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I would add to have the dryer vent cleaned, Know or identify all circuit breakers and main shut offs in each electric panel. Buy a couple of HVAC filters to have on hand and change them regularly. Have an energy audit done by the electric company to maximize efficiency. Install motion activated exterior security lighting if applicable. Have garage doors and all mechanical items inspected and serviced as needed if not completed already. An ounce of prevention goes a long way to provide a happy home.
P.S. Changing out the washing machine hoses won't hurt either. It's a cheap price to pay for keeping the #1 source of avoidable flooding from damaging your new home.
Priest River, ID
pay the mortgage in a very timely fashion, first and foremost....
Change the locks and let me know if I can assist them with anything down the road.
John McCormack, CRS
Remember me when you are ready to move up or sell?
I think your list is right on. The home inspection report is often a good manual for home maitenance issues and I tell them to pay attention to it.
What a great list of answers. I'm noting every one. Many of which we already do.
Also we talk about building/rebuilding (as needed) their 3 -6 months of expenses in savings so they are not house rich & cash poor. And also not to put themselves into debt to furnish their wonderful new home. Take the time & do it right, protecting their family. While that may not stop them from debt, they may at least think more carefully about
We recommend an annual service contract for the heating and air conditioning equipment.
I always tell them to have the home rekeyed
We usually review options while we view the property, or while I am attending home inspections or at the final walk thru, seeing it sometimes for the first time empty. I am in over 400+ properties a year, gives me a lot of experience of things i have seen that I like, that "work" to suggest to new home owners. For older homes (a passion of mine) I will often times suggest updating the windows.
PS we review the gas, and both water shut offs (at the street and at the house) while at the home inspections. Important stuff for the home owners to know.
Change the locks and enjoy their new home!
When I sell a home, I do two things for the new buyers who will become my new client further down the track. 1. I donate a SWAG to the homeless at www.swags.org and 2. I gift them a handy man for 2 hours after they have moved in to help them with those little jobs like hanging pictures, changing light globes, fixing doors and windows, all the things that husband said he would do but we all know he will never get around to.
San Francisco, CA
I am a facilitator to the transaction not their Mom & Dad. Responsibilities come with homeownership. At the home inspection many smart tips are offered & mentioned below.
Basking Ridge, NJ
Frank - Great question. I typically just recommend changing the locks, and make sure they have all the information to change the utilities into their name. However, after reading the responses, I have a few new ideas.
Frank, like you, the first thing I tell them is to definitely change their locks! Next, get your utilities setup and in order. Third, ensure that your property is assessed at the correct percentage with the Assessor's Office. Fourth, make copies of all of your closing documents and put the originals in a safe place even if that means purchasing a security deposit box. Fifth, thoroughly clean the home or hire a cleaning crew.
Yes, locks are the first thing.
I do not suggest anything after the sale.
Pay it off ASAP. Just cause they gave you 30 years doesn't mean you can pay it off sooner. And save a lot of money.
I agree, change the locks is the first thing I tell new homeowners.
To make any overall improvements before they move in...like painting, change floors or whatever else they can afford or must fix. After that, then they can move in. Also, change of address forms, mail forwarding for all of their bills etc.
I tell them to start a record of all home maintence issues--whatever they do to the house (painting, new a/c, appliance warranties, etc) and change the locks.
Don't forget at the first of the year send their closing statement just in case they need it to file Taxes, and ask for a referral!
I always review their tax records after they close and send them a copy so they have a live link and a place to view their records. Since I typically offer a free Energy Audit, that might come with energy efficient suggestions for them and we discuss those. And I call back after the sale to see if they need any referrals for vendors. I've got their back!
Maintain the property to preserve future value and to call me with any questions they may have.
Have your home inspected for termites once a year.
Everyone is correct, great topic to discuss
Knowing where the water shut off valve is a very important piece of information, to know! I learned it at the second house I owned. It turned out to be in a very unusual spot on a large lot, and I wouldn't have found it had the seller not told me where it was.
So many wonderful answers. You've just given me an idea for something I can write...
Call them every year on their birthdays, and you'll win their referrals for life.
I learned this lesson from Buzz O'Toole. He was a member of my mastermind group before he passed away a few years ago.
Buzz called my wife, Patty, and me on our birthdays every year like clockwork. We were so flattered. Buzz worked an area that is beyond the northern area of our market, so guess who got the leads we received for that area??? Buzz got those leads.
So get their birthdays during the transaction and make those calls.
Change the Locks for sure! Having been a volunteer fireman I also suggest they change all of the smoke and CO2 detector batteries as well. I often times will give the buyers a gift card to a local Locksmith as closing gift and give them a new Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher as well.
Change the locks, change the garage door codes, make sure to contact all utilities, call me if the listing agent does not remove the sign promptly.
Change the locks even on a brand new home. Many years ago, we were burglarized after moving into our first new home. The police were 100% sure that some of the subcontractors working down the block had master keys but it was impossible to prove who had done it. Never again did I not change all the locks.
It kind of depends on the buyers. Recently I had some first time buyers. My recommendation to them was to get a nice savings built up to prepare for the unexpected...like a job loss or an expected home repair.
I advise them about the deed scam and other junk mail that will be coming in the mail and to disregard. I also suggest they rekey the house and to be sure to call me if they have any questions at all.
This is the best time to ask for s referral . Take advantage of the moment.
Change the locks and don't pay anyone to file your homestead documents.
I let them know that referrals are appreciated! Beyond that, I remind them to be sure to file their homestead exemption with the county appraisal district on the following January. And it's always okay to contact me if they have questions.
Frank..That is a must for sure. But I also get them to understand about maintaining their home and why.