How Much Cleaning Of Our North Shore Long Island House Must We Do Before Moving Out?

Real Estate Agent with The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803

How Much Cleaning Of Our North Shore Long Island House Must We Do Before Moving Out?North Shore Long Island

This is a great question.

Being Realtors on The North Shore Of Long Island, we see houses being left in all kinds of condition. We see homes that have been scrubbed for the new owners, ones that are broom swept, and those with trash left behind.
Most of the time, sellers leave the house in pretty good condition. They clean the kitchen and baths, they vacuum the floors, they clean the counter tops and mop the floors.
Many even have their maid or a cleaning crew completely clean the house for the new owners, but sometimes it's not as clean as it should be.
Recently we went on a walk-through and found the house with:
  • Trash all around
  • Food on the counters, in the cabinets and the refrigerator and freezer full
  • The electric was turned off so the food was starting to rot
  • The cabinets were not cleaned out
  • Closets were full of dirty clothes on the floor
  • Old broken appliances were left all over
  • The garage was a total mess
Maybe the TV Show "PICKERS" would have found something of value, but to our clients and us, it was all just trash!
So sellers, keep this in mind, leave your house to the new buyers just the way you would like to find your new one ~ It's really the right thing to do!

This Long Island Real Estate Market Tip is courtesy of Larry And Sheila Realtors 631-805-4400 (c) helping Buyers and Sellers on The North Shore Of Long Island.

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Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Larry and Sheila, our contracts state the home has to be left in broom clean condition. I would get the sellers to put up the money for the clean up at the settlement table.

Jul 27, 2012 10:47 PM #14
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Yikes!  Thankfully we haven't had this issue in our careers...  yet.  That's just disrespectful and lazy.                                   

Jul 27, 2012 11:39 PM #15
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

This is an interesting post...I have had people leave places clean only to see someone else go in and clean on top of that. Clean is so subjective. We can all agree the place is to be free of any trash or debris. From there, its everyone's own fancy

Jul 27, 2012 11:46 PM #16
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Larry and Sheila,

Congrats on the feature.  I was stunned that someone would leave behind a mess.  Happy Saturday, A

Jul 28, 2012 12:31 AM #17
William True
True Sarasota Real Estate - Sarasota, FL
Sarasota Real Estate

Good morning, Larry & Sheila, and congratulations on the much deserved feature! You pose an excellent question (with great answers) about responsibility and pride when selling your home. Hope you're enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Jul 28, 2012 12:48 AM #18
Joan Cox
Metro Brokers - House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Larry & Sheila, this is a great post, and buyers do find their homes in various states of "clean" when they get possession.   Have found furniture, trash, etc., but pleasantly surprised when it is spotless!

Jul 28, 2012 01:01 AM #19
Pamela Smith
Award Realty - Sun City West, AZ
Sun City West, Corte Bella, Sun City Grand

Larry and Sheila,

I have only had one seller leave the house dirty.  It was a divorce situation, so I had my cleaning service take care of it.

Jul 28, 2012 01:38 AM #20
Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado - Aurora, CO
Colorado Living!

L & S.  You are so right.  Most people do a great job of leaving their home looking good, but there are others who feel that they didn't get quite what they wanted and leave the home a mess. 

Jul 28, 2012 02:32 AM #21
Richard Arnold
Keller Williams Realty East Valley - Tempe, AZ
Realtor - Tempe, Chandler, Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix

I have only encountered one angry new owner.  I was distant from the transaction, but knew a few details.  It was a short sale, the house had been vacated weeks before it closed, and some last-minute issues caused a lot of friction between buyer and seller.

I went to the house to get the lockbox after being told the deed had recorded earlier in the day.  

The new owner was not only in the house, but had a professional cleaning crew at work.  She had arranged it in advance, scheduled them to be there.  Yet she still gave me an earfull about how the house wasn't spotless when she walked in the door.

Wha?  Would she have told the cleaning crew to go home if it WAS spotless?  You just got a huge home at a huge short sale discount and you're complaining to me about a stain that you paid someone to clean before you even saw it?

I fear for the neighbors.



Jul 28, 2012 02:40 AM #22
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL - (561) 716-7824 - CRS, ABR, GRI

Excellent advice, Sheila and Larry!  Who wants to walk in and find a bunch of trash left behind?  Broom clean is good.  Having a cleaning service is one step better.  Sellers on LI should call Larry and Sheila because they know all about selling homes on the Island!

Jul 28, 2012 02:54 AM #23
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

This is great advice.  I know I wouldn't want to walk into a dirty house that I had just purchased.


Jul 28, 2012 03:23 AM #24
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Thats why there is a walk through before closing.  At the closing table the buyer asks, demands for an additional $500 for clean up or they refuse to close.

Jul 28, 2012 04:15 AM #25
Leslie Helm
Tennessee Recreational Properties - Jamestown, TN
Real Estate For Trail Riders

A competent and knowledgeable agent will, having seen what condition the home is in when it is shown, safeguard the buyer by writing provisions into the contract to address the problem if the walkthrough is not satisfactory and will have scheduled the walkthrough to allow suffient time to implement those measures.

Everyone's idea of "clean" is not the same. I just heard a seller state that all she had to do was to "sweep the floors" because she thought that "broom clean" meant cleaning with a broom.

Jul 28, 2012 05:21 AM #26
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Many people will perform their own cleaning rituals when they move into a resale home anyway. So, the sellers should at least remove all their own property and do at least a regular clean.

Jul 28, 2012 07:03 AM #27
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Good Evening Larry and Sheila, Fantastic blog, I always have my sellers review the offers closely as some offers request broom clean and others specify carpet cleaning or more.  Have a great Saturday

Jul 28, 2012 10:57 AM #28
Evelyn Kennedy
Alain Pinel Realtors - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Larry and Sheila:

Not only is it the right thing to do, but the contract calls for the home to be left in clean condition with no debris.

Jul 28, 2012 01:57 PM #29
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

Funny doing the right thing needs to be in a contract. I am amazed at the moral decay and just good manners that have been lost.

Jul 28, 2012 02:30 PM #30
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

A client recently had her cleaning lady do a final cleaning after she moved. I didn't think it was necessary but the buyer was impressed at the appearance of the home during the final walk-through that I am going to suggest all my sellers do the same.

Jul 28, 2012 04:01 PM #31
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Larry and Sheila, that's too bad.  Sort of leaves a bad taste in the buyer's mouth to end the transaction.  Not a good way to end a transaction. 

The trend out here is for sellers to hire professional cleaners to clean the house after the seller vacates. 

Jul 28, 2012 04:28 PM #32
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Larry and Sheila - A home should be left clean for the new owners.  Unfortunately this is not always the case, especially in short sales and foreclosures.

Jul 28, 2012 04:30 PM #33
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