Home Seller Q&A - How Clean Does My Home Need to be on Closing Day?

By
Real Estate Agent with www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 228209

Charlotte Home Seller Q&A - Home Seller Q&A - How Clean Does My Home Need to be on Closing Day?

For home buyers, taking that final walk-through is a highly anticipated event. Think about it - buyers have been packing to move into their new home, working through the many hurdles they face obtaining a mortgage loan and scheduled time off, deliveries, utilities... - everything that home buyers work tirelessly towards purchasing your home.

 

Imagine how you would feel, walking into a home that is ALMOST emptied...well, except for the trash and the miserable feeling that the home appears to have not been cleaned for several months.  Imagine feeling that you need to wear gloves to touch anything in the bathrooms or kitchen.  It's not a good feeling; it's deflating and simply heart-breaking!

 

Our North Carolina Contract states that home Sellers will leave their home in 'the same or better condition at Closing as on the date of [this] Offer, reasonable wear and tear expected.'  Yes, the phrase can be very contentious, as ones opinion of 'reasonable' is highly subjective and lately, many Buyers find their new homes in desperate need of deep-cleaning by a cleaning professional upon their final walk-through. 

 

Q&AQ:  When you walk out the door of your home for the last time, how should you leave your home for the new buyer?   

 

The ONLY answer sellers really need when they ask is...  

 

A:  Leave your home in the exact same condition that you would like to find it, if YOU were moving in!


That said, all sellers do not interpret that statement the same so, we provide a list to follow that will save heartache and possibly, delay of Closing.  If the buyers find your home completely unacceptable in the cleanliness department, they may opt not to Close if the home is not as per their interpretation of the Contract.  

Here's a detailed to-do list before moving out:

  • Clean all bathrooms including mirrors, toilets, drawers, cabinets, sinks, glass, tubs, showers and floors.
  • In the kitchen:
    • Thoroughly clean the refrigerator and leave a box of baking soda in the fridge.  
    • Empty the ice from the ice maker and turn off the ice maker (in the event the tubing leaks between the time you leave the home and the time the buyer moves in).
    • Clean the oven and all stove top burners, burner covers or grates
    • Clean clean clean!Clean all cabinets and drawers.
    • Clean counter tops
    • Clean floors
  • Remove all debris from the entire house and try to accomplish the clean-out before trash day so that you can dispose of all items, leaving an empty trash can for your new Buyers.
  • Clean all closets thoroughly
  • Clean all ceiling fans, trim and windows.
  • Clean the laundry area of all lint and trash, mopping the area well
  • Vaccum all carpeted areas and or mop all hardwoods, tile or linoleum areas.
  • Leave all extra keys and garage door openers on the kitchen counter.
  • Leave all instruction manuals and warranty information on the kitchen counter.

If you want to go the extra mile...making your home Buyer realize their dream-come-true, here are a few ideas from which to choose!

  • Leave a vase of fresh-cut flowers on the kitchen counter or island
  • Write a thoughtful 'welcome' card for your Buyers, telling them about the wonderful neighbors, your favorite things about the home or a simple 'welcome' will do just fine!
  • Leave a tub of ice cream and disposable spoons in the freezer for your new buyers.  
  • Leave a package of bottled water in the refrigerator.
  • Leave a bottle of bubbly and disposable glasses in the refrigerator.
  • Leave a list of babysitters, neighborhood lawn service, trash service or your favorite vendors who have experience doing work on your home.
  • Leave the name/contact information of the neighborhood HOA president so that the Buyers can notify them to get on their email notification list.

Imagine being the buyer WOWED by a Seller who left the vase of flowers, Ben & Jerry's ice cream (complete with disposable spoon), champagne and disposable glassware, bottled water and a beautiful welcome card.  What a wonderful experience for yours or any buyer!

Great Charlotte Home Seller Tips

 

Now, THIS is the way to be a home Seller  - Charlotte Home Seller Q&A - How Clean Does My Home Need to be on Closing Day? 

For more Charlotte home seller tips, visit www.CharlotteHomeSeller.Info or call (704) 491-3310.

 

© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Charlotte Home Seller Q&A - How Clean Does My Home Need to be on Closing Day?

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Ambassador
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900 - Oh, that would be heaven, wouldn't it?!

Jan 03, 2017 09:43 PM #9
Ambassador
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Joni Bailey For most, that's all you have to say - others, need a little nudge, don't they?!

Jan 03, 2017 09:43 PM #10
Rainmaker
2,312,722
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Good morning Debe.  Now you're talking about something that is near and dear to my better half.  She is very detailed about cleaning..

Jan 04, 2017 04:16 AM #11
Rainmaker
3,814,526
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

I love the post. I hope home sellers will read it and learn from it.

Jan 04, 2017 04:26 AM #12
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Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Real Estate
John L Scott Market Center - Birkenfeld, OR
"Your Local Expert!" 503-755-2905

Debe----how smart are YOU??!!! I love this and am going to steal it...thanks for making my job a bit easier! 

Jan 04, 2017 09:39 AM #13
Rainmaker
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Barbara Flannery Gambrel
USA Realty,Inc. - London, KY
"Homes for Everyone In London Kentucky"

Love your post what a great Idea leaving ice cream and drinks 

Thanks for sharing !!

have a great week

Barbara

Jan 04, 2017 01:17 PM #14
Rainmaker
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Robert Bob Gilbert
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Anderson Properties - Katy, TX
Your Katy TX ( West of Houston) Real Estate Expert

Deb, Excellent post and the home should be spotless.. 

Jan 04, 2017 01:55 PM #15
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Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Great advice  Debe Maxwell  and most people do ....... but then there are the few ..you know what I mean ..Thankfully they are far and few between

Jan 04, 2017 05:51 PM #16
Rainmaker
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I'm so glad to see that so many of the comments from people in their right mind about being responsible about keeping the things in place is clean. :)

Jan 04, 2017 09:57 PM #17
Rainmaker
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Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I'm super, super thankful that they are so few and far between and think goodness! Love and light! Hannah Williams

Jan 04, 2017 09:58 PM #18
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Hi James Dray - Oh how I wish all of our buyers' sellers were like your wife!!

Jan 04, 2017 10:02 PM #19
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thank you, Gita Bantwal - it helps sellers, regardless of their location, remember that they should be leaving their homes in tip-top shape for their buyers! 

Jan 04, 2017 10:03 PM #20
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Gayle Rich-Boxman Fishhawk Lake Realtor (503)755-2905 - My pleasure - so happy I could help!  Happy Wednesday!

Jan 04, 2017 10:04 PM #21
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Thank you Barbara Flannery!  You have a fantastic week as well!

Jan 04, 2017 10:05 PM #22
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Robert Bob Gilbert - Thank you!  Enjoy your Thursday!

Jan 04, 2017 10:06 PM #23
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

YES!  Thankfully they're few and far between - it's incredibly stressful when it happens, Hannah Williams!

Jan 04, 2017 10:07 PM #24
Ambassador
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I so wish everyone were responsible, Laura Cerrano - although I think some think they are - they just don't understand the difference!

Jan 04, 2017 10:07 PM #25
Rainmaker
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Rebecca Gaujot
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Debe, terrific post and I love all the tips a seller should do to welcome the new buyer to their new home. I agree, this is is the way to be a home seller.

Jan 05, 2017 05:02 PM #26
Rainmaker
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Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Those are great ideas for going the extra mile!  Wow, the buyers would love it too.

Jan 05, 2017 06:42 PM #27
Rainmaker
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Teri Pacitto
Compass - Westlake Village, CA
Real Estate, Your Style...Your Home...My Specialty

Love, Love, Love this post and it is definitely one of the major issues that comes up at close.  I discuss these points with my sellers at the time of listing and remind them when we open escrow so they can prepare for the Celebration Day!  Buyers love it, Buyer agents love it and it's just the way it should be in a perfect world.  Then we have the divorce sales, the probate sales and other sales where we represent the buyer and we don't have this opportunity to make the day of close and possession all flowers and champagne. This is where we need to advise our buyers that they might not have the place pristine when they take possession.  I think discussions on both aspects of this is highly important...congrats on the well deserved featured post. 

Feb 03, 2017 10:52 AM #28
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