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…
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!).