How to Be a Good Seller When You Move....

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

10 Things to Do Before You Leave Your Home...


You’ve sold your house!  Your new home awaits!  Movers are scheduled, welcome homeboxes are lined up, ready for their trip in the moving van.  You’ve taken care of the utilities and are ready to begin your new adventure.


But wait… there’s more you can do… not

just for you, but for your Buyers..

The new homeowners!


Many factors enter into what you as the seller could and should do for the new owner.  In some states or areas, you may have a legal responsibility to leave your property in a specified condition.  

For this, you need to consult your local real estate agent.  In some contracts or areas, agents and others use the term “broom clean.”


Below are 10 things you can do for your Buyer before you leave.

1.Leave it truly “move-in” ready.

Keep the Golden Rule in mind when you’re doing this. Do everything you can to leave your house as spotless as you would want it left for you.

If your timing leaves you little time to do a thorough cleaning, hire a crew to come in after the moving company and you have left.

2.Gather papers.

Place inside an envelope or small file container instructions for appliances, the garage door opener, pool pump, air conditioner and anything else that is staying with the house.

If you have receipts for repairs and service that you’ve had on any of the above, it’s a nice idea to include those as well.

3. Garage door openers.

Many of us don’t use these anymore because we program our cars with the garage door openers. You may have even tossed yours out.  You can find a universal remote at your local hardware store.

home sweet home4.Remove all trash.

As you are moving, leave trash bags in every room.  This makes it easy for you, friends, or family members to toss trash right out.

5. Ask before leaving…

Don’t assume that your new homeowners will want your extra paint cans, wallpaper, tile, etc.  They may be planning on some remodeling or updating to make it their own.  It’s kinder not to have to make them figure out how to dispose of your items.

6. Leave them some light.

You will have removed your lamps so the only light the buyers will have, until they unpack their lamps, will be your overhead lights, and those other fixtures that are staying with the house.

Be kind, and check to make sure that all light bulbs are working.


7. Leave names and numbers.

Your buyers may be new to the area or community, so it would be nice to leave:

Emergency numbers

Local service numbers and addresses for the cleaners, post office, grocery store, yard services, etc.

Recommendations for local restaurants and delivery services

Take out menus


8. Patch holes left by photos and other hangings.

This is really easy to do if you plan for it… gather the materials you’ll need and patch as you remove the hangings.


9. Leave a note with one or more self-addressed stamped envelopes for any extra mail that may be delivered after you leave.


10. To really make a nice impression:

Leave a Welcome Home note. Some sellers have left flowers or a plant...a gift certificate to the local store, the local newspaper or magazine.


No one says that you have to do any of this, but wouldn’t it make life just a bit nicer.             


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Debbie Reynolds 03/27/2016 04:00 AM
  2. Elyse Berman, PA 03/25/2016 07:27 PM
  3. Eric Kodner 03/25/2016 08:03 PM
  4. Jeff Dowler, CRS 03/26/2016 01:13 AM
  5. Gabe Sanders 03/31/2016 04:00 PM
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Dick Greenberg that's really it.... try to have everyone feel good about the transaction. 

Jon Kolsky it starts everyone off on the right foot. 

Mar 24, 2016 05:01 AM #37
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hey Kathy... don't know about you, but we still get tons of mail at our home! Plus the email.

Mar 24, 2016 05:08 AM #38
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

It's nice to be able to move in without finding the prior owner's . . . stuff!  I've had more places left as your tips suggest.  A few were not so kind.  

Mar 24, 2016 06:07 AM #39
Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Great sellers check when the home is sold.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Mar 24, 2016 11:45 AM #40
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Kathy, great points. I know that some sellers that every light bulb with them, and leave all their old paint cans behind.

Mar 24, 2016 12:23 PM #41
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

A very thoughtful reminder list to make the transition to the new owners much more pleasant.

Mar 24, 2016 03:53 PM #42
Ed Silva
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

So many sellers think they are being courteous to the buyers by leaving those old paint cans, many of which were there already when they bought the house.  All of them need to go.

Mar 24, 2016 11:00 PM #43
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I love the idea of leaving self addressed envelopes for forwarding your mail. That's one I hadn't heard before!

Mar 25, 2016 12:11 AM #44
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

All great ideas Kathy! We found a sofa in the rock garden out front and some disgusting, dirty smelly carpets in one of our houses LOL. Needless to say there was a lot of cleaning to do before we put things away.

Mar 25, 2016 12:15 AM #45
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Kathy - that is a good way make friends and have a good reputation.  I did all of those things when we moved out of our condo and we had the most positive closing.

Mar 25, 2016 02:42 AM #46
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Hi, Kathy...these are all great suggestions. After all the sellers have loved their home and it would be nice to help the new owners get off on the right foot. 

Mar 25, 2016 11:25 AM #47
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Great list Kathy. I also recommend that my sellers leave some paper towels and toilet paper as a courtesy. That is something that you have got to have.

Mar 25, 2016 12:43 PM #48
Elyse Berman, PA
Best Connections Realty, Inc. - Boca Raton, FL
Boca Raton FL - (561) 716-7824 - CRS, ABR, GRI

Kathy Streib A perfect reminder for sellers when getting ready to leave their homes.  I wish all sellers followed your list.

Mar 25, 2016 07:23 PM #49
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -

A great reminder list!  I'd like to see agents in second home/vacation home markets pay more attention to these ideas.

Mar 25, 2016 07:55 PM #50
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

This is an excellent checklist, Kathy. Some sellers do a great job of leaving a home in wonderful condition for the new homeowners, while others leave behind a total mess.  I especially like #9 - mail always seems to be an issue. Thank you!


Mar 26, 2016 12:58 AM #51
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Those darn garage door openers.  I always forget about those and have to make a trip back!  LOL

Mar 27, 2016 07:33 AM #52
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

Excellent advice, Kathy.  Most sellers are quite good about this around here, but there's always some exceptions.

Mar 27, 2016 08:36 PM #53
Susan Emo
Sotheby's International Realty Canada - Brokerage - Kingston, ON
Kingston and the 1000 Islands Area

Great advice Kathy Streib !  I moved into a home years ago to discover the Sellers had taken away all light bulbs and all t paper!  What they did leave behind was their dog who did not speak english!

Mar 29, 2016 12:36 PM #54
Kaye Swain
Keller Williams Real Estate Roseville CA - Roseville, CA
Your Roseville Real Estate Agent

Great tips. Sharing on Pinterest :) 

Mar 30, 2016 05:32 AM #55
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

It would be very nice to have all that after sellers move out. Great advice! 

Apr 02, 2016 12:15 PM #56
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Kathy Streib

Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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