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Tips for Sellers Before Closing

Tami Stough

Do you love where you live? I do. And, I can help you get to that place. We'll take the hassle out of real estate and do it all with a bit of fun...

Do you love where you live? I do. And, I can help you get to that place. We'll take the hassle out of real estate and do it all with a bit of fun...

Feb 9 5 minutes read

We are in the home stretch! Closing is around the corner. In order to minimize any last minute issues that can cause delays, frustration or even cost you money, please consider the following check list items:

Inspection Repairs

  • Make sure to complete all items you agreed to repair from the buyer's inspection
  • Send your receipts/invoices/work orders, etc. for any work completed to the attorney prior to closing
  • If you remediated radon in your home, check with your attorney to verify if you must pay for a 2nd radon test
  • If new issues arise now (for example your refrigerator goes on the fritz) call me asap

Leave What You Are Supposed to Leave

  • Make sure you know what you are supposed to leave in the home per the contract
  • Problems often arise from curtains, curtain rods, decorative shelves, yard decorations, speakers
  • Leave all manuals if you have them
  • Leave the garage door openers at the house (check your cars)
  • I'll have one key from your lockbox, leave all other keys at the house
  • If you are not sure of what to take or leave, call me

Don't Leave Anything Else (Except TP)

Sellers often think they are being kind by leaving certain things. Before you leave these items, let's check with the buyer to make sure they want it. You don't want to have a $500 expense to 1-800-Got Junk for last minute haul-aways (we've seen it more than once). If you need help getting rid of stuff, check out these tips. 

  • Leftover paint (www.gotpaintpickup.com will pick up paint for a small fee)
  • Tiles, carpet remnants, building materials
  • Outdoor play items
  • Furniture
  • Grills/propane
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Check EVERY cabinet, closet and drawer. More times than not an entire cabinet is overlooked.
  • It is really nice though to leave a few rolls of TP,  maybe even a roll of paper towels and a couple bottles of water.  This is all about good karma on the day of closing.

Cleaning/Condition

The contract says you must leave the home in "broom-clean condition." This means after you have emptied a room you must vacuum or sweep every room.

  • You are obligated to sweep/vacuum
  • You are not obligated, per the contract, to scrub bath tubs/refrigerators, etc. BUT I STRONGLY RECOMMEND that you leave the home in the condition in which you would like to find it. Recent closings have gone sour in the end because the buyer was upset at the condition/cleanliness of the home at the final walk through. Save yourself the hassle on closing day and make sure all the gross stuff is out of the fridge and the toilets are clean.
  • If something breaks or is damaged during your move, call me asap 
  • Remember, as a seller with the Edgewater Home Team, you are entitled to 2 hours of concierge service. Call us if you have not used your time yet.

Holes in walls

  • If you have small picture hangers or nails, I recommend leaving them in place
  • If the removal of a picture or TV leaves a gaping hole--you must patch it
  • Before you touch up any paint, call me. The buyer may be planning to paint anyway. You may be able to get away with an easy touch-up, or you may end up painting the wall.

Utilities/Billing/Mail

  • Don't cancel your utilities
  • Call each utility company, tell them your closing day and the name of your buyer and provide a forwarding address. If you cancel, you run the risk of the utility being shut off prior to the walkthrough. This can cause serious damage and/or problems at the walk through.
  • Understand your town's requirements for final water billing: some have to come out for a meter read, some require you pay in person, etc. Budget enough time to make this happen.
  • Set up mail forwarding for yourself
  • Don't be surprised if you begin to receive mail from your buyer, particularly insurance paperwork

City Inspections

Some towns require that a city inspector inspect the home prior to closing, some require a water inspection, or any other number of municipal requirements. If you are not sure, call me, your attorney, or your village hall to comply. Make sure you have enough time to meet this requirement. In particular Wauconda and Island Lake have these inspections requirements.

Final Walk-Through

Your buyer will do a final walk through prior to closing. It is best for everyone if this occurs after you are 100% moved out and the home is in broom-clean condition.  But, sometimes we can't get everything scheduled that way and we will work with your buyer's agent to make as smooth a transition as possible.  Remember, once we go to the closing table, the house will be turned over to your buyer. You must be out of the house before then.  Plan accordingly.


The bottom line--better to address any issues or concerns now instead of waiting till the last minute. Communication is key to a smooth closing.

See you at the closing table!

Also buying a home?

Click below for tips to manage your purchase in these final weeks.

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