Sunday, April 15, 2012

What is "Broom Clean" Condition?

The purchase contract used in the Rochester, NY area requires that a home be in 'broom clean' condition at the time of possession.  After a recent final walk through in which the floor was clean but the rest of the house was a wreck, I figured it was time to chat about this subject.
Moving day is stressful, both for the people moving out as well as the people moving in.  And even thought there are months to prepare for moving day, life tends to get into the way and most families end up packing and moving all within a couple of days, leaving little time and energy to clean afterwards.   And those families that have just packed their life belongings to move into your former home don't want to start that event with cleaning up your mess.   And so, along with the shortage of time and energy, most movers also have a shortage of tolerance and patients.

'Broom Clean Condition' is not a literal description of how a house should be left.  It's a generic term and my best piece of advice is to leave the house in the same condition that you would like to find your new home.  I often get calls from sellers asking if they have to patch walls where they removed art work and my response is always the same.   When I ask my sellers how they would feel about nail holes in their new walls, they almost always respond with, "Good point!  I'll see if I can find the matching paint!"

Along with sweeping and/or vacuuming, the seller should plan to sponge clean counters and the inside of cabinetry and drawers in both the kitchen and bath.  Appliances should be clean, including the oven and the inside of the refrigerator.  Bathtubs, toilets and sinks should also be clean.  In the summer, the lawn should be recently cut and in the winter, the driveway and walkway should be clear of ice.

Yes, you've been up all night packing and your exhausted.  But chances are good, so have the people that are moving into your home.  If every seller would leave their house in the same condition that they hope to find their new home, moving days would be a tad less stressful and there would be less animosity at the closing table. 
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