Should I clean home after I move out?

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  • Be courteous: cleaning your house to your own standards after you move out is recommended

    Be courteous: cleaning your house to your own standards after you move out is recommended

Dear Heather,

I just sold my house. My agent says the house must be “broom swept”. What does that mean? Am I required to clean it up after moving out? How clean am I supposed to leave the house for the new home buyers?

Just Sold

Dear Just Sold,

That’s a good question. Very often it depends on the wording of the contract.

Usually a house is sold in “as is” condition, meaning that it should be in the same or better condition as when the buyer viewed.

If the house is a total fixer upper and is going to be gutted and completely renovated, then obviously spending a lot of money and time cleaning it is wasted. However, once again, refer to the terms of your sale and purchase agreement.

Some agreements stipulate that the seller should at least sweep the floor, the walls and ceiling. However, the language in some of these contracts is ambiguous.

In the absence of a legal requirement to clean the house before moving out, most sellers take special steps on their own to present the home in an acceptable condition to buyers.

It’s understandable that after moving all day, sellers may be too tired to spend a lot of time cleaning. Plus, it is common courtesy and expectation that the property is delivered up clean.

Hiring a cleaning service can be an excellent solution. Most buyers will clean and paint the home to their own standards before moving in, regardless of a sellers’ efforts.

The following is a list of things a seller can do to leave a home reasonably clean and create goodwill:

Clean inside the home before moving out

• Remove all personal property

• Vacuum the floors

• Clean kitchen appliances, inside the refrigerator and oven, and wipe down counters

• Scour sinks and tubs

• Wipe down interior cabinets and shelves

• Wash tile and vinyl/linoleum flooring.

Clean the garage

• Remove personal belongings

• Throw away trash

• Properly dispose of toxic chemicals

• Sweep the floor

• Stack items pertaining to the home, such as paint cans, roofing materials or extra flooring. Check to make sure the buyer wants your leftover materials, first. Some do not.

In essence, leave the home in the condition that you would like to find your new home. Remember, the new homeowners might receive some of your mail by mistake.

It’s a good idea to stay on pleasant terms with them and it’s also the right thing to do.

Cleaning the house to your own standards after moving out is generally acceptable.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for 25 years. If you have a question, please contact her at or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Read this article on Facebook: Ask Heather Real Estate

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Published Jun 7, 2016 at 8:00 am (Updated Jun 7, 2016 at 12:40 am)

Should I clean home after I move out?

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