What to Leave Behind On Your Last Day in Your Old Home

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This is it. The closing day is almost here, you are ready to get settled into your new living quarters and as soon as the ink is (drying) on those closing forms there is one more big thing to do, in terms of the sale of your old Waterloo Region home at least. The handoff to new owners is the final step on your homeselling journey.

When it comes to this last step in the process people do get a little stressed. Besides the keys, what should you leave them? What do you have to leave? What should you leave? Here are some basic suggestions. None of this, by the way, describes things that are really legal musts. Most is just good manners, and perhaps also just good karma.

A Clean Home

Your old home is going to be mostly empty, so that makes cleaning a whole lot easier. But there are some last minute cleaning jobs you should take care of. Don’t leave behind crumbs in the drawers, a spill in the refrigerator or dust bunnies in the corner where you had a cabinet for years. Such things are a bit yukky and it won’t give the new owners the best start in their new home.

We understand that it’s a very busy time and you have a lot on your plate, including cleaning and furnishing your own new home. But if you can’t find time to give the floors a quick mopping, the carpets a nice vacuuming and the countertops a good wiping, consider hiring a cleaning service to come in after you’re out.

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Warranties and Instruction Manuals

Any appliances that were sold with the house should have owner manuals and any warranty information gathered and stacked on a counter for the next owners. Lost those years ago? Many of these manuals can actually be found online, so a print out of one of those will be the next best thing.

Keys, Codes and Door Openers

Chances are very good that the new owner will change the majority of the exterior locks, but gather any keys from friends or relatives and leave every copy, as well as the keys to any interior doors or cupboards. In addition gather up garage door openers or key codes and leave instructions on how to change the codes if applicable.

While you are doing that it would also be nice to take a few minutes to make a few notes about the way things work around the home. A quick note explaining how to adjust the thermostat can be a huge help, as although such things are obvious It may seem obvious to you because you’ve lived there for years, new owner may be befuddled about such things.

The same goes for any other little quirks. Of course, you’ve disclosed any problems. But there may be a secret to how the back door latch works or a GFI plug in one bathroom that is linked to a second bathroom as well.

It’s all good information for the new owner and they will appreciate it.

Friendly Neighbourhood Information

When is garbage pickup day for your neighborhood, and where do you leave the garbage can? What’s the recycling schedule? Where’s the closest grocery store and the best coffee shot? Are there neighbors with kids the same age? Any kind of information to help them feel at home will be appreciated. Do you have a local contractor or yard service you’ve used and can recommend? Leave them cards or phone numbers with that information.

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Welcome Letter

While not necessary or expected, if you’ve got an emotional attachment to your home, you may want to leave its new owners with a letter and a housewarming gift. Let them know what a special place it is and wish them well.

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