Ensuring Your Home's Cleanliness Before Moving Out: What's Expected?

Cleanliness, undoubtedly, is a subjective notion, especially when it comes to preparing your house for the next occupants. But what exactly does it entail? What are the standard expectations?

First and foremost, it boils down to the terms outlined in the signed contract. What agreements were made? Did the buyers stipulate professional cleaning or steam-cleaning of carpets before possession? If such requests are specified in the contract, it's your responsibility as the seller to fulfill them. Failure to do so could lead to potential legal repercussions, as it constitutes a breach of contract. Even if these requests weren't initially agreed upon during negotiations, once the contract is finalized, adhering to seller terms becomes obligatory.

However, what if the contract doesn't address these specifics? In such cases, the general rule of thumb is to leave the home in the same condition as the buyers viewed it. If they saw your home in a tidy state during inspections, they expect to receive it in a similar condition on possession day. Leaving behind clutter and unwanted items isn't acceptable.

Furthermore, consider how you'd want to find your next home: move-in ready.

Just as you wouldn't want to spend hours scrubbing floors and walls before settling in, neither would the new occupants. The golden rule applies here – treat your old home as you'd want your new one treated. Clean it thoroughly, dispose of any garbage, and leave it fresh and inviting for its new owners.

In essence, ensuring your home is clean and welcoming upon departure isn't just about meeting contractual obligations; it's about extending basic courtesy and respect to the individuals who will soon call it their own.

For my buyers, I will typically include a cleaning clause to protect them from showing up to a really dirty property on key day!

- Amy Francoeur