Sold your home? Don’t forget these 4 important steps before you leave
Updated: Aug 14
After staging your property, hosting showings and entertaining offers, selling your home feels like a huge accomplishment.
Even after you’ve found the perfect buyers, there’s still plenty to do on the countdown to moving day. While your focus will likely be on packing and making arrangements for your new home, simple but important tasks should not go overlooked.Before you officially hand over the keys and say goodbye to your former abode, consider completing these four important tasks.
1. Update your utilities, accounts and subscriptions
Don’t forget to disconnect before you leave!
Call your cable, internet and phone providers to notify them of your move and disable service when you depart. On closing day, have your hydro and gas metres read to ensure that you will pay for your share of the utilities before the new occupants take possession.
If you have any newspaper deliveries or maintenance services for your yard or pool, be sure to give them a heads up too. Talk to your local post office to have your mail forwarded to your new address so you don’t miss any important packages, bills or letters.
When it comes to insurance, don’t cancel your policy until the sale has closed. If you are leaving your home vacant for a period of time before the new owners move in, let your insurer know and maintain your policy to ensure you are covered in the event anything happens while the property is empty.
2. Leave behind important items for the new owners
Figuring out how to work a new appliance can be a hassle, so make life a little easier for the new homebuyers by leaving instruction manuals out in plain sight for them to find. This should include any pamphlets for heating and cooling systems, the fridge, stove, washing machine and dryer, plus any warranties.
Gather all keys to sheds, gates, storage cabinets and mailboxes, and leave them in a spot that is easy to find, such as the kitchen counter. Along with the keys, leave behind the garage door opener and any fobs.
Be mindful of items you are obligated to leave behind for the new owners that may not seem obvious. If you’re removing light fixtures, curtain rods or other items attached to the wall, consult your purchase agreement to confirm what has been included as part of the sale.
3. Give the home a wipe-down
After a long moving day, your buyers will appreciate coming into a home that has been prepared for their arrival.
Most purchase agreements require that the home be left in a ‘broom swept condition,’ at the very least, which loosely translates to a surface-level clean. This would include removing all personal possessions, vacuuming the floors and disposing of all garbage. Unless your purchase contract states that a professional cleaning is required, it is generally not expected of the seller. While cleaning out your home, don’t forget about your attic, crawlspace, closets, outdoor shed, garden beds, fridge, freezer and other easily overlooked areas.
4. Do a final walk-through
We’ve all had that moment of leaving home and feeling like we’ve forgotten something important… On moving day, erase any possible doubts by doing one last walk around the inside and outside of the property to ensure that you haven’t missed anything important.
Before you lock up, ensure that the temperature of the property is set appropriately for the time of year and shut off the main water valve if the home is going to be empty for a prolonged period of time. While doing your final tour, ensure that the home is fully secure. Check that all windows and doors are closed and locked, including garden sheds, garages and patio doors.
-Credits Royal LePage, Canada