Don't Forget to Check the Dishwasher!

Real Estate Agent with Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group S44645

It is one of the last places that you think to check when you are moving out.  You go through the rooms and look in the closets, you look under the sink in the kitchen, you open the linen closet and make sure you didn't forget anything.  You might even open the mailbox on your way out, just to make sure nothing is in there before you drive away.  But what about the dishwasher?



Depending on how you live and do the dishes, there may be dirty or clean dishes in there.  In our house, if there are dishes in the sink, they are mine and I am washing them by hand.  If they are in the dishwasher, they could be dirty and waiting for a full load to run it or they could be clean and just not put away.  It is a delicate balance.  So it comes as no surprise to me when I open the dishwasher at the final inspection and see that there are a few dishes or an entire load of dishes in there. 


This week, it was a single cheese knife.  It blended in and I could understand how it was missed.  Imagine the surprise of the listing agent when I brought it to the closing along with the lockbox! This same house also had a children's book in the mailbox for the kids that used to live there as more place to send a change of address!  I am sure that the sellers appreciated getting their things back. 


Another place that people forget is the warming drawer or storage drawer below the oven. Isn't that where you store the baking racks and pizza stone? 


And yet another....if you have storage pedestals for the washer and dryer and you are leaving them for the new buyer, you forget what you may have stashed there.  When we moved last time, I didn't look in those drawers because I had never personally put anything in there....and he forgot all about it.  The new buyers called their agent after they moved in and we did the walk of shame to collect our extra dryer sheets, detergent and spray starch.  So, it happens to the best of us.


On my closing week checklist, one of my suggestions is to have someone that doesn't live there take a thorough look at all the nooks and crannies of your home before you shut the door for the last time.  If you would like my moving checklist, send me an email at and put Moving Checklist in the subject line.  I will be happy to send it to you!


Keep smiling!







Posted by


Karen Feltman, REALTOR®, ABR, AHS, CHMS,                                                                      CNE,CRS, e-Pro, green, GRI, SRES, TRC

Keller Williams Legacy Group

4850 Armar Drive SE Ste B

Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52403


Mobile  319-521-0701

Licensed in the State of Iowa

© 2010-2021 by Karen Feltman, Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Relocation Specialist 

Comments (20)

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Rechecking all rooms, draws and cubby holes for you never know what ay be there

Jan 26, 2019 03:29 PM
Karen Feltman

We all have "hiding places" where we put things and then forget that they are there.  We have found some interesting items from past owners.  Thank you for reading.

Jan 27, 2019 04:19 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

You're absolutely right!  The dishwasher is a place I could easily miss checking if I were to be moving!

Jan 26, 2019 05:16 PM
Karen Feltman

It is one of the first places that I look during the final inspection because it is an afterthought when people are in the process of a move.  Thank you for reading.

Jan 27, 2019 04:19 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Karen Feltman very true, it is important don't forget to check the dishwasher.

Jan 26, 2019 07:48 PM
Karen Feltman

Thank you for reading.

Jan 27, 2019 04:20 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Karen. This is so funny but true too. I can't tell you the amount of times I have seen dishes during walk throughs.

Jan 27, 2019 09:08 AM
Karen Feltman

Me too!  Thank you for reading.

Jan 27, 2019 04:20 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh, that is too funny but, the dishwasher and the washer/dryer pedistals are the two most likely places I find left items too, Karen! Heck, I don't even know what's in the bottom of mine! LOL

Jan 28, 2019 10:05 AM
Karen Feltman

I added to my seller move out checklist: check the dishwasher, bottom drawer of the oven and washer/dryer pedestals. Hopefully that will help, I guess I will know they didn’t read it if I still find stuff

Jan 28, 2019 11:39 AM
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

I like your idea of having someone else check your home when moving, kind of like having a proofreader.

Jan 28, 2019 12:59 PM
Karen Feltman

Exactly, it is another set of eyes that see different things than you do. 

Jan 29, 2019 12:12 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Karen Feltman , are so right. I'm always finding things in the dishwasher on my buyer's walk through! No many sellers leave the washer and dryer so not the bins on the pedestals so much here.

Jan 28, 2019 05:28 PM
Karen Feltman

Thank you for reading.

Jan 29, 2019 03:32 PM
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent

Loved the article!  I have moved and  the last two times and found dishes in the dishwasher!!!

Jan 28, 2019 06:15 PM
Karen Feltman

It is easy to forget to check there!  Thank you for reading.

Jan 29, 2019 03:32 PM
Bruce Kunz
C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100 - Howell, NJ
REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale

Thanks for sharing this Karen Feltman. It is so easy to miss hiding places you 'don't even see'. Great idea to have an outsider check through the home!


Jan 28, 2019 06:20 PM
Karen Feltman

Another set of eyes always helps!

Jan 29, 2019 03:33 PM
Bernadine Eberle
Integrity Plus Realty, LLC Texas - Plano, TX
Home Sales in North Texas

Great article! I have had this occur as well. Dishes in the dishwasher, trophies on the closet shelf. 

Jan 28, 2019 07:57 PM
Karen Feltman

They left their trophies?  Oh no!  Thank you for sharing.

Jan 29, 2019 03:33 PM
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Great idea for a checklist they can email you and get!  This post was chock full of good ideas!!

Jan 29, 2019 12:27 AM
Karen Feltman

Thank you.  I actually had someone from Virginia email me today for the moving checklist.  His daughter is going to be moving soon!

Jan 29, 2019 03:31 PM
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Good one.  And check the microwave too - I have been surprised to find something in there before.

Jan 29, 2019 01:30 AM
Karen Feltman

I have checked the microwave, occasionally you will find a plate cover or something.  Thank you for adding!

Jan 29, 2019 03:34 PM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Great reminder. Thanks for sharing. 

Jan 29, 2019 05:06 AM
Karen Feltman

Thank you for reading.

Jan 29, 2019 03:35 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Great point, Karen.  Kind of like checking the visor (for the garage door opener) when selling a car.  One doesn't always think to look there.

Jan 29, 2019 01:01 PM
Karen Feltman

That is another item that is often forgotten when they drive away from the house.  Especially if it is an attached garage and they use that opener to lock up the house for the last time.  I have had sellers forget and leave the state.  Then they have to mail it back to me prior to the closing.  Thank you for sharing.

Jan 29, 2019 03:29 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I had to laugh, Karen, as I have run across stuff in the dishwasher after the sellers have move out a number of times, as have my buyers. High shelves in kitchen cabinets and closets seem to be overlooked, too!


Jan 29, 2019 05:37 PM
Karen Feltman

Especially in those hard to reach cabinets at the top.

Jan 29, 2019 06:07 PM
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

And if you happen to live in an HOA community, gate openers, pool keys etc. are easily forgotten to be returned.

Jan 30, 2019 12:35 AM
Karen Feltman

Very true.  We don't really have HOAs with the exception of condos and very few gated communities.  But I know that many areas have those items as well!  Thank you for adding to the conversation.

Jan 30, 2019 09:14 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I've often found dishes in the dishwasher as well!  Also, too often I see sellers the basement and garage.  Buckets, pieces of wood, broken yard tools, hoses, etc.  That needs to go as well!

Jan 30, 2019 08:52 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Very true.  We usually ask that the seller leave extra pieces of tile, flooring, and paint.  But all other items need to be removed unless previously agreed upon.  Thank you for commenting!

Jan 30, 2019 09:16 AM
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

Anything can be left behind when stored in a rarely used place. Attic crevices have turned up some interesting items.

Jan 30, 2019 09:51 AM
Karen Feltman

Agreed. Attics can be interesting as well.  Especially in homes where the owner has lived there for 30+ years or if it is now an estate where the heirs have no idea that there are items up there!  Great comment!

Jan 30, 2019 09:54 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

I found a whole washing machine full of dirty clothes at one walk through, so obviously inthe rush it is easy to miss or forget something.

Jan 30, 2019 11:44 AM