The week before your home sale closes will be packed with activity. Not only will you be finishing up your preparation for the move, but you’ll also need to get the home ready for the buyer.
Here are the three most important things you’ll need to do before closing to ensure that the closing isn’t held up.
1. Gather important documents and other materials for the buyer
The day Martha stepped through the threshold of her first home was exciting, to say the least. As she toured it through new homeowner eyes, however, it didn’t seem the same as when she toured it through starry, house-hunter eyes.
But, there on the kitchen counter was a lone garage door opener and a key. She assumed the key would fit into one of the mailboxes in the community’s bank down the street.
But, which one? It took several back-and-forth phone calls, over the course of about a week, to finally determine that her mailbox was number 5. And her mail had stacked up considerably during that time.
So, the moral of that story is to yes, leave the mailbox key but leave a note describing which mailbox the key fits.
Other items to remember to leave for the buyer include:
- Garage door openers and keypad code
- Landscape irrigation system instructions
- Pool/spa operating manual
- Security system instructions
2. Complete all of the buyer’s requests
If any personal property is included in the sale, set them aside so that they aren’t accidentally packed for your move. In fact, put a note on the item or items so that movers and family members understand that the items are to remain in the home or garage.
Often, buyers request that the seller remove certain items from the home. This may include things you have stored on the side of the house, an above-ground pool and appliances.
Ensure that these items and any other personal property are removed from the home before you begin cleaning.
3. Time to clean
Buyers are told to expect the home to be “broom clean” and most sellers haven’t a clue as to what this means.
At minimum, you should:
- Wipe down the insides of cupboards
- Sweep and wash the floors
- Vacuum carpets
- Remove trash from the property (even if this means making a dump run)
Some buyers expect the oven and the interior of the refrigerator to be clean as well.
Finally, plan on leaving the utilities in your name until the sale is finalized. The buyer will perform a final walk-though of the home just before closing and will want to ensure that the major systems are working.
In short, a good rule to follow when selling a home is the one we learned way back in kindergarten – The Golden Rule. Treat your buyer as you would like to be treated.
The author, Rick Sheppard, is a licensed real estate broker with RE/MAX Achievers, Inc in Pennsylvania and a 32+ year veteran of the real estate trenches. He knows a lot because he’s seen a lot. If you have any questions about this or any real estate related topic, feel free to contact Rick at [email protected] and he’ll do his best to answer your questions.