Avoid this disaster at all costs by doing that final walkthrough!
When you sell your home, how do you leave it? Are you one of those people who hire someone to come in once all of your stuff is out, to clean that place from top to bottom for the new homeowners? Are you someone that you yourself takes cleaning matters into your own hands, and cleans that house better than it has ever been cleaned before? Or are you someone that walks out after the movers and never looks back?
I had a friend recently, that spent the first 10 hours inside her new home, cleaning. The previous owners did not run a vacuum. They did not mop up the 20+ dried spots of dog urine on the tiled floor. They also did not bother to wipe the spilled milk and ketchup from the refrigerator after removing all of their food and condiments. Of course people like this exist, but I try to imagine they are few and far between.
This is a reason why sometimes, attending a final walkthrough is very important. If you go to your final walkthrough, and the sellers haven’t completed everything they agreed to a second inspection is often scheduled. After that second inspection, or when the sellers say the pending items have been done and completed, you go back and take another walkthrough.
Because when you don’t, and you accept their word, then sign papers based on their word…there isn’t much that can be done later. It is a sad situation, but it happens. Don’t let it happen to you. I will say, that the sellers in this situation were difficult to work with all along, which is even more of a reason to check and make sure they have done what they agreed to. Sometimes you are dealing with fabulous sellers, and you can get a good gage on people…if this is the case, then you are probably okay. But I would HATE for this to happen to anyone else. So make sure you aren’t spending the first ten hours in your new home scrubbing floors and trying to figure out where you are going to put an old mattress that the sellers left behind the garbage can (because it wouldn’t fit in it)….do the final walkthrough when you are dealing with difficult sellers.
And when you are the seller, you don’t have to hire someone. You also don’t have to clean the toilets with a toothbrush, but I do want you to put yourself in the buyers shoes. How do you want to walk into your new home? How do you want feel? Do you want to be able to feel like you are somewhere clean? A good check…would Mom approve? Be thoughtful. Be kind. I have sellers that have left a housewarming gift, a kind note, or a small plant. I am not saying you need to do this, but please, be kind. Regardless of the situation. We all need more kindness in this world. A simple running of the vacuum and wiping down of the counters goes a very long way.
Some other thoughts while I am on the topic…if you are leaving behind appliances, it is nice to leave the new owners the manuals that go with it (if you still have them). It is something not everyone thinks of during the stress of moving, and I get that. But if you do think of it, it is a kind gesture. If you have mail keys, or garage openers, or gate remotes…leave those behind too. If you have leftover flooring, tiles, or paint swatches…it is nice to leave those things too. You have no need for these things, so leave them. With that said, don’t leave the things you decide you don’t want. Don’t leave things that aren’t tied to the house because you don’t want to take it with you. Buyers are dealing with enough stress of their own household goods, they don’t want to have to figure out what to do with your bed frame that you didn’t want. Be thoughtful. Be kind. If there are things you don’t want, work this out with the realtor before hand. They can send a quick email to the buyer and see if the buyer wants it. This shows kindness, but doesn’t create more work for them (trying to get rid of it because they don’t have the space. Just some thoughts that not everyone thinks of. I have been in this business for a long time, and have seen some pretty interesting things.
Talk to you soon!
Your Top North Texas Real Estate Agent - Brenda Debus