What Are the Housecleaning Expectations When a Seller Moves?

Do sellers have to clean the house?

Sellers have a responsibility to clean the home after they move. The question becomes: how clean is clean enough? It can depend on numerous factors, and exactly who is selling the house is usually key among them.

What’s included in a move-out cleaning?

It’s important to know what needs to be cleaned for a move-out regardless of whether you are cleaning yourself or using the services of a professional move-out cleaning company. A good reference point to start is your rental or purchase agreement. Realtors often require certain levels of cleanliness to be met so if they aren’t specified, it’s best to ask so that you avoid having to re-clean areas or losing part of your deposit. Our professional move-out cleaning checklist is a great place to start.

Cleaning bedrooms for a move

The most efficient approach to cleaning is to work your way through tasks from top to bottom. This rule applies if you’re cleaning a single room or cleaning your entire home. If you are working with two storeys, work your way from the rooms on the second floor to the first, and work on every room from top to bottom.

Bedroom cleaning checklist

✔ All surfaces dusted
✔ Closet exteriors and interiors cleaned
✔ Marks on walls and baseboards cleaned
✔ Mirrors cleaned
✔ Interior windowsills and window tracks cleaned
✔ Baseboards dusted and/or wiped
✔ Doorknobs, doorframes and doors wiped
✔ Light switches wiped
✔ Garbage emptied
✔ Hard surface floors vacuumed and damp-mopped
✔ Carpet and area rugs vacuumed

Move-out cleaning for bathrooms

Cleaning a bathroom when it is empty is much easier than routine cleaning because you don’t have to work around linens or personal products. This means you can lay some old towels at the door and really wet and wash your entire bathroom.

If any mess requires products to sit and develop, place products onto these areas first and let the cleaner do its work while you move on to other tasks.

Bathroom cleaning checklist

✔ Bathtub, shower walls and glass doors cleaned and sanitized
✔ Sink cleaned and sanitized
✔ Toilet cleaned and sanitized inside and out
✔ Mirrors cleaned
✔ Cabinet interiors and exteriors cleaned
✔ Countertops and shelves dusted and wiped
✔ All surfaces dusted
✔ Inside windowsills and window tracks cleaned
✔ Doorknobs, doorframes and doors wiped
✔ Light switches wiped
✔ Garbage emptied
✔ Baseboards dusted and wiped
✔ Marks on walls and baseboards cleaned
✔ Floor vacuumed and washed

Cleaning the kitchen when moving

Cleaning the kitchen can be difficult, particularly for older homes, as you’ll likely run into smells, splatters and stains. Like in the bathroom, we would recommend applying cleaning solutions to tough mess (such as the oven) at the beginning while you work on other areas to maximize your time.

Most buyers will clean the home to their own standards before moving in regardless of the sellers’ efforts. There are nonetheless a few things a seller can do to leave the house reasonably clean and to create goodwill.

You’ll want to remove all personal property—including items that you’re just going to throw out—and vacuum and sweep the floors. Clean the kitchen appliances, the insides of the refrigerator and oven, and wipe down the counters. Scour the sinks and tubs. Wipe down interior cabinets and shelves. Wash all tile and vinyl or linoleum flooring.



Meet Gord

Gordon McKinlay is the owner of PropertyGuys.com in the Comox Valley & North Vancouver Island. Gordon loves helping people sell their own homes and save tens of thousands of dollars. 

PropertyGuys.com has developed a system that has helped over 90,000 private home sellers in Canada to sell their homes successfully. PropertyGuys.com is the largest private home sales network in Canada.

To learn more about how PropertyGuys.com works call 778 557 8596 or contact us here!

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