Monday, September 27, 2010

Home selling tips: Leave your sale in move-in condition for buyers

Don't leave your home a mess for the buyer's final walk-through!

My business partner Bob is always preaching "better safe than sorry". We abide by this philosophy from the moment we list a home for sale all the way through to the closing table of the sale. One lesser known and misunderstood aspect of home-buying and selling is the "final walk-through" of the property.

This Week's Tip: When your home goes under contract, clears attorney review, clears the mortgage contingency period and is now ready to close, it is typical the buyers preform a walk-through of the property on the day of closing. They check that everything is working, property undamaged and all items are included per the contract since your move-out.

In most cases, we suggest that sellers patch holes, clean floors, cabinets and windows... and even touch-up paint (if painting is recent) prior to the buyers walk-through. This is not stipulated in many contracts to the letter, however leaving the home in a fresh, move-in condition (and showing effort for your coveted buyers) will leave the right impression for the walk-though and closing.

Assure your buyers are happy going to closing with a little effort. Better safe than sorry and it's the right thing to do.


Anonymous said...

Ok - here is my question - how often would a buyer do a walk through and then not go to closing? I feel like at that point the buyer is so emotionally invested thet are willing to accept things like minor holes or painting. Sure if appliances are gone and fixtures are gone that's a whole different story. Also, how much legal right do they have to back out?

Eric Rojas said...

Thanks for your comment. It is naïve to assume the actions of an interested party in any transaction or negotiation. They may go to closing but hold out for money for the repairs that could have been done for free.

Anonymous said...

With all do respect, I don't think that they could hold out money at closing. You are telling me they would hold out for $200 for spackle and paint over a transaction that is putting hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line? I just find it very unlikely. Especially if it wasn't something they specifically specified during the attorney review process.

Eric Rojas said...

Well, we have bought and sold many, many homes in the past five years and my advice is what it is from first hand experience. Many do not take our advice and that's fine. Do what you wish.

The gist of my advice is clear. Better safe than sorry from start to finish, don't get lazy and leave the home move-in ready (or ready to be painted easily) for the buyers. This philosophy makes for smoother closings time and time again.