Part of preparing for the close of escrow is making sure you’re fully moved out by the closing date. While there aren’t many set-in-stone rules about how to handle the move out, a little effort can go a long way with buyers.
You’ll likely be exhausted after finalizing everything and preparing all your furniture for the move. Remember, your buyers will be equally tired and will appreciate it if you’ve nicely prepared the home for the transition. Here are some things you can do during your move out to help both your buyers and yourself.
Move Out Tips for the Buyer’s Benefit
The first thing you can do for the buyer is clean your home really well after you’ve removed your furniture. There’s not much worse than showing up to your new home only to find it dirty. Instead of moving in quickly, you need to spend hours cleaning it first. For anyone hiring a moving company, this may not even be possible. In that case, they’ll be forced to move their stuff into a dirty home. Not a good first impression!
Dust and wipe down all horizontal surfaces, and wash the windows and mirrors. Sweep and mop the floors and vacuum any carpets or rugs. Make sure the toilets, showers/baths and sinks are all clean of grime. If you’re up to it, plug in an air freshener or two to give the home a nice smell.
Collect any manuals, warranties or contact information for the appliances and large systems in your home. Put all documents into one of the kitchen drawers. This way, if the new owners run into any issues, they’ll be able to figure it out quickly. Be sure to leave any spare keys, garage door openers and key codes in the same drawer.
While it’s assumed the buyer will move in right away, this may not be the case. Therefore, it’s a good idea to shut off all water valves in the home before you leave. This will prevent any leaks from causing damage between escrow closing and the buyer actually moving in.
Finally, treat the yard, garage and any other structures the same as your home, and clean them accordingly. It’s not a good look to leave a bunch of stuff in the garage or trash around an unkempt yard. Have your lawn mowed and any leaves collected right before your move out. That way, the yard looks its best for your buyers when they arrive.
Move Out Reminders for Your Own Benefit
It’s a good idea to download a moving checklist several months before your move out date. These lists will give you suggested deadlines for completing various actions, such as notifying subscription services and utilities of your moving date and new address. It will also help you determine when to start looking for a moving company, if you’ll be needing one, and when to have your items packed and ready for the move.
In the hustle and bustle of handling your move, don’t forget to let your neighbors (and your homebuyers) know where you’re moving and how to get a hold of you. This will be useful in the event that you forget to update one of your mail subscriptions or a package is dropped off for you after you’ve left.
If you haven’t paid your home off in full when you sell, you’ll still owe money on your mortgage. Move out day is a good reminder date to confirm how your mortgage lender wants you to settle your remaining balance. You’ll also want to request a statement showing the remaining balance that you owe, including any applicable interest.
The title company can help you transfer proceeds from the sale directly to your mortgagor in the manner they prefer. This way, you can pay off your balance with the least headache and work on your part. Any remaining money from the sale is yours to keep.
Provided you were upfront in your disclosures, you’ll likely be free of liability for any issues in the home after escrow closes. Still, you’ll want to avoid unnecessary drama if possible. Leaving the home in a nice condition and doing a few favors for the buyer on the way out can go a long way towards smoothing over discussion of anything that potentially pops up down the line.