls- things like vanity mirrors, light fixtures, etc.  If you are in doubt, ask your Real Estate Agent for clarification.

These are some very basic expectations of how a home should be left on closing day.  It is always in your best interest to facilitate a smooth transfer- following these tips will help to ensure that.

If you have found this Blog Post helpful, drop my a line on Facebook, or leave a comment on the Blog- I’d love to hear your input!

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2 Responses to How a Home Should be left on Closing Day

  1. Bob Harbin January 30, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

    Good common sense things to do. Well done.

    • Danielle Wilson January 30, 2017 at 2:01 pm #

      Thank you for your input Bob! Buyers certainly always appreciate being able to take possession of a clean home. I have seen closings delayed due to excess debris left behind by the Sellers or at times, messes left by moving companies.

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