How did you leave the house for your buyers?

janjan212February 21, 2009

Our plan:

Patching & touching up nail/screw holes in rooms where we have touch up paint. Where we don't, we will leave the nails or screws in the wall. (figuring anthing else will do more harm than good) We have a few spots where there were molly's so we plan to just leaving the molly's exposed. I know it isn't ideal, but hopefully it's ok. I'm not sure what else to do. We are the 2nd owners (there were nail/screw holes when we moved in) The house is 16 yrs old, people don't expect it to look like new, do they?

We are also having our cleaning lady do a move out clean (she has been cleaning weekly all along) that will include the normal cleaning and also clean cabinets inside & out, the fridge, which they worked into the deal. Wipe down walls, door tracks etc etc. This is probably above and beyond what's expected but we wanted to have the house spotless (in a professional way) for the new owners. We will just broom sweep the garage. I'm also leaving them a pretty iron shelf I bought & painted to match other items in the master bath area. Since it goes so well, I wanted to gift it to them. They may not want it, but since they other items are fixtures, they could probably use it in the short-term anyway. It's a nice gesture if nothing else.

We also planned to have all the papers, manuels, keys tagged, a housewarming plant, or a bottle of wine & 2 wine glasses or something like that to welcome them to their new home. Now I don't know...

I've been excited for them since I heard they were first time buyers, but my excitement is waining since I am feeling snubbed. I've tried to communicate with them through their agent about simple things that might help them like leaving the yard debris container, if they want to subscribe to the service and letting them know I would be selling certain items in the house if they were interested to give them the first chance at them (which was a courtesy the former sellers gave us with a few key things that was bought for this home they didn't need for their next) but I can't even get a response. I didn't care either way, I just thought a simple "No Thanks" would have been nice. We got a piece of mail for them already here, it was from their insurance company, and said open Immediately, so I emailed the agent 3 days ago to let them know and ask what they would like me to do (leave it here for when we close or forward it to them etc) and still, I have gotten no answer from them. I don't understand it when people can't extend common courtesies. Anyway, now I'm wondering if I should be looking at it more like a business transaction, pure and simple. Do the necessary and leave out the niceities.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The lack of response could be that their Realtor never got the message(s) from you, or, if the Realtor did receive the message(s), s/he may not have passed them along.

I was THRILLED with the envelope our sellers left for us at this house. Inside were manuals, some phone numbers (pool service, sprinkler service, lawn service, house alarm, etc) that we could use/contact if we so desired and basic pool instructions.

I left my buyers all the warranties and manuals we had. We didn't have any services at that house (small city house and my ex was a great DIYer), so no need for phone number list.

Leave the manuals, etc you plan on leaving. It is a nice courtesy.

As far as clean, broom clean is standard. You don't have to remove nails, patch or paint.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 5:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think you have thought of everything and then some :) I left our buyers with a "neighborhood email and phone list" and we cleaned the house as I would for myself and my DH ( mopped, dusted, vacuumed, etc.) I think you may have an"emotional attachment" to your place and you are wanting the new people to "feel it too"! I would feel that way when I was cleaning to show our house and try these little "personal touches" and most of the time I was the only one noticing them! My agent said one time to try to view our house as just a "property with a means to an end"; very difficult after living there for 15 years! Don't kill yourself; you will have enough to do :) Good Luck!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know our realtor forwarded the info, since he copied me...I can't say if she send it to the buyer however. My agent said she did, based on what she told him. They did eventually respond (took a couple weeks) that they DID want to keep the yard debris service and to leave the container rather than having it picked up. No mention of anything else. I've decided I will try not to worry about WHY they aren't responding and just be sure I pass on information that I would want passed on to me.

I was a TOTAL fanatic about this house looked for showings. I would drive my husband bonkers trying to get it to look like a model home for each and every showing. I get distracted by others messes and clutter when we look at listings, and I didn't want others to focus on anything other than the appeal of the house. I also figured it was because I really wanted the place to sell, but I guess it could be that I wanted others to see it/feel about it the way we did over the years. An emotional attachment.

Come to think of it, when I was selling some of the furniture, there was one lady that wanted to buy everything in my formal living room. She couldn't afford it all, but got a big chunk of it and called me the next week for yet another piece. I found myself wanting to hold pieces in case she was able to buy it. She was so in love with the whole room, I really wanted her to be the one to get it. I should be happy to sell it to whoever shows up first!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ingrid_vc so. CA zone 9

You sound like a very nice person who did more than most people would to sell your home and to be nice to the buyers. I'm sorry they didn't respond accordingly and I certainly wouldn't bother with extra touches for them. Just congratulate yourself that you've sold your house at this difficult time. Who knows whether all your extra care in showing the house isn't what clinched your sale.

Whenever I left a house it was clean and in move-in condition but I didn't go to any extraordinary trouble. I've bought houses where I was on my hands and knees scrubbing everything for days. My brother once bought a house where the kitchen floor was so dirty they weren't aware the vinyl had a pattern until they cleaned it. It was ovious that the floor hadn't been cleaned for months. I'm sure other people have had equally bad experiences. I hope the house you move into is as clean as the one you're leaving. Good luck with your move!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wouldn't leav the housewarming plant and the bottle of wine. And especially not that iron shelf. You sound like very nice people and I would have appreciated the gesture but these people, with their no response, sound more like the people who bought our first house!

I left a ceramic pitcher & bowl that matched our bathroom and my husband replaced certain doors in the house with newer doors (i.e. the old ones had scratches or dents). We left the house very clean and right away they called and said to remove our CRAP! I didn't understand because the house was very clean, cleaner than any home I've ever moved in to. The CRAP was the nice ceramic pitcher & bowl and also the doors that my husand put in the garage rafters so the new owners could use them to store things. (Otherwise the garage was totally empty and there was no ceiling, just the rafters).

So what we thought was a nice gesture was definitely not appreciated. We regretted taking the time and expense to replace the doors since they bought the house with the crappy doors. I can understand a call like that if we'd left old tires in the garage or something....but well!

The show Property Virgins on HGTV constantly brings up the point that new homebuyers are quite unresonable about what they're getting.

I'd leave the manuals since it would be stupid to throw them out. But I'd never go the extra mile for someone who doesn't even acknowledge the offers you've made thus far.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 9:42AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My cousin & her fiance just bought their first home last October. The sellers bought them new kitchen towels as a house warming gift and my cousin was so tickled, they were the first things she showed me when I stopped by. She promptly sent off a thank you note and invited them to stop by w/ their kids to visit their first home sometime in the future when their kids might be reminiscing about the hideyhole under the stairs or the swing in the backyard.

When my cousin and I were scrubbing off the marker underneath the counter overhang while prepping for paint, she commented on how the sellers were so warm and friendly that she had known she was buying a loving and loved home where she could start a family.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Broom clean as the contract calls for, and all the hangers in the wall.

If you touch up the paint and it does not match, whet then?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've learned through many transactions over the years to treat the new owners in the way that you want to be treated. No matter how that is received, you'll feel better about yourself that you made the gesture. So I would leave all the manuals, and a small house warming gift. Leave the shelf if you yourself can't use it in your new home, otherwise take it with you.

We've left the hangers in the walls, left touch up paint in the garage in case the buyers wanted to touch up themselves. In most instances, buyers are going to want to paint and put their own touch on the room anyway. We've always hired a cleaning service to come in and clean after we moved out. This was part of our relo package and really made it easier on us that we could just go without spending a day cleaning.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I've wondered about leaving paint to touch up. If they like the colors you chose, then maybe they'd like having some for touch-ups. But if they don't like the colors, then they have to find a way to dispose of paint, which isn't easy. So I'm torn on that one.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 10:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When we bought our current house the previous owners left us a bottle of wine and a note - something about hoping we enjoyed the house as much as they did. I thought that was really nice. They also left all kinds of owners manuals and documentation on an addition, the original house plans (which have come in handy many, many times) and lots of keys that were labeled. They left some other notes on who they used for various services and would recommend - that was very helpful since we were new to the area. They asked if we wanted to buy their porch furniture which we did - and we still use it 17 years later. They asked if they could leave some firewood and storage lockers in the garage - no charge they just wanted to leave them - we said fine. Firewood is gone but lockers still in use. We obviously had no problem communicating prior to the sale.

I agree with others who said leave things the way you would want to find them. You will feel good about being kind and thoughtful to others even if it is underappreciated.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:23AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you're unsure about leaving touch up paint behind or disposing of it, check with the buyers. We always appreciated the touch up paint and extra tiles etc. Even though we would eventually repaint every room in our new home, in the interim it was nice to have touch up paint to freshen up walls until we had a chance to repaint.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:28AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You're doing a heck of a lot more than our sellers did. They didn't even vacuum, or wash anything before leaving. The house was disgustingly filthy when we took it over. It took us two weeks to scrub it down and get it to move-in condition.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 3:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"But if they don't like the colors, then they have to find a way to dispose of paint, which isn't easy."

Latex paint is easy to dispose of.
Alkyd (oil) paint can be allowed to dry out and then is unregulated.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 6:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, it isn't easy to dispose of latex paint where I live. It has to be dried out first, or else you have to take it to a special recycling facility (not nearby) that accepts hazardous waste. You can't just put it out for the trash guys. I checked. It's a pain.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 7:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One thing I've done in a couple of houses we've sold is to go around at the last moment we're in the house and put explanatory Post-it notes anywhere they could be helpful (how to operate the "cat door", where spare bits of hardware are stored in the basement, which wall switch operates the garbage disposal, trash day in the neighborhood, etc.). One buyer reported that it was quite helpful -- the stuff you wish you'd remember to tell new buyers, but never remember at the time.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"No, it isn't easy to dispose of latex paint where I live. It has to be dried out first, or else you have to take it to a special recycling facility (not nearby) that accepts hazardous waste. You can't just put it out for the trash guys. I checked. It's a pain."

Mix with kitty litter, allow to dry.
Not a big deal at all.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 2:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If the paint is still in good condition, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore might take it as a donation. There is no need to throw away good paint if you can find another alternative.

Here is a link that might be useful: Habitat Retores

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 5:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I left my house much cleaner than I was accustomed to!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I lightly vacuumed, quickly mopped the wood floors with Murphy's oil soap, cleaned the inside of the fridge and the oven, left owner's manuals on the countertop, labeled the paint cans and water main shut off in the basement, and put new clear plastic shower curtains on the clawfoot tub. I also turned up the heat a little bit so the house was nice and warm.

As a gift, we left a $200 decorative stained-glass window in the downstairs bathroom (it was not attached and by rights we could have taken it) with a note saying we hoped the new owners would be as happy as we were in the house. They kept it hanging there, so I guess they liked it.

The Murphy's oil soap made the house smell wonderful. It really did seem fresh and warm and welcoming, even though it was completely empty and echoed goodbye as I walked out. My realtor commented on how clean and nice we left it.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 9:04AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Half of me says to print this thread and leave it for them on the manuals, noting you were the OP, and do nothing else.

The other half agrees with cordovamom to treat them the way you would want to be treated, whether they appreciate it or not. YouÂre really doing this for yourself since youÂll probably never see or hear from them again.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 4:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
collins design

We left a bottle of wine in the fridge, all the manuals and paperwork, a list of local grocery stores and shops, all of the paint we'd used on walls in the last year or two, and trim scraps (we asked if they wanted these things), the shower curtain (again- we asked because we knew they were just starting out and might want to shower the first night), some shelves and the pot rack that really looked good in the rooms, the welcome mat, etc. But our buyers were extremely sweet young couple that we had had very good communication with throughout the process. I cleaned like a maniac, too :)

We had lovingly renovated the house (our first home) and it was emotional to leave. We felt good about the buyers so we wanted them to be very happy. In your situation I would probably not do all that!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, We decided against the plant and/or wine etc. We didn't think they would appreciate it, based on our experience so far. We did however still have the house professionally cleaned. Since we stopped the weekly cleanings a couple of weeks prior to moving out, it really wasn't any more expensive than what we had been paying and it was a huge time saver for us. She did a fantastic job (much better than I could have done) and I felt good about it. The insides of all the cabinets were clean, she oil soaped the outsides too. Washed walls that were behind furniture for years along with the routine cleaning. It was just nice.

We gathered all the keys we had made over the years for family etc. There were several for inside the house and more for the garage and storage shed, mailbox,etc.-- We labeled them all with key tags, left them with the garage door openers and a nice letter welcoming them to their new home and explaining what else we had left, wallpaper, borders, manuals, bulbs for outide lighting, touchup paint etc, and how to turn on the sprinkler system come summertime. We told them we hoped they enjoyed their time in the home as much as we did and wished them well. They were sincere sentiments. We hope the current owners of whatever home we will buy will be as courteous we we tried to be.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 12:15PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Off market for 6 days, why? ncrealestateguy?
Hello, long time lurker, first time poster. I hope...
Relocating and Finding New Services/People/Businesses
If you are moving or have moved to an unfamiliar town...
Emotional rollercoaster of home selling
Lately, this process of having my condo up for sale...
Exclusive listing?
We are moving out of state in July, therefore need...
Home Buyers Please Vote: Would you rather ...
1. A $2,000 kitchen appliance allowance or any stainless...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™