My client and friend Misty and I did a final walk-through of her home thirty minutes prior to closing and were pleased to find that the Seller had left the home in immaculate condition. Additionally, the Seller left out all appliance and component manuals, extra light bulbs unique to their lighting, swatches of paint color and extra air filters.
This was all neatly stacked on a kitchen counter along with the garage door openers. I’m sure there were leftover cans of paint in the detached garage, but my Buyer went in there before I arrived.
It’s nice for a new homeowner to have the correct size for air filters instead of pulling out a dirty air filter to examine. And, if the light fixtures require a specific bulb, it’s nice to have extras on hand instead of carrying a dead light bulb with you to the hardware store. Any and all manuals are helpful.
I also just sold a 3-story condo, and my Seller left the step-stool used to get to the attic access, and she left the hanging ladder to be used from the 3rd floor in case of a fire. She didn’t need these items in her new home, yet it was thoughtful of her to leave them. Of course, she left notes with paint colors and brands used also – very considerate.
How to be an awesome home Seller
None of this is mentioned in the Oklahoma real estate contract. The Seller is not required to leave air filters or ladders – or even clean the house prior to closing. But it makes that final part of the transaction a little sweeter when all parties are considerate to one another.
My buyer Kara and I found a bottle of wine, 2 glasses and a note from the Seller when we did our final walk-through prior to closing. The note from the Sellers explained how happy they had been in the home and wished my Buyer happy memories to be built there also. So sweet.
Another thing I suggest Sellers do is to leave a note of trash pick-up days, when recycling is collected, contact for their neighborhood association, where they vote and their contact information for whomever does their yard work.
And on another transaction, I was so embarrassed to see how filthy my Seller left her home. She pre-signed documents and did not attend closing. I was suspect about how neat the home would be, so I was there when the Buyers did their final walk-through. I immediately texted a friend who rushed over to clean while the rest of us were at closing. While that was not my legal responsibility, I felt it was my ethical responsibility. These were first-time home Buyers, and I didn’t want one single thing to ruin their special day.
Sellers and Buyers do not have to be adversaries. If we’ve made it this far and still like each other, Sellers can go one extra step before closing to make the Buyer even more excited about their home purchase.
While sometimes rare in real estate, it’s okay to be nice.
Content written and published by Lori Cain.