Moving Checklist for Sellers

Congratulations! You’ve sold your home. To help you prepare for the move and get everything ready for your buyers to take possession, I’ve put together a list of things to take care of before your closing date.

You may wish to go the extra mile and leave behind a binder full of relevant information for your buyer, or you may just want to get out of there. How generous you are with your time and information is up to you, but there are some definite steps you must take:

Utilities: Call all of your utility companies, including hydro, gas, water heater rental, and the city / garbage & water. Let them know that you’ve sold your property and when your closing date is. You will be responsible for paying for your services up to that date and the buyers will pay from that day forward.

While it’s up to the buyers to also call the utilities to make sure they specify who’s on the account, it’s good practice for you to give the companies they can’t opt out of (think hydro, garbage, etc.) their names, just in case they don’t get to it. You don’t want the utility companies, for any reason, to screw up and come after you for payments that aren’t yours after closing.

Home Insurance: Wait until you know the deed has recorded or title transfer has formally occurred, then call your insurance agent. (This is generally two weeks before close – you can ask your lawyer to confirm for you when it’s complete.) You should receive a refund of any prepaid premiums for your home insurance.

Property Taxes: Same as above; make sure that the city is aware of your closing date and the buyer’s info. If you have prepaid the entire annual rate, you will be eligible for a refund. Your lawyer will handle this for you, including any reimbursements.

Mortgage: If you’re not porting your mortgage to your next property, speak to your mortgage provider in advance about closing the mortgage. There is usually a penalty for closing your mortgage so it’s good to get a handle on this now so it’s not a surprise later.

Curtains and/or Blinds: Make sure you check with your agent if curtains and blinds are included in the sale. If they are, you’ll have to leave them behind for your buyers. If you’re moving somewhere new, make sure that they’re either leaving window coverings behind for you, or that you have some for those first few nights after move in.

Keys: Make sure you know in advance where all of the keys are for all doors, including additional spots like a garage, shed, or interior safe. If you have a smart home that uses remotes, make sure those are left out and clearly labelled. You will usually have to give 2 sets to your lawyer for transfer to the new owners and you don’t want to be scrambling to find them at the last second.

Cleaning: Set aside some time to clean the property to make sure that it’s in good condition before the buyers move in. Most contracts specify “broom-swept condition” but there’s no harm in going the extra mile if you’re able. Make sure you remove all garbage and recycling. If you can’t get to a dump, leave everything ready for trash day. Be sure to also include a local garbage and recycling scheduling calendar if you have one.

Moving: If you are going to need a moving truck or movers, book early just to make sure you get them. You’ll be giving the keys up on your closing date, if not the day before (depending on the date), so you’ll want to be certain of the day and time that you’ll be officially out.

Mail: Something that a lot of people forget is to get the mail forwarded. Canada Post can do this service for you. Note that they don’t do packages so you may want to update everywhere that you get packages sent from, especially those 3 am insomnia Amazon purchases that you just click and forget.

Credit Card: Make sure to call your credit card company and let them know that your billing address is going to change. This one you may need to do after you’ve moved, depending on their policies.

Online Services: Related to the credit card, make sure that your online services, like any Amazon orders, or other online retailers, have the new address and that it matches the credit card address, even if it’s temporary.

Extra Steps You Can Take:

Local Fliers: If you have any local restaurant delivery fliers, set them aside for the buyers either on a counter or in a binder.

Local Services: If there are some great service providers that you’ve worked with that are familiar with the house, why not include the contact information for your buyers. This list could include, but isn’t limited to, a plumber, electrician, AC & furnace service person, and appliance repair person.

Instruction Manuals / Warranties / References: Gather up all of the instruction manuals for all appliances that are being left behind. Additionally, if you have any service records, receipts, or warranties, set those aside with this pile. Anything related to construction of the house that may be of use to the new owners, include this as well. If you need anything for the purpose of records, or taxes, make sure to take a copy.

Paint: Gather up all paint / stain that’s relevant (or if you are out of something, but know the code name, write that down) and leave it somewhere obvious like in the garage or the basement. You can also write down the information and store it in a binder you leave behind.