Once a Windsor property for sale has closed, it is the responsibility of the sellers to make sure the home is left in “broom swept” condition. This term may mean different things to different people, but generally most sellers should take special steps to leave a home looking spotless.
Cleaning a home after packing and moving is exhausting but there is never an excuse to leave a property messy or dirty. Many of our clients hire a professional cleaning service which is an excellent way to save time as well as giving you one less thing to think about.
What are the general rules when cleaning a home that recently sold?
Cleaning Inside The Home:
- Remove all personal property.
- Vacuum floors. Have carpets professionally cleaned if necessary.
- Clean kitchen appliances, inside and out. Wipe down counters.
- Scour tubs, showers, sinks and toilets.
- Wipe cabinets and shelving.
- Wash tile/linoleum/vinyl flooring.
- Wipe down walls, clean doors of fingerprints and smudges.
- Remove all personal property.
- Throw away trash.
- Dispose of any toxic materials, and chemicals.
- Sweep floor.
- Neatly stack paint cans, roofing materials or extra flooring.
Some other good ideas that sellers need to consider before moving out of a home is to shut off the water valves. If you have a disconnected washer lets say, it’s a good idea to turn off the valve in case there is a leak, which can flood a home. I know of some sellers who have turned off the water for all of the valves, but just make sure that you leave a note for the buyers so they don’t panic when they discover water is not coming out of the faucets.
Once your house is clean and spotless, make sure that you attend the final walk through. This is a good time for sellers to share tips such as explaining how the automatic sprinkler system or home alarm works. Also, it’s a good idea for you to get confirmation that all looks well and everything is going as planned.
Once the walk through is finalized and the cleaning is complete, sellers need to remember to leave the following:
- House keys
- Remotes for the garage and ceiling fans
- Combinations to garage keypad (if applicable)
- Keys to gate, mailbox and any storage units or facility in the backyard
Don’t forget to have a file left on the kitchen counter that includes appliance manuals, receipts of repairs and warranties. There have been countless of times where the seller has not left this information and it is often difficult to retrieve this information once a seller has packed up and moved on. And forgetting remote controls? It happens all of the time. For a buyer with a large moving truck and not being able to use the garage remote is very frustrating, especially when they discover that it is in a van and won’t be unpacked for another week or two.
Make sure you walk through each room with a fine toothcomb once you are ready to lock the doors for the last time. Sellers often forget items that are in plain sight, such as their children’s bikes in the backyard. I have also heard of sellers who have run to the airport to catch a flight after a long day of cleaning and left their overnight bag at their now former home.
Finally, as you leave, make sure the drapes or blinds are closed and don’t forget to turn off the lights. You would think this would be a no brainer, but sellers often leave the house in such a hurry that they forget to do these simple steps. The last thing a buyer needs is to walk into their new house for the first time and see that it has been vandalized.
So the final checklist includes:
- Attending walk-thru
- Leaving keys, remotes, combinations, warranties, etc.
- Going through each room one final time (don’t forget the outside as well)
- Closing drapes, locking house.
For sellers leaving a home for the last time, it is often emotional. Starting a new life is also physically draining. The key is to treat yourself well during this time. Maybe you are moving because of a hardship. If this is the case, then take a deep breath and know that it will all get better. The difficult part of moving is saying goodbye to those memories and neighbours, but don’t be afraid of what’s next and give yourself time to adjust.