Posted by: Robin Gronsky | January 27, 2012

What Must a Home Seller Do About Preparing the House For the Closing?

It’s almost time for the closing.  By this time, you will have either purchased another home or made arrangements for living in a rental.  Once your actual (and not the contract) closing date has been set, you can make the final arrangements with a moving company and pack up all of your belongings.

The typical contract reads that the seller will deliver the property in “broom clean” condition.  What does that mean?  It means that you remove everything that is not specifically included in the sale (according to the contract).  If you are thinking of leaving furniture or curtains or your playground set, you must get permission from the buyer.  If you were going to leave extra roof shingles or paint cans with extra paint for touch-ups, you must get permission from the buyer.  Most sellers throw out several years’ worth of old junk that has been sitting around in the basement for years.  They can’t leave it in the house and it’s too expensive to move or not neded anymore.  Expect that the de-cluttering and packing will take you a few weeks and start early.  The longer you have lived in your house, the longer it takes to decide what to pack and what to throw away.  After everything is loaded onto the moving truck, you must sweep the floors to make sure that there is no dirt left.  The appliances should be emptied and cleaned (especially the refrigerator) and the sinks scoured.  You do not have to shampoo carpets or hire professional cleaning services but the rooms must be clean.  You must also clean out the garage and the yard. 

After the moving truck has taken all of your furniture and belongings out of the house, you should walk through each room and check for the following:  are there any holes in the walls – if there are even tiny holes, they must be repaired, are there any issues with the flooring that may have been covered by a rug – either fix the problem or be prepared for the buyers, to ask for money at the closing to fix it themselves, and open all drawers, cabinets and appliances (including the washer and dryer) to make sure that you have not left anything behind.

If you have left your home “broom-clean” and made the repairs that you agreed to during the home inspection period, you should have an easy closing.


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