Dear Home Sellers,
This is your local New Orleans real estate agent begging for a moment of your time. I know that selling your house was emotional and stressful. You’re in the middle of packing, moving utilities, and scheduling movers. There is A LOT on your plate! I get it! However, you can’t pick and go with no thought about the condition of your home.
Let us give you a little guidance on what to do and how to leave the home you’re selling. We find that most home sellers don’t know, and they ask us these questions all the time. Take comfort in the fact you’re not alone!
Get the house professionally cleaned.
We always tell our home sellers to leave the house how you would like to find it. We strongly encourage you to get the house professionally cleaned and take that piece of stress off your plate. This includes getting the carpets cleaned if you have any.
Most people have the best of intentions when it comes to house cleaning when you’re moving out – but most sellers tend to forget things or have very different definitions of the word “clean.”
Trust us; you don’t want to be at the closing table with the buyer’s agent asking why the house has dog hair everywhere.
Remove all the old paint, etc.
Unless you have confirmed with your agent or the buyer about any items remaining with the house, then get rid of it all. We know that the previous seller left all kinds of junk in the shed; however, that doesn’t mean you should do it to the next person.
Get rid of all those old paint cans (save the colors and brand names for the buyer, though!), clear out the trash from the shed and under the house, and take your old Christmas decorations out of the attic!
You may be wondering what this even means – it is a literal statement, though. You need to get out of the house! The buyers are entitled to a final walk-through of the property to ensure it’s in the same or better condition before the act of sale. This walk-through can be difficult if you still have a house full of stuff!
If you’re purchasing another house on the same day you’re selling, get the house packed up ahead of time. Consider getting a hotel for the evening, staying at your mom’s, or only keeping an air mattress for sleeping if you absolutely have to stay at the house the night before closing.
We have seen this problem numerous times. To make for an easier transition, staying elsewhere the night before will make things less problematic.
Keep the utilities on
Utilities MUST be kept on until its closing time. This is a part of the legally binding contract that you signed.
We always encourage sellers to leave them on for a day or two after closing as well. This way, the buyer has time to get it transferred into their name, and no one is without power or water.
Don’t take anything that should remain with the house
Your contract dictates items in your home that stay with the property. Unless it was specifically excluded, you cannot take light fixtures, surround sound, bathroom mirrors, cabinet knobs, and ceilings fans – to name a few.
Check with your agent before taking any of the following items:
- blinds & curtains
- shrubbery & landscaping
- tv wall mounts
Fill in the holes
Speaking of wall mounts… if the buyer has agreed to allow the removal of tv mounts, you must repair those holes and paint over them.
The same goes for all the removal of your wall art and hangings. Don’t leave holes everywhere in the house.
Take the mail. Leave the keys.
Start your mail forwarding so that you’re not tracking down your agent to find your packages weeks later. I know this is about leaving your home before you sell, but this includes what is still coming to the house for you!
Find all your spare keys 🔑, garage openers, fan clickers, etc., and leave them all on the counter. Nothing is worse than moving into your new house and trying to find items for the old house. If the house has an electronic keypad, give that code to the buyer as well. If you know how to reset it, write down the instructions.
Make sure you give the buyer your old alarm code too. We have seen many people move in, set off an alarm, and no one can track down the seller! 🚨
Cut the grass
Before bouncing out of your old house and heading for the new digs, please do us a solid and CUT THE GRASS! The last thing anyone wants when moving into a new home is having to tend to the yard immediately.
We all want to end the sale on a high note. And the last thing you want is your agent calling you to find out why you left an attic full of trash. You will find yourself having to give a credit at the last minute to the buyer to cover the removal cost. Let’s eliminate any problems by being prepared on the front end!
Ready to sell your New Orleans home? Text us!