From Agent to Seller: Leaving Your Buyers A Beautiful Home
This is it, guys! MOVING DAY IS ALMOST HERE! We are tired and excited but (surprisingly) almost finished packing and ready for our movers at 11 on Thursday! By the end of the day tomorrow, the modem will be packed, so I've prescheduled some posts for the rest of the week!
Sorry about the scripty (I know that's not a real word) font in the letter. Corey actually made me change the font before we printed the letter for our buyers because it was worried that it was illegible. If you're curious, the parts I highlighted refer to welcoming them and letting them know that there's spare paint and tile in the cedar closet.
When I'm working with buyers, one of the things I always point out is that a house will always seem smaller and dirtier (even a clean house) the day you take possession. Why does this always happen? I'll break it down for you if you'll allow me to paint a picture:
After you fall in love with a home and purchase it, your imagination runs wild. Suddenly, a modest 250 square foot room becomes a palatial master bedroom and, of course there's definitely going to be room for that giant mirror you purchased on Craigslist! You spend months looking at "inspiration rooms" on Pinterest and dreaming of life in your new home. Then you stay up all night the day before you take possession, thinking of all the exciting things you'll do with the house...
By the time you get the keys, you are exhausted, have butterflies in your stomach and are just ready to fall backwards onto your bed... but your stuff is in boxes, you can't find your phone charger and the only thing keeping you going is the thought of seeing your new home again.
You open the door (practically holding your breath) and don't even notice that your moving crew is waiting behind you. You take a step inside the house and look around...
IT ALWAYS LOOKS SMALLER. Always! It doesn't seem to get big again until you've unpacked. Just as you've begun to realize that some of your Pinterest ideas won't work in this space, you see it: a DUST BUNNY! "Who ARE these people???", you think about the former owners. "Why didn't they clean for me???"
And suddenly, your "dream home" kind of looks like the picture below. Imagine the sound of thunder crashing and old timey radio show organ music in the background.:
Has this happened to you? I may be a bit dramatic, but some version of this is experienced by most buyers. Normally, a house looks better in professional photographs than in reality and many sellers don't have time to clean properly in their haste to pack and vacate their home on moving day.
Because I am in the business, I am extra sensitive to my own buyers. I want them to feel good about their purchase on moving day! For this reason, we're leaving them the following:
1. A clean condo. We vacuumed as close to moving day as we could. We also wiped the fridge, stove and all other kitchen and bathroom surfaces. They'll probably clean again but we wanted our home to feel fresh and inviting.
2. Manuals for all our appliances. We save all of our instruction manuals in a file and we passed them all along to our buyers.
3. A care package. We leave water bottles in the fridge, a box of cereal bars on the counter, some hand soap and toilet paper... Seriously, leave TP: It's a small kindness but it can make all the difference. We leave only non-perishable food in case they don't move in right away.
4. Spare paint, tiles or anything from your renovations that the new owner may want. Make sure to label everything by room.
5. Extra keys and (for those who have a combination lock, like us) the combination.
6. A letter welcoming them to our home and the neighbourhood. We made sure to give them the number to call Property Management and we also gave basic directions to the nearest grocery store and pharmacy. We told them we hoped they would be very happy in our home and left an email address to reach us in case they had questions.
7. Light. We excluded a couple of light fixtures in our sale but replaced them with simple builder grade fixtures so that our buyers don't need flashlights to move in. Note: Corey will be the first person to tell you that I HATE saving things just for the sake of saving them. Each time we get a new tv, camera, small appliance, you name it, the debate begins again. He likes to save boxes for moving or returning items and I think they're a waste of space. Anyway, I was glad that he saved the light fixtures from our condo in the depths of our cedar closet (where I couldn't find them) because it meant we didn't need to buy replacements for our buyers. Sorry about the random tangent but Corey deserves to be called out when he's right. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
I hope this both brightens (*nudge* See what I did there?) their day, and perhaps, earns us some good karma in our new home. What would you leave for the next owners of your home? Has anyone ever done anything special for you when you moved?