What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

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fishandgolf
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What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by fishandgolf » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:02 am

I saw a thread on this topic a few months back but could not find it.......so I decided to start a new one.

DW and I recently sold our home and have moved to a new home. Closing on our former home is in 7 days. What are the essential things that we need to take into consideration with regards to the following:

1) Nail and screw holes....covering with spackling compound sufficient or do we have to paint over?

2) Cleaning floors, etc. Broom ready or scrub or both?

3) Cleaning garage and basement. Our plan is to have them broom ready only.....

4) What else are we missing?

As far as appliances, furnace, exterior, roof, etc.........home inspection went very well so most of the big items are complete. It's just the smaller stuff......which is often overlooked that we are concerned about.

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F150HD
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by F150HD » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:07 am

did not know there was a 'protocol' for it but as its sold, def easier. It should be as clean as if you were living in it IMO.

Personally, bathroom/kitchen I wiped down w/ bleach etc. Those I left sparkling.

Other rooms, swept/vaccumed, small nail holes no issue. Most folks might paint right away anyway (well, its the best & easiest time to)

Anything that helps the final closing and walkthru go simpler is a bonus to me personally.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by HomeStretch » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:14 am

If it were me, I would want to leave the house looking clean - vacuumed/swept, bathrooms/kitchens wiped down, etc. It wouldn’t pass a white glove test as I don’t think it would be possible to do so if I was living in it and moving at last minute.

If I had a lot of holes, the time and paint, I would spackle picture holes (wipe with damp sponge to remove excess) and dab on touch-up paint with a small brush. No sanding as this could make a bigger mess of the painted walls than just leaving the tiny holes.

Other things - cut grass within a few days of move and pay for last garbage pickup (private pay in our area) on regular trash pickup day after my move for any trash i would be leaving behind. Don’t leave behind books, extra paint etc. unless you have asked the buyers in advance as you don’t want any issue with the final walk thru.

Ask your realtor.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:46 am

Clean, gardening done, all trash gone.

I would not spackle.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by cheese_breath » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:47 am

I wouldn't worry about the holes if they were there when the purchasers bought it. But I would leave it clean.
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retiredjg
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by retiredjg » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:19 am

I'd leave it clean - about as clean as if I were living there and expecting company and wanting to make a good impression.

I would not/have not ever spackled or painted (unless it was an actual repair).

michaeljc70
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:25 am

I'd leave it clean more out of a courtesy than because it is required. I'd leave it broom clean. I wouldn't scrub everything. Nail holes and things like that are expected if there were things hanging on the wall. A cleaning clause is pretty common in rental contracts and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea in a sales contract either.

One thing I always wondered about is say you had a big rug down and under it was a huge water stain or something on the hardwood that they are first seeing in the final walk through? Or a painting covering a hole in the wall. Ideally you would have disclosed it so they weren't surprised, but what if you didn't? Sometimes you hide things rather than repair them and forget about it over time.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by 6miths » Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:28 am

Definitely wouldn't spackle nail/screw holes that were used for picture hanging. That would be annoying moving in and having to redo all the obvious spots for pictures. On the other hand, we have a wall in the family room where we have about 60 4x6 or smaller plaque mounts - there I would likely repair and repaint the wall. Spotless bathrooms, kitchen and a clean house.
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FI4LIFE
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by FI4LIFE » Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:59 am

They will likely paint anyway so I would not spackle. Most real estate contracts stipulate "broom clean" and that is all that is required. I would sweep/vacuum and wipe down bathrooms and shelving. Do more if you want to be nice.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:03 pm

FI4LIFE wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:59 am
They will likely paint anyway so I would not spackle. Most real estate contracts stipulate "broom clean" and that is all that is required. I would sweep/vacuum and wipe down bathrooms and shelving. Do more if you want to be nice.
Yes, "broom clean". Vacuum rugs.

I would wipe surfaces, but not clean bathrooms more than that. When we buy a house, we clean everything before moving in.

We have a TV mounted on the wall, hole for cables. Plan on leaving the mount and the hole. Possibly some cables, definitely string to fish more cables.
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:14 pm

Boy.....I've seen all over the map in one single day. We sold and bought on the same day (2 closings in one day). The house we sold, it was trash day. Huge amount of trash out front. Left my helpers to load the truck. When the trash truck came, the guy wasn't going to take everything. My FIL (municipal worker in another city) jumped in and threw the bags of trash into the trash truck. That's all the guy was looking for...that he didn't have to do it. If you're filling holes and painting, you're doing more than what I did. I think I left the picture hangers in place so the new owners could hang their own pictures.

I went early to the new house to get things started. It was a mess with tons of trash bags full and in the house. Lots of unwanted stuff from a non working chain saw to oars. I piled all the trash at the end of the driveway for whenever the next trash day would be and went back to move. We were only moving 6 miles. I mostly didn't want my wife to completely freak out with all the bags of trash. Fortunately, they were all like construction material....no real garbage.
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:19 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:03 pm
FI4LIFE wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:59 am
They will likely paint anyway so I would not spackle. Most real estate contracts stipulate "broom clean" and that is all that is required. I would sweep/vacuum and wipe down bathrooms and shelving. Do more if you want to be nice.
Yes, "broom clean". Vacuum rugs.
I would wipe surfaces, but not clean bathrooms more than that. When we buy a house, we clean everything before moving in.
We have a TV mounted on the wall, hole for cables. Plan on leaving the mount and the hole. Possibly some cables, definitely string to fish more cables.
Unless there are uncommon circumstances, I agree with this approach.

I might also consider this "risk" - If the buyer conducts or has conducted a home inspection prior to closing, there might be "issues" (whether justified or not) that could be brought up by the buyer that could cause a problem with completing the closing. I would discuss such issues with my real estate agent.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:27 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:19 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:03 pm
FI4LIFE wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:59 am
They will likely paint anyway so I would not spackle. Most real estate contracts stipulate "broom clean" and that is all that is required. I would sweep/vacuum and wipe down bathrooms and shelving. Do more if you want to be nice.
Yes, "broom clean". Vacuum rugs.
I would wipe surfaces, but not clean bathrooms more than that. When we buy a house, we clean everything before moving in.
We have a TV mounted on the wall, hole for cables. Plan on leaving the mount and the hole. Possibly some cables, definitely string to fish more cables.
Unless there are uncommon circumstances, I agree with this approach.

I might also consider this "risk" - If the buyer conducts or has conducted a home inspection prior to closing, there might be "issues" (whether justified or not) that could be brought up by the buyer that could cause a problem with completing the closing. I would discuss such issues with my real estate agent.
One way to avoid walkthrough issues is to document these things in the P&S. "Seller will leave TV mount in place in family room".
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:32 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:03 pm
FI4LIFE wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 11:59 am
They will likely paint anyway so I would not spackle. Most real estate contracts stipulate "broom clean" and that is all that is required. I would sweep/vacuum and wipe down bathrooms and shelving. Do more if you want to be nice.
Yes, "broom clean". Vacuum rugs.

I would wipe surfaces, but not clean bathrooms more than that. When we buy a house, we clean everything before moving in.

We have a TV mounted on the wall, hole for cables. Plan on leaving the mount and the hole. Possibly some cables, definitely string to fish more cables.
I left my tv mounts. As I read the contract, they are required to be left as they are attached (semi) permanently. Like a ceiling fan. Different than a painting. The new owner asked if I had directions/hardware. I didn't as it was there for years (I left the screws that worked for my tv).

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:34 pm

These "last minute" issues/disputes go both ways.

In our case, a few days before closing on the purchase of our current house, our attorney who was handling the closing called me and said the seller was insisting on receiving (at closing) a credit for the value of the fuel oil in the tank. That never occurred to us.

I felt like telling the seller to "take a hike" with as much fuel as she could get from the tank!! BUT - we (very reluctantly) agreed to this credit. it was not a lot of money (tank is only 275 gallons and it was not full).

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:35 pm

Spackling over holes is very easy and often one can not tell if the walls are not a dark color.
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by dknightd » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:36 pm

Clean as when you leave a rental

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:38 pm

I would simply look at the house and clean it accordingly. Imagine if you were the buyer. Would you be appreciative and happy when walking in the door for the first time?
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:39 pm

fishandgolf:

And don't forget to leave a bottle of champagne and two glasses on the table.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by HomeStretch » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:05 pm

I also plan to leave my future buyers with a folder with appliance manuals, list with contact information for contractor/vendors, codes to alarm/WiFi devices, etc.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:05 pm

HomeStretch wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:05 pm
I also plan to leave my future buyers with a folder with appliance manuals, list with contact information for contractor/vendors, codes to alarm/WiFi devices, etc.
Excellent ideas!

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by retiredjg » Sat Sep 28, 2019 1:16 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:39 pm
fishandgolf:

And don't forget to leave a bottle of champagne and two glasses on the table.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "It is character, not numbers, that make the world go ‘round. How can we possibly measure the qualities of human existence that give our lives and careers meaning? How about grace, kindness, and integrity? "
Such a gentleman, Taylor!

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by shell921 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:31 pm

abuss368 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:38 pm
I would simply look at the house and clean it accordingly. Imagine if you were the buyer. Would you be appreciative and happy when walking in the door for the first time?
YES--THIS! Leave house as you would want to find it if you were the buyer.
:sharebeer

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by abuss368 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:34 pm

shell921 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:31 pm
abuss368 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:38 pm
I would simply look at the house and clean it accordingly. Imagine if you were the buyer. Would you be appreciative and happy when walking in the door for the first time?
YES--THIS! Leave house as you would want to find it if you were the buyer.
:sharebeer
Thanks.
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:38 pm

Clean everything well.
Remove all trash.
Neaten up.
Do not patch or touch up things. Looks worse.

Leave all extra keys, HVAC and other manuals and records, etc, on the kitchen counter. Spare parts for things in the garage.

Similar to a tenant move out.
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Spirit Rider » Sat Sep 28, 2019 3:57 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:34 pm
These "last minute" issues/disputes go both ways.

In our case, a few days before closing on the purchase of our current house, our attorney who was handling the closing called me and said the seller was insisting on receiving (at closing) a credit for the value of the fuel oil in the tank. That never occurred to us.

I felt like telling the seller to "take a hike" with as much fuel as she could get from the tank!! BUT - we (very reluctantly) agreed to this credit. it was not a lot of money (tank is only 275 gallons and it was not full).
This is routine in my neck of the woods (northern northeast). There is even a standard line in the settlement statement. However, it always irked me when I bought my houses. So much so on my last house when the title company (they routinely do the closing) called to ask how much oil was in the tank, I said it was empty, it was not. I have heard of cases where sellers and buyers were arguing after the walk through whether the tank was the lower or upper 1/8th.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by cricket49 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:10 pm

Our house was immaculately clean and we painted a few years earlier so no nail holes. Picture perfect for the new owners.

The house we moved into was also immaculately clean. However, they used flat paint on all the walls and plastered and retouched the areas. It looked awful. We had to repaint every room. It would have been better to have tiny nail holes.
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by mortfree » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:19 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:34 pm
These "last minute" issues/disputes go both ways.

In our case, a few days before closing on the purchase of our current house, our attorney who was handling the closing called me and said the seller was insisting on receiving (at closing) a credit for the value of the fuel oil in the tank. That never occurred to us.

I felt like telling the seller to "take a hike" with as much fuel as she could get from the tank!! BUT - we (very reluctantly) agreed to this credit. it was not a lot of money (tank is only 275 gallons and it was not full).
Standard Real Estate contract for Pennsylvania says the fuel (oil/propane) in the tank is part of the home; buyer does not reimburse seller. (Not exact words)

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by fishandgolf » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:32 pm

Thank you Bogleheads for you input. It's been nearly 20 years since we moved / purchased house so we thought we would error on the side of the buyer.

Just got back from the former house........DW and I spent the entire day there moving out a few last items and.......I started to cover nail holes in all of the rooms. Wasn't much of an issue until I got to my youngest daughter's room. OMG.....thought I was going to have the BIG ONE! I counted 112 open nail holes in the walls.........geeze.......but got them covered. Don't have any matching paint so will probably leave as is......

She was a junior in high school when we moved in... She did like to express herself......

The next few days we'll be doing the vacuum and cleaning routine.........A few of the closet walls look a big ratty........wife says GOOD ENOUGH..........I think we should get a cheap bucket of paint and take care of it.....................? YES......or.......NO!

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:43 pm

When I move, I spend hours cleaning the old place spotless.

I learned this from a fellow graduate student. He was finishing his program and asked me whether I wanted his desk. When I went to his apartment, he was busy cleaning the room. I was confused and asked him whether he was moving in or out. He said moving out. Lesson learned. When you move out of a spotless clean place, you take the memory with you.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Kennedy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:51 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:25 am
I'd leave it clean more out of a courtesy than because it is required. I'd leave it broom clean. I wouldn't scrub everything. Nail holes and things like that are expected if there were things hanging on the wall. A cleaning clause is pretty common in rental contracts and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea in a sales contract either.

One thing I always wondered about is say you had a big rug down and under it was a huge water stain or something on the hardwood that they are first seeing in the final walk through? Or a painting covering a hole in the wall. Ideally you would have disclosed it so they weren't surprised, but what if you didn't? Sometimes you hide things rather than repair them and forget about it over time.
The seller must disclose any non-obvious, material defects. In your example, the seller must disclose in writing that there is a water stain under the rug or a hole behind a painting if the knowledge of such would factor into a reasonable buyer's decision to buy the home and at what price.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by tim1999 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:03 pm

I've sold many houses and have always just vacuumed all the floors and surfaces, made sure the yard was tidy with the grass freshly cut, no trash left behind unless it was on the curb for pickup the next day. I never did any deep scrubbing, paint touchup, nail hole fill-in, etc.

Pretty much everyone I've ever known immediately cleans their new residence prior to moving in, no matter how sparkling clean the previous owner/occupant left it.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:56 pm

Kennedy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:51 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:25 am
I'd leave it clean more out of a courtesy than because it is required. I'd leave it broom clean. I wouldn't scrub everything. Nail holes and things like that are expected if there were things hanging on the wall. A cleaning clause is pretty common in rental contracts and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea in a sales contract either.

One thing I always wondered about is say you had a big rug down and under it was a huge water stain or something on the hardwood that they are first seeing in the final walk through? Or a painting covering a hole in the wall. Ideally you would have disclosed it so they weren't surprised, but what if you didn't? Sometimes you hide things rather than repair them and forget about it over time.
The seller must disclose any non-obvious, material defects. In your example, the seller must disclose in writing that there is a water stain under the rug or a hole behind a painting if the knowledge of such would factor into a reasonable buyer's decision to buy the home and at what price.
Understood...but is 1 ft x 1 ft stain where plant leaked a material defect in a 3000 sq ft home?

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Kennedy » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:06 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:56 pm
Kennedy wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:51 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:25 am
I'd leave it clean more out of a courtesy than because it is required. I'd leave it broom clean. I wouldn't scrub everything. Nail holes and things like that are expected if there were things hanging on the wall. A cleaning clause is pretty common in rental contracts and it probably wouldn't be a bad idea in a sales contract either.

One thing I always wondered about is say you had a big rug down and under it was a huge water stain or something on the hardwood that they are first seeing in the final walk through? Or a painting covering a hole in the wall. Ideally you would have disclosed it so they weren't surprised, but what if you didn't? Sometimes you hide things rather than repair them and forget about it over time.
The seller must disclose any non-obvious, material defects. In your example, the seller must disclose in writing that there is a water stain under the rug or a hole behind a painting if the knowledge of such would factor into a reasonable buyer's decision to buy the home and at what price.
Understood...but is 1 ft x 1 ft stain where plant leaked a material defect in a 3000 sq ft home?
In my opinion, yes. I like to think I am a reasonable person, but who knows?

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by blaugranamd » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:21 pm

fishandgolf wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:32 pm
Thank you Bogleheads for you input. It's been nearly 20 years since we moved / purchased house so we thought we would error on the side of the buyer.

Just got back from the former house........DW and I spent the entire day there moving out a few last items and.......I started to cover nail holes in all of the rooms. Wasn't much of an issue until I got to my youngest daughter's room. OMG.....thought I was going to have the BIG ONE! I counted 112 open nail holes in the walls.........geeze.......but got them covered. Don't have any matching paint so will probably leave as is......

She was a junior in high school when we moved in... She did like to express herself......

The next few days we'll be doing the vacuum and cleaning routine.........A few of the closet walls look a big ratty........wife says GOOD ENOUGH..........I think we should get a cheap bucket of paint and take care of it.....................? YES......or.......NO!
No
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:38 pm

blaugranamd wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:21 pm
fishandgolf wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:32 pm
Thank you Bogleheads for you input. It's been nearly 20 years since we moved / purchased house so we thought we would error on the side of the buyer.

Just got back from the former house........DW and I spent the entire day there moving out a few last items and.......I started to cover nail holes in all of the rooms. Wasn't much of an issue until I got to my youngest daughter's room. OMG.....thought I was going to have the BIG ONE! I counted 112 open nail holes in the walls.........geeze.......but got them covered. Don't have any matching paint so will probably leave as is......

She was a junior in high school when we moved in... She did like to express herself......

The next few days we'll be doing the vacuum and cleaning routine.........A few of the closet walls look a big ratty........wife says GOOD ENOUGH..........I think we should get a cheap bucket of paint and take care of it.....................? YES......or.......NO!
No
The bottom line is where I live people have a quick walk through the day of closing. They aren't going to stop the closing because there is dust. As I said above, clean it as a courtesy as it was probably clean when the buyer saw it (unless you did a bad job selling it). Cleaning an empty house is quite easy as there is no furniture/knick knacks/etc to go around.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by brianH » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:55 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:34 pm
In our case, a few days before closing on the purchase of our current house, our attorney who was handling the closing called me and said the seller was insisting on receiving (at closing) a credit for the value of the fuel oil in the tank. That never occurred to us.
I think the only way I would agree to this is if a 'professionally licensed' oil company came out to measure and write a report on an exact amount of fuel in the tank - of which I would pay the lowest available market price in the area. When I moved in, my oil tank gauge was actually stuck at 1/2, so if I paid them that (for a basically empty tank), I could've been taken for a few hundred bucks.

That would probably be enough to get the seller to drop the nonsense, since I can't imagine an oil company is going to come out to dip the tank and write a report for less than $150. That would only be worth it to the seller for a mostly full tank.

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fishandgolf
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by fishandgolf » Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:57 am

Taylor Larimore wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:39 pm
fishandgolf:

And don't forget to leave a bottle of champagne and two glasses on the table.

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "It is character, not numbers, that make the world go ‘round. How can we possibly measure the qualities of human existence that give our lives and careers meaning? How about grace, kindness, and integrity? "
Great suggestion Taylor.............not sure if the new owners consume alcohol......so I might take the safe road and leave a nice arrangement of fall flowers along with a congratulatory note. :D

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Taylor Larimore
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Flowers

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:26 am

fishandgolf:

I like your idea of "flowers."

Best wishes.
Taylor
Jack Bogle's Words of Wisdom: "We chase the false rabbits of success; we too often bow down at the altar of the transitory and finally meaningless and fail to cherish what is beyond calculation, indeed eternal."
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Watty
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Watty » Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:30 am

fishandgolf wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:02 am
4) What else are we missing?
Make sure there are fairly full rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms. :oops:

Check to make sure that there are no burned out light bulbs.

Figure out if you should leave the AC or furnace on.

Consider if you should mow the grass so that the new owner will not need to mow it right after moving in.

It would be going the extra mile but it is not that uncommon to have a professional home cleaning crew do a thorough cleaning of the house once it is empty.

Leaving the house in better than expected condition will get you a lot of goodwill if something happens like an appliance breaks a month after it is sold. They may not have any legal recourse if something like that happens but you do not want them complaining to your old neighbors and friends about how you left the house in bad condition.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by RudyS » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:01 am

Our case was a bit unusual. We moved out of state, so the timing was this: put house on market, with occupancy/closing on a defined date (about 60 days out) to let us pack, move, then have estate sale prior to walk through and closing. From the date we moved, to closing, was about 3 weeks. We had cleaned baths and kitchen, but the estate sale people were tasked with emptying the house of any left overs, and leave the house broom clean. I did arrange for the lawn mowing guy to keep coming until the closing, and he in fact mowed the day before. Left all nail holes as is figuring they would paint anyhow. I left keys, spare parts, manuals and warranty cards with my realtor because we were afraid this stuff would disappear during the sale. Left a/c on and fridge, freezer, running. All went well.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Goal33 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 11:31 am

I didn’t clean it at all and wrote a $200 check for the new owners towards hiring their own cleaners or doing it themselves.

I had planned on cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen and vacuuming but then with all the stress of moving I got sick and didn’t want to have a guilty conscience that I just sold a Bay Area house for top dollar and couldn’t even have it cleaned.
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by ladycat » Sun Sep 29, 2019 12:40 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:38 pm
Clean everything well.
Remove all trash.
Neaten up.
Do not patch or touch up things. Looks worse.

Leave all extra keys, HVAC and other manuals and records, etc, on the kitchen counter. Spare parts for things in the garage.

Similar to a tenant move out.
J
+1. We stacked left-over renovation supplies (tile, grout mix, etc) in a corner of the garage. Also left the code to the garage door opener. Leave a roll of toilet paper in the bathrooms, a box of kleenex, paper towels in the kitchen, and some bottles of cold water in the fridge. Always nice when you're moving in to not have to unpack your basics in the first hour.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by dm200 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 1:02 pm

Watty wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:30 am
fishandgolf wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 9:02 am
4) What else are we missing?
Make sure there are fairly full rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms. :oops:
Check to make sure that there are no burned out light bulbs.
Figure out if you should leave the AC or furnace on.
Consider if you should mow the grass so that the new owner will not need to mow it right after moving in.
It would be going the extra mile but it is not that uncommon to have a professional home cleaning crew do a thorough cleaning of the house once it is empty.
Leaving the house in better than expected condition will get you a lot of goodwill if something happens like an appliance breaks a month after it is sold. They may not have any legal recourse if something like that happens but you do not want them complaining to your old neighbors and friends about how you left the house in bad condition.
Yes - these are reasonable and polite things to do.

Remember, though, that most of the time - new owners will commonly do things that your going to extraordinary efforts - will just be worthless. These include refinishing hardwood floors, repainting the interior of the house, and some other minor refurbishments.

I would also make sure that all appliances, etc. are in full working order when you leave. I would also make arrangements with the new owner and utility services for an orderly transition - so none are "cut off" when the new owner takes possession.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by 8foot7 » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:36 pm

I left our previous house barely broom clean. Mopped all floors and vacuumed, no dust anywhere. Sellers walked through morning of closing and were angry I had not scrubbed out the fridge. They were difficult buyers and gave us a real hard time during the inspection with lots of nitpicks requests. No way I was wasting good champagne on those individuals.

In reality I thought most of the effort I expended was a waste because any sane person has a used home deep cleaned before they start moving or perhaps just after. God only knows what lurks. And they certainly left us no room in the budget for a deep clean; we ended up saving the deal at the semi-last minute by writing them a $600 check outside of closing, so you can imagine what I told their realtor when they complained about scrubbing the fridge. After that they also wanted us to leave the utilities on for another week after closing. Bah

I guess my character isn’t as strong as Taylor’s but I sleep OK.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by furikake » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:51 pm

The last house we sold was the house we lived in for almost 20 years. We painted the house outside and inside and filled in all the holes and caulked the whole house, fixed everything, changed out burned out light bulbs, etc. when we listed it. Then we hired a cleaner to deep clean the house, and also mowed for them before we turned it over to the new owner. The house was cleaner then compared to when we were living there. :D The new owner appreciated that I think, because we had a package that was sent there and he was kind enough to let us know and even invited us into his home (our old home) to show us what he had done to spruce up the house.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by jabberwockOG » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:18 pm

We paid maid service to come in and clean after we did the final move out. $300 well spent. We were too exhausted from travel, last minute packing, loading cars, etc. to do much more then shuffle off the property. Don't underestimate how hard a big move can be especially of you are not 35 yo anymore.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by a2_alice » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:38 pm

The previous owner of our house hid a large hole in the wall behind a clock. He left the clock (and a LOT of other junk) when behind. It was a major fixer upper, so we didn’t really care about the hole, but the junk was a pain to sort through and haul (including items that had to be disposed of specially at our hazardous materials collection site, and ammunition that had to be taken to the police).

In a normal situation, I would leave the house broom clean. It’s up to the new owners to sanitize it to their standards and paint. Most people are going to do that anyway, making your efforts worthless. Spend the time getting together the folder (mentioned above) of appliance manuals and writing a list of your home maintenance schedule and vendors/services you use. That will be much more appreciated.

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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by MarkerFM » Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:57 pm

brianH wrote:
Sun Sep 29, 2019 8:55 am
dm200 wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:34 pm
In our case, a few days before closing on the purchase of our current house, our attorney who was handling the closing called me and said the seller was insisting on receiving (at closing) a credit for the value of the fuel oil in the tank. That never occurred to us.
I think the only way I would agree to this is if a 'professionally licensed' oil company came out to measure and write a report on an exact amount of fuel in the tank - of which I would pay the lowest available market price in the area. When I moved in, my oil tank gauge was actually stuck at 1/2, so if I paid them that (for a basically empty tank), I could've been taken for a few hundred bucks.

That would probably be enough to get the seller to drop the nonsense, since I can't imagine an oil company is going to come out to dip the tank and write a report for less than $150. That would only be worth it to the seller for a mostly full tank.
Where we have a house that we bought about five years ago, and the same for a house we sold a few years ago, the seller was required to fill the propane and heating oil tanks right before closing and the buyer paid for the value of full tanks of propane and oil at closing. When we bought in the same location 20 years ago, this was not done. Of course, with oil at $4.60 a gallon and propane at $3.38 our last fills, this can run into some money.

Nowizard
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Re: What is protocol for cleaning house when moving?

Post by Nowizard » Sun Sep 29, 2019 4:50 pm

We clean thoroughly and inform the purchasers of any items we would like to leave such as a composter, wheelbarrow, etc., make a list of paint colors, manuals, handymen, etc. We recently sold, and the purchasers specified that a professional cleaning was required in the contract. Our Realtor told them it would not be an issue based on her experience with us, they reluctantly removed the expectation, resulting in both sides ultimately being satisfied when they took possession. It is an excellent time to follow the Golden Rule.

Tim

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