Should you deep clean your home before moving out?

You got an offer. You accepted! The boxes are packed. A new home is awaiting your arrival! And if you’re moving to our wonderful hometown, Portland Oregon, you may be anticipating your new life in one of the most artsy, hip, and trending cities in the country. Maybe you even snagged a home in one of Portland’s best neighborhoods!

But before you close the door of your old home and lock up, you may be wondering how you should leave things for the new homeowners. What responsibilities do you have as the seller? And how clean and prepped are you required to leave your old home? Below, we dive into the specifics and help you figure out if and how you should deep clean your home before moving out.

First, should you deep clean?

The answer to this question might not be what you’re hoping. But yes, sellers have a responsibility to clean the home after they move. It doesn’t matter if it’s a shore sale or a regular sale, homes in seller’s possessions almost always need to be cleaned before the next homeowners move in.

Most purchase contracts will walk through the requirements for cleaning, and often use the term, “broom-clean condition.” This is accepted to mean that the floors, walls, and ceiling should be bare and clean. Contract language varies. Here, you can find properly executed real estate contracts and forms for all 50 states for your reference. Review your contract to be sure to review your specific contracts to ensure that it doesn’t require any specifics from you.

Second, how clean is clean enough?

Many home buyers inspect a home right before they close on the purchase. They’ll most likely stop by the home right before settlement to see if the home is still ready and standing. This process is called a final walk-through and it happens in almost every home purchase. During this walk-through, buyers will make sure the home is free of your personal belongings and that the home was clean as required under the contract.

If you think your purchase contract is unclear regarding the extent of any cleaning you’re contractually bound to do upon vacating, talk with your real estate agent. They’ll also be able to help you know what is the norm in your specific area. However, regardless of the contract, most sellers take care to present their home in an acceptable condition before moving out. On the flip side, most buyers will clean the home again before moving in, just to be sure. As a rule of thumb, leave your old home the way you’re hoping to find your new Portland home.

Third, how can you efficiently clean during a busy move?

Many people say that moving is one of the most stressful and exhausting life experiences. So we’re happy to help guide you through the process. And, of course, we’d be happy to help you get your home sparkling clean, right down to the little details, if it’ll help you during this busy stretch.

Take deep cleaning in stages. Once you’ve completed your usual thorough cleaning, narrow in on detailing each room. Pay close attention to the interiors of cabinets and closets, window tracks and glass, under the furniture, the baseboards and trim, moldings, picture frames, lamp bases, light fixtures, curtains, and shades.

We wish you all the best luck during your move!

Moving into a new home and leaving an old home behind can feel overwhelming. But there are lots of resources that can assist you during this time and plenty of people ready to help, like us! Feel free to explore our various services. We’d be happy to help any way we can, during your move and after.