10 Things to Do the Week Before Closing on Your Home
Moving is always stressful, and it can be even more so when you’re closing on your home at the same time. We’ve seen a lot of closings, and we recommend our sellers take the following ten steps the week before closing their home to minimize stress and the chances of any unforeseen complications during the final buyer walk through:
1. Arrange for professional movers well ahead of time
We can’t stress using professional movers enough – our own Head of Real Estate tried to move herself out of a one bedroom loft in Cabbagetown and, after ordering a POD that was too small, had to essentially move herself out a second time into a larger POD. Save yourself the hassle and stress and have your movers come days before closing if possible to ensure there are no delays or last minute surprises.
2. Hire professional cleaners
This is the number one issue we’ve seen during the final walk through. Buyers are already emotional and stressed making one of the biggest purchases of their lives, and seeing a dirty house right before closing can create unnecessary friction and delays.
3. Review your disclosures so you know what stays and what comes with you
Remember that long document you had to fill out when you listed your home? Pull up your seller’s property disclosure, and review the items you disclosed would stay with the home. If you checked the box, it stays and if you didn’t, it goes with you. Make sure the movers know what stays and what goes.
4. Remove pictures and cover nail holes with Spackle
Finish the job by touching up with paint.
5. Schedule utilities to be shut off the day after closing
Unless you know your buyers will put the utilities in their name for the day of closing, give yourself a day’s grace period before shut off, since utilities are necessary for the final walk through. Provide all utility information to your agent if you haven’t already and offer any recommendations for the new home owner – they’re usually welcome.
6. Put all manuals in one drawer in the kitchen
Label extra keys and door openers.
7. Order a termite letter
This is only necessary if you agreed to provide one in the purchase and sale agreement.
8. Cancel trash pick up
Also ensure all trash has been removed. Leaving the last remnants in the container or at the curb creates problems at the walk through (see #2 about this being a stressful time for your buyers).
9. Do some light landscape cleanup
Make sure the lawn is cut and no landscape debris is left behind.
10. Leave the house EMPTY
Seriously, we mean completely empty. If you want to leave paint or other items you think should stay with the house, check with your agent and let them confirm with the buyer to make sure they want them to stay.
We know you have a lot to take care of before your move, but following these steps can alleviate the stress of the final walkthrough and reduce the chances for last-minute problems. Yes, it adds to your to-do list, but we promise it’s worth it.
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