What should sellers leave for buyers?

Everything sellers are obliged to leave (for buyers) when selling a house.

Moving into mine and my husband’s new home was up there with one of the best days of my life.

We turned the key to a freshly cleaned house equipped with curtains, lightbulbs, chocolates and a tear-jerking note from the seller wishing us all the best – still makes my eyes well up thinking about it.

what should sellers leave for buyers - are you supposed to clean your house when you're selling it
photo: Crystal De Passille

When it came to the condition of our new home, although it was spick-and-span, the house could have been left like a pig sty and we wouldn’t have batted an eyelid – we were just excited to have somewhere to finally call our own.

While it was nice to switch the lights on, close the curtains and eat the chocolates that first night, the sellers weren’t actually compelled to leave any of those things for us…so what do you actually have to leave behind when you’re selling a house?

what should sellers leave for buyers
photo: Phil

What do I have to leave when I sell my house?

Legally, you’re not obliged to leave anything behind when you sell your house, however, you have a duty to list what you will and won’t be taking with you. This is usually done via your solicitor.

How to leave a house for new owners

There are no set rules when it comes to the condition you need to leave your house in for new owners, however, it’s good practice to clean before you leave.

Leaving a list of instructions is also considerate for the new owners like where the stopcock is, how the heating works and how to use the dishwasher (if its staying put).

Do you have to leave blinds when you sell a house?

You don’t have to leave blinds or curtains when you sell a house, however, it’s unlikely they’ll be suited to the windows in your new home anyway.

Do you have to leave utilities on when you leave a house?

There is no need to turn off utilities, unless it’s a special circumstance, when you leave your house.

The buyer will take ownership of the utilities from the day they take proprietorship – they will be responsible for the bills from that day onwards.

Read more: best wall paint colour to hide dirt

What to leave the buyer of your new home

what should sellers leave for buyers
photo: Jozsef

It was so heartwarming to receive a note when we first moved into our new home I would urge any seller to do the same. As well as sending warm wishes, it can also be a good time to let them know anything essential about the house such as:

  • Where the stopcock is
  • Where the electricity, gas and water meters are
  • The waste collection dates
  • Keys for all the doors and windows.
  • Leftover paint (the new owners may want to touch up if they’re not redecorating).
  • Any spare tiles or floorboards (we have spare tiles hidden under our bath and behind our kitchen plinths incase we needed to swap any out in the future).

Do you have to leave a cooker when selling a house?

You don’t have to leave the cooker when you’re selling your house, but if you want to take it then you should let your solicitor know during the selling process.

what should sellers leave for buyers - should they leave white goods
photo: Planetcare

Do you have to leave behind white goods when selling a house?

White goods – such as fridges, freezers and washing machines – don’t have to be left behind when you’re selling your house, but you can leave them if you want to. Again, it should be organised with your solicitor during the sale.

Are you supposed to clean your house when you’re selling it?

You’re not required to clean your house when you’re selling it, however, its a nice thing to do for the new owner – treat them how you’d like to be treated and all that.

Should I clean my oven before selling my house?

Again, this is totally up to you, it’s not a legal requirement.

Catch up on the latest edit from editor and founder, Lindsey Isla, here.

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