When you sell your house, the buyer will do a last “walk-through” with their agent — usually a day or two before closing. The walk-through is a big deal for the buyer because it’s their first opportunity to see the house without any of the “stuff” that was there before. And it’s a big deal for you, the seller, because it’s an opportunity to set the tone for closing.
Here are a few dos and don’ts to follow when preparing your home for a buyer’s walk-through:
Leave keys, owner’s manuals and warranties. Label all keys and place into a bag or envelope, leaving it on the counter. The new owner will also appreciate you leaving any relevant owner’s manuals and warranties (for a washing machine, thermostat or furnace, for example) in one drawer.
Clean from top to bottom. Your house should be immaculate for the buyer walk-through. After you’ve moved everything out, give your home a thorough cleaning. Pay attention to the details and remember that a buyer will be paying careful attention to everything. Don’t overlook things like cabinets, refrigerators and ovens. Buyers often look inside.
Make note of any damage. Moving is tough, and sometimes tough on a home. If you accidentally break or damage anything while moving out, be sure to mention it to your real estate agent and make arrangements to have it repaired.
Replace any burned out light bulbs. Buyers are going to check to make sure the light fixtures are working. Test all lighting fixtures and make sure bulbs are replaced if necessary.
Leave items behind. Your house should be empty for the buyer’s final walk-through. Except for anything agreed upon in the inclusions (link to inclusions/exclusions blog post), you shouldn’t leave anything behind, such as trash left over from your move.
Forget about the yard. It’s easy to overlook the outside when you’re rushing to move. But buyers are going to check out the yard during the walk-through, and it’s important to tidy things up. Remember to clean out the shed, check under the deck, and remove any garden decor.
Wait until the last minute. You’re going to be very busy prior to closing on your home. There’s packing to be done, a move to coordinate, not to mention any repairs agreed upon as part of the purchase agreement. Plan ahead. Give yourself, at least, a couple of days prior to closing to get your home prepared for the walk-through.