Window treatments, mirrors, light fixtures and other features
Chances are good that when you sold the home, it came with anything affixed to the property. This means window treatments (think: hardware, curtains, shutters and blinds), bathroom mirrors, shelving, door hardware, kitchen hardware and light fixtures. Unless you made an exception for these items in your contract, make sure to leave these home features behind for the new owners.
A folder of any appliance warranties and manuals
Whenever buyers purchase your home, they have also purchased all of the appliances inside. This means you’ll need to leave behind any and all user manuals for home appliances. While this is not always customary, it’s extremely helpful for the buyers. Having the manuals on-hand will make it easier for them to operate, maintain and repair all appliances while living in the home. You should also leave a folder with any and all warranty information so that the new residents can fix or replace broken items as soon as possible.
Turn off the lights (but leave the AC on)
Come closing day, you’ll want to make sure all lights have been turned off inside and outside the property. This will help the new owners save on electricity bills. Don’t turn the air conditioning off though. Unfortunately, in hot and humid climates, lack of AC inside the home can cause mold problems. We recommend leaving the AC on a low setting to keep the property from overheating inside.
Make sure all the keys are ready to go on closing day. The buyers will probably have the home rekeyed eventually, but they will still need all copies of the original keys to the home. If you only have one set, then it is recommended that you visit a locksmith and making at least one additional copy. You’ll want to give your realtor the keys on closing day and let them handle the hand-off.
Make sure to leave any and all necessary remote controls for the new owners. Label each controller with its corresponding item. Examples of remote controls that should be left for the buyers include any sort of control for ceiling fans, automatic shades, lights, TVs and other electronics that you plan to leave behind.
Information for home automation systems
It is likely that your home’s smart features (i.e. its home automation systems) appealed to the buyers and were one of the reasons why they decided to purchase your home. Your home’s value can actually increase by up to 5 percent with home automation. If you plan to leave your Smart Home products for the new owners, make sure to leave directions and information on resetting the system. It may also be helpful to leave the contact information for the vendor or company that installed the system.
A box of extra hardware
Do you have any extra, leftover hardware that goes with the home? If so, you should leave that behind on closing day. You likely won’t need it in your new house and the buyers can use this extra hardware to replace any damaged parts along the road.
Some examples of extra hardware: kitchen knobs and pulls, screws and anchoring hardware, closet racks and rods, lightbulbs that fit certain fixtures and doorknobs.
Pool supplies and accessories
Does your house have a pool? If so, we recommend leaving your pool supplies and accessories for the new owners. It might also be a good idea to leave directions and information about how the pool and spa work. At the very least, you should give the new owners contact information for your pool maintenance service professionals. They should be able to come to the home and show the new owners how everything works.
Examples of pool supplies and accessories you can leave behind: any custom pool fence, thermostats, step ladders, pool lights, outdoor pool storage, pool rake, pool skimmers and pool filters.
Got leftover paint cans? If the paint color matches any of the home’s interior or exterior walls, we recommend leaving the cans outside in the backyard or in the garage for the new owners. This way, they will: 1) know what color the house is painted and be able to buy additional paint, if needed; and 2) can use the leftover paint to touch up walls or surfaces.