Kim Mullan Blog
Sellers Guide - Preparing for Closing including the Final Walk Through
Being prepared for your property to close begins well in advance of the completion date. Here are a few tips that will help make sure things go as smoothly as possible.
WELL IN ADVANCE
Contact utility providers and let them know your move out date: London Hydro, Union Gas, Reliance or any others you might need. If you plan to use internet have it scheduled. Cable? Phone?
Cleaners- if you are hiring professional cleaners/carpet cleaners phone them well in advance to ensure you can coordinate dates/times with them.
Change of address- let the post office know where you are going and when to start forwarding your mail.
Alarm monitoring- contact your service provider.
Movers- if you are using professional movers and planning a SAME-DAY close (you move out the same day your buyers move in) arrange an early morning start so that you are well underway or gone by the time your buyer arrives with their key.
Most contracts require sellers to provide vacant possession by 6 pm on the closing day HOWEVER the buyers may get keys much earlier than that in the day depending when money/title changes hands. As soon as they have keys they own the property and are free to come and go and begin moving belongings into the home.
Final walk-throughs generally takes 30-60 minutes and allow an opportunity for the incoming owners to make sure that things are left according to contract.
The buyer agent will bring their clients through just like a regular showing so you will need to provide access for them.
Generally, this is a private viewing with the buyers and their agent. Occasionally a buyer will request the seller remain for a few minutes to show them a few key details- location of water shut offs, what light switches operate what etc. Some sellers agree to this and some choose not to.
Often sellers are still in the middle of moving during this visit so the house will not be in move in condition and buyers need to be prepared for that and assured that the property will be clean for closing day.
Many sellers have carpets cleaned and the house professionally cleaned after their things are moved out. If you are attempting to do this yourselves make sure to elevate the cleaning list to include drawers, cupboards, furnace filters, central vacuum canisters and the inside of appliances.
PREPARING FOR THE FINAL WALK THROUGH
Refer to your Agreement of Purchase and Sale:
Double check the list of chattel to remain in the offer and make sure they are in good working order
Are bathroom mirrors included? If so they must remain even if they are hung rather than mounted
Are there any speakers included in the chattel? TV & Speaker wall mount brackets remain- anything that is screwed, bolted, nailed to the property must remain.
Leave any transferrable warranty information you have
Leave information for programming the alarm systems & garage door openers.
Furnace, A/C, Mechanical systems, Jetted Tubs, Garage door openers, garburators, central vacuum/attachments all need to be in good working order
Appliances that are included in the purchase need to be in good working order and clean.
Gas Fireplaces need to be working so they can be tested at the final walk through.
Did you agree to any repairs? Buyers will use this opportunity to confirm they are done property.
Replace all light bulbs that aren’t working so there is no red flags about the electrical wiring or fixtures themselves.
Jetted tub will be filled and tested. If you haven’t used them for a while clean it by filling it with warm water & a dishwasher puck and run the jets for a few minutes.
IN THE LAST FEW DAYS PRIOR TO CLOSING
Make sure the grass has one last cutting so the property is still maintained.
Off Season make sure the drive and walks have been shovelled.
Check the mail!
ON THE DAY OF CLOSING
Leave any additional keys, garage remotes, manuals, mail keys, information about the mailbox location/number & the current alarm code in the kitchen for the new owners.
Double check you haven’t left any belongings in the dishwasher or in the washing machine/dryer if they are included – I have seen this several times.
Do not leave any garbage on the curb. Vacant possession means that you and your belonging and any debris is gone with you.
If you are doing a SAME DAY closing I suggest moving anything you have for the moving company into the garage as early as possible so that the premises can be thoroughly cleaned in case the buyers close early in the day.
The best Sanity-Saver is to ask your lender about Bridge Financing so you take possession of your next property a few days before the new owners close on your home. That few days is often inexpensive and makes the process smoother and more manageable.
Leaving a note/bottle of wine/ gift for the new owner can be very thoughtful – if you don’t feel particularly altruistic consider being strategic. If they don’t find the house exactly how they expected it or stray mail shows up for you an act of good will can go a long way.