5 Things You Shouldn’t Leave Behind for the Buyers When Selling Your House (Unless You’re Trying to Annoy Them…)

5 Things You Shouldn’t Leave Behind for the Buyers When Selling Your House (Unless You’re Trying to Annoy Them…)

5 Things You Shouldn’t Leave Behind for the Buyers When Selling Your House (Unless You’re Trying to Annoy Them…)

You’re supposed to leave your house in “broom clean” condition for the buyer when you sell your house, which leaves a lot of room for interpretation. It often boils down to sellers feeling like they left the place looking immaculate, and buyers wondering if the seller even owned a broom.

The point is, it’s kind of subjective.

This is probably why so many sellers think they’re being super thoughtful when they leave certain things behind, but buyers end up feeling like you just left them something to figure out what to do with or get rid of.

So here’s a list of 5 things you shouldn’t leave behind when selling your house, even if you think you’re doing the buyer a favor:

1) A Pile of Random Key

Of course you need to make sure your buyer has the keys to all the doors in the house, but that stash of random keys you can’t figure out what they’re supposed to open isn’t something your buyer wants or needs. If you don’t know what a key is for, just chuck them in the trash. The odds of your buyer eventually coming across some random lock you never knew existed in the house that fits one of those keys are pretty low.


2) “Touch-Up” Paint

Is it even possible to buy just the right amount of paint? Judging by how many cans of leftover paint sellers leave behind in their garage or basement, it doesn’t seem like it. The go-to rationale most sellers use is that the buyers may want it to do touch-ups, but let’s be honest, paint is a pain in the neck to get rid of so it’s just a handy excuse to avoid dealing with it yourself.

(This goes for extra tiles and any other remodeling remnants you may have lying around as well…)


3) Manuals for Appliances You Haven’t Owned in 17 Years

It’s nice to leave the manuals and any warranty information behind for any major appliances or components of your house that are still working and included with the sale. But do your buyers a favor and get rid of the ones that went with the olive green oven from 1977. Having every manual from every appliance that ever existed in the house just makes finding the right one you need in an emergency that much more difficult and aggravating.


4) That Ridiculously Large Sofa You Couldn’t Get Out of the Room

It’s easy to forget how difficult a piece of furniture was to get into a room, until you try and get it out of a room… on moving day. It’s also easy to rationalize leaving it behind for the buyer to enjoy, free of charge!

But free or not, buyers don’t always want your old furniture that you couldn’t get out of the house in time. Feel free to offer any furniture you don’t want (or just can’t move easily), but plan on getting all of your furniture out of the house before closing day no matter how much pivoting it takes to get it out the door.


5) A Curb Full of Trash

The last resort for many sellers is to throw out everything they couldn’t fit in the moving trucks, or just don’t want anymore. The problem is, some sellers wait until closing day and put piles of garbage bags and furniture to the curb fully expecting the trash collectors will throw it into the back of the truck on garbage day. Maybe they will… But maybe they won’t!

Unless you happened to sell your house to Oscar the Grouch, don’t bet on your buyer being happy about pulling up to the house and seeing piles of trash at the curb. Either get rid of things bit by bit over a few weeks before closing or plan on making a trip to the dump before closing day.


Moving is a stressful time, and leaving unwanted items behind only adds to the burden for new homeowners.  By following these tips and leaving a clean, clutter-free house, you can ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.




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