Cleaning & Minimalism

What to Leave When you Sell Your House

Do you need to bring ALL your stuff with you to a new house? Check out what to leave when you sell your house, and let me know what you would add!

what to leave when you sell your house feature

Although we don’t have plans to sell our house anytime soon, I have been wanting to write this post for a while now!  It works out since we did recently buy a second house, so I can definitely have some good suggestions on what to leave when you sell your house.  And if you are moving somewhere new, don’t forget to do a few things before you bring your stuff in!

You may be wondering: “Wait, why would I leave anything at all, don’t I need/want all my stuff?!”.  While you’ll most likely be bringing all your personal items with you in the move, there are certainly some house things that should stay behind.

(Also, apparently, the additional things homeowners leave in the sale of a house is called “chattel” – which I just learnt when we were looking at new houses!).

Here are a few items to consider leaving for the new homeowners:

Appliances:  This one is usually something that is written in the sale since appliances are a large expense; however after looking at houses, I was actually surprised how many don’t come with appliances (not sure if it’s a Northern Ontario thing or not…).  I don’t know about you, but moving these large items seems more of a pain to me, and I would leave them behind.

Extra Paint: The last time I sold a house was when I moved out of university, and I made sure to leave the paint that we used around the house.  You don’t have to leave full gallons behind, but maybe small jars in case the new homeowners want to do some future touch-ups.  (Apparently, not everyone paints a house as soon as they move in, like me).

Extra Tiles/Flooring: Same idea as the paint, if you have extra tiles or pieces of flooring, it only makes sense to leave them with the house.  You never know when you might break a single tile and have to replace it, or if the new homeowners will be doing some renovations and want to patch gaps in their floors.

Window Coverings: This is probably the item people leave the most when they sell their homes (other than appliances), so they are often written as part of the sale.  I would definitely leave any blinds since window sizes vary so much and they probably won’t fit in your future house, but curtains are a bit easier to move around, so might bring those.

Landscaping: Maybe you did a couple of curb appeal projects in order to sell your house?  Well, you certainly shouldn’t dig up the plants and take them with you!  If someone bought your house, and you wanted to keep a random tree or flower for your next yard, it had better be understood that they are not part of the sale (but again, it seems like it would be more of a hassle to me).

Installed Décor: This means light fixtures, furniture built-ins, doors, fireplaces, etc.  Similar to landscaping, all these hard-wired items should stay with the house!  Not only would removing them be a big pain to you, but also create a big headache for the future homeowners.  They would now have to replace something they weren’t intending do or even do some renovations they might not want (if you removed built-ins).  Basically, however your house was set up when they viewed it prior to purchasing, is how it should remain!  (With the exception of your personal stuff, obviously).

Instruction Manuals/Warranty Info: Since you’re leaving your appliances, it makes sense to leave the instruction manuals too.  Same goes for any documents you have on the furnace, air conditioner, hot water tank, whatever!  Some warranties may also be transferable to different homeowners, so that’s a nice thing to leave (and wouldn’t help you anyway).

Basic Living Items: By this I mean, spare the new homeowners a roll of toilet paper or two!  I would also leave any garbage or recycling bins, because why take them!?  Same thing goes for plungers, toilet brushes, etc…

what to leave when you sell your house pinterest

While each move is different from the next, I’m hoping this list of what to leave when you sell your house is applicable to different scenarios.

Have a unique situation and are wondering if you need to leave anything else?

Some questions to consider:

Maybe you’re moving from a house to an apartment (or a large house to a smaller one).  Do you need to keep your lawn mowers, barbecue, furniture, etc?  Make sure to list additional items that you’ll be leaving in the listing, it might even help sway some potential buyers!  You can always sell or donate those extra items ahead of time, just don’t be that seller and leave everything for the new homeowners without warning!

(I may have been that annoying seller once – I imagine it just creates extra work for them since it’s more to clean up/get rid of!).

Nicole Q-Schmitz name signoff

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  • Reply
    Mommy aka Louise
    June 27, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    I would not leave plungers and toilet brushes. I wouldn’t move toilet brushes, I would throw them out. I would not want to use left ones, euw!

  • Reply
    Annette Leroux
    June 29, 2018 at 10:19 am

    The home owner of the home that I recently bought left much clutter behind. I had her realtor come by with a truck and haul it away. There were 2 truckloads full of ‘stuff’ that I certainly didn’t want or have a use for and I wasn’t willing to pay hauling and dumping fees.
    I think it would be nice if stools were left behind where you had a kitchen bar/eating area, but I think this should be offered in the sale, providing new owner with a choice.
    Great article Nicole, thanks for sharing these tips.

    • Reply
      July 1, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      2 truckloads of stuff!? That seems a bit excessive! Good thing the realtor was able to take care of it, and that’s certainly more than anyone should leave. I totally forgot to mention stools! It makes sense since there are different height options, and not all houses even have areas for stools. I think we’ll be leaving ours behind!

  • Reply
    Bridge Dale
    November 24, 2021 at 4:58 am

    The only thing I would leave at my old house would be the walls; everything else belongs to me! Why should I leave anything else? Tell me?

    • Reply
      November 24, 2021 at 1:38 pm

      Hey Bridge Dale, did you read the post :) ? Some things like appliances/landscaping/lights would be a big hassle to move. Plus, who would ever take the doors with them!? The same goes for extra tiles – not sure what a half-open box of tiles would be good for (me personally), but leaving them at the house where they match the rest might save someone a lot of headaches if they ever have to do a small patch. Hope that helps :)

  • Reply
    Sigrid Buendia
    February 17, 2022 at 1:28 am

    great post

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