Here’s a list of things you should do before the new buyer takes possession of their home:
Complete any agreed-upon repairs or improvements: If you’ve agreed to make any repairs or improvements as part of the sale agreement, you should make sure that those are completed before the buyer takes possession and makesure you get and keep the receipt. This information can be helpful especially if the work is warrantied.
Remove all personal belongings: It’s time to pack! This is when you are thankful that you packed and purged items as part of your pre-listing preparation. You should remove all personal belongings from the property, including furniture, small appliances, and aany other items that are not part of the sale. This includes cleaning out closets, cupboards, and storage areas.
Clean the property: You should make sure that the property is clean and ready for the new owners to move in. This includes cleaning floors, bathrooms, kitchen, and any other areas that may need attention. Sometimes this may be part of the contract, but just because it’s not specifically written in the contract, think about what you would like to experience when you walk into your new place and the do your best to leave your home in the same condition. Remember that Karma’s a BEATCH!
Cancel utilities: You should cancel all utilities (gas, electric, water, etc.) and any other services (such as internet or cable) that are in your name. You may want to pass this information on to the new owners beforehand. That way the name on the account can change, avoiding any new account activation fees. – Honestly those companies should be paying you a referral fee for the new customer, but that’s another story.
Transfer warranties: If you have any warranties for appliances, systems, or other items in the home, they should transfer those warranties to the new owners.
Provide keys and security codes: You should provide all keys, security codes, and garage door openers to the new owners.
Leave instruction manuals: If you have instruction manuals for any appliances or systems in the home, leave those behind for the new owners. Organize them in a folder or binder to make it easy for them to find. Remember what I said about Karma?
Forward mail: Your should forward your mail to your new address and make sure that any bills or other important mail is redirected accordingly. Don’t forget about your magazine subscriptions and newspaper delivery (There are people who still get a paper delivered to their door).
Complete a final walkthrough: Do a final walkthrough of the property before you leave it for the last time and record it, if possible. You never know when this video might come in handy.
Bonus for the Type A’s – Make a quick recording of the state of all of your appliances. You would believe how many time an appliance break downs happen right after the new owner takes possession. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!