Preparing your home for its new owners
When moving to a new home, it’s important to make sure you are all packed and ready to leave. But it is also vital that you leave your home in an acceptable condition for whomever should move in next.
Under most circumstances, when you move out of your house or flat, someone else will be moving in. When you move into your new property, you should expect it to be left in a good condition by its previous owners, to allow you to start unpacking and making it a home as soon as possible. You should therefore make sure you afford those entering your old home the same treatment.
We’ve compiled a checklist of things you can do to make sure your house is ready to welcome its new owners.
It’s not nice to move into a new house that’s filled with junk, especially when you have all of your stuff to bring in too. Make sure that on moving day you take away anything that you wouldn’t want to be left with if you moved in. Make sure all the rubbish, or things you don’t want have been thrown away properly, don’t just leave black bags in the rooms.
It is also worth pointing out that leaving all your rubbish or unwanted items by the bins can be very unhelpful and unsightly. Full bins will also be an inconvenience to the new owners, who will likely have lots of packing material to throw out very soon. If you find your bins are overflowing, but they bins won’t be collected before you move, take a trip to your local dump a few days before moving. This way you can get rid of as much as possible to minimise mess for the new owners.
Make it clean
As well as making sure the house is free of rubbish and clutter, it’s nice to make sure that you’ve given it a good clean. While you may not be able to the most thorough of cleans while competing with packing and the schedule of moving day, you should try and do a sweep or a mop of each room. Try and make the house look as presentable as you can for its new owners.
It you want to prioritise some cleaning, it is best to make sure the utilities are as spotless as you can get them. Those things that can easily build up dirt and scum, like ovens and dishwashers, should be left in an acceptable condition for their new owners. Make sure toilets, baths and showers are nice and clean too, as they will probably want to use these fairly soon.
Obviously, you don’t know how long it will be before the new people move in, so you won’t be able to prevent the build up of dust etc if the house is empty for a while. Doing what you can to make sure the place is as clean as possible, however, is still courteous.
There will likely be spare keys for your property, some of which you may have left with various friends, family members or neighbours. It is important that you get all these keys back before you move out and leave them all together for the new owners to distribute as they see fit. You may think leaving a key with the next door neighbour will be useful for the new owners, however, consider that they might not want someone having a key to their house until they know and trust them. Don’t forget small, easily missed keys like those to small windows, post boxes, garden sheds etc. If you’re feeling particularly kind you might want to label these for the new owners!
Check the utilities
It would be a nightmare to move into a new house and realise something is broken or doesn’t work properly. Before your move you should ensure that you have checked all your utilities are in a good working order, and you are not leaving the new homeowners with unexpected repairs to carry out (especially if the white goods are included in the sale in your Fittings and Contents Form TA10) Allow yourself plenty of time to fix any major problems with your gas, electricity, heating or plumbing before you move out. If a problem occurs too close to the move for you to get it fixed, or you just don’t have the finances to fix it, it is vital that you let the new owners know somehow, rather than letting them discover it on an already stressful moving day.
Fix cosmetic issues
When you start packing up and moving all your furniture and belongings, you may notice a lot of places in your home with cosmetic issues. Maybe you’ve chipped some paint, made a hole in the wall or pulled up the carpet somewhere. In order to make the property look its best for its new inhabitants, you might want to go round and fix any issues you find. You could, for example, plaster and paint over holes in the wall, paint scuffed skirting boards and replace broken bathroom tiles.
Leave improvement leftovers
If you have gone around your house making improvements, such as repainting or replacing flooring, you may have leftover materials. While you wont need these after you move out, they may be useful to the new owners. Leaving all your home improvement leftovers, such as spare paint, bulbs and flooring, could benefit them if they need to touch up the house in the future. Another benefit is that they will know what they need for the house. If, for example, they want to repaint a whole room in the same colour and you left them some remaining paint, they will know exactly what paint they are looking to buy.
Create a manual
When you move into a new house, there’s going to be a lot of new stuff to get used to, from bin days to turning the boiler on. If you want to help the new occupants to settle into the home well after you’ve gone, you could create a manual to leave them. This way you can pass on helpful information about the property, the local area, instructions about certain appliances etc. Whatever information you think would help them out in adjusting to their new home, however small it may seem, is likely to be appreciated.
Finally, in the grand tradition of housewarming, you may want to leave them a small token to wish them well in their new house. This can be anything you’d like to leave them with, from a handwritten letter, to a bar of soap to a hamper full of food. Of course, this is completely up to you and is not essential, so don’t feel you need to leave a gift behind. It is simply a way that some people like to say welcome, and also goodbye to the home they may have loved.
Moving to a new home is going to a busy time for you, and you should of course prioritise making sure you have everything ready and organised for your own move. Just keep in mind, with however much time you have, the expectations of those moving into your home and what you can do to help them meet these. If you can’t do it all, don’t worry, just do what you can.
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