Buyers' expectations vary, but everybody wants to move into a clean home. Plan to do these things:
- All floors vacuumed or mopped.
- Bathrooms cleaned.
- Kitchens cleaned, including oven and all appliances.
- Give special attention to the area behind the refrigerator and washer/dryer.
- Touch up paint on scuffs that happen during the move.
- Spackle nail holes after pictures are taken down.
- Repair any sheetrock damage that was hidden behind furniture.
- Remove all trash from inside and outside the property.
- Keep the yard mowed and pool maintained.
- Garage, patios and walks should be swept.
- Have carpet professionally cleaned if necessary.
- Start cleaning out early, so you will not have a lot of trash left in the garage.
- You should be completely out of the house, and ready to hand the keys to the buyers on closing day.
- I can think of several instances where the sellers scheduled their move on closing day, and were still moving on the day after closing, much to the chagrin of the buyers.
- It is best to have your move complete at least one day prior to closing.
- Moving is a big job, and moving companies seem to underestimate the time required.
- This is a good time to get cleaning help, babysitting help, pizza delivery, etc. Starting early reduces the stress of moving.
Pre and Post Leases
- Normally, the closing date and your buyer's possession date are the same.
- Sometimes, however, a special arrangement is made to give your buyers possession before closing, or to allow you to stay in the property after closing.
- We have two leases designed for this purpose. This lease should be negotiated with the contract to be sure that you and the buyer are in agreement on the lease terms.
- We recommend against pre-possession by the buyer or delayed possession by the seller, unless absolutely necessary. This could open the door to a dispute about a repair issue.
- Unlike regular leases, this lease obligates the "tenant" to pay for all repairs and maintenance. This means that if the AC compressor breaks down after closing (while you are still in the house under a seller's lease), you are obligated to repair it.
- The ideal scenario is to give the keys to a clean, vacant house on closing day.
Make Buyers Feel Welcome
- Offer an "orientation" meeting with the buyers at your home prior to closing.
- If this cannot be arranged, leave the new owners some helpful notes.
- Buyers would appreciate knowing how to operate your sprinkler, security, pool and other systems.
- Think of a few things that your buyers might be pleased to have - a neighborhood directory, babysitters, gardeners or workmen whom you have used. Do you have a cleaning person who would like to stay?
- Have a drawer set aside for warranties, keys, garage-door openers and information. You may leave them your new phone number, in case they have a question later.
- We have found that a bottle of wine and a personal note go a long way toward making your buyers feel good about their new home.
- Remember the transaction is not over because escrow closes. Leaving the new owners a clean, well prepared home is a smart move.
- Moving Checklist