Sellers often ask me.

Sellers often ask me how to prepare their home prior to closing. I hear questions like “Do I need to paint?” “Do I need to spackle the holes?” “Can I take the mirror above my bathroom vanity?” My general rule of thumb is not to spackle holes where you removed photos or other hangings from the wall. Typically the manner in which we tend to spackle actually makes the hole worse than had it been left as is or makes a larger spot that needs paint touch up.

The Offer To Purchase states that the property should be broom swept and free of debris and personal belongings. A lot of sellers choose to leave extra paint for the buyers and they usually really appreciate it. But really it is best to ask the buyer’s permission before leaving that behind. Window treatments are left when the buyer has asked for it in the offer to purchase, but you automatically are required to leave anything that is defined as a “fixture”. This would mean blinds, curtain rods that are screwed into the wall or anything that is not hanging on a hook or nail. So then, what about that bathroom mirror? If the bathroom mirror is so affixed to the property and a reasonable person would assume it is part of that bathroom, then really it is best to leave it (even if it is just hanging on a nail.)

A real estate transaction can be very emotionally involved. This is a big deal. I always try to have each party to the transaction see it from the other person’s point of view. If you were purchasing this home, wouldn’t you like to move into a nice clean home? You may not be required to clean the inside of the stove, but if you were buying it, wouldn’t you like it if it were done for you? Let’s make it a positive experience for everybody!

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