What Should You Leave for the New Owners of Your Home?

4 min read

Last Modified 19 April 2021 First Added 9 August 2016

By Jessica Kadel

So you’ve packed all your belongings into boxes, crammed them into the moving van and said your goodbyes to your beloved home. But what now? What’s the moving house etiquette when it comes to leaving your home to its new owners? Should you leave something for the new owners of your house? After weeks of packing, it might be tempting to just do the necessary at this stage and leave out any niceties. But bear in mind that the newcomers will have just done the same gruelling task of moving home, so helpful touches might be nice to leave for the new owners of your old home. Even doing just one thing on this list will surely be greatly appreciated.

Do you have to clean a house before selling?

This one goes without saying, but while unpacking all of their bits and pieces, the new owners are not going to want to hoover and dust their new home. Try and make their moving in process as straightforward as possible by giving the house a deep clean before you go. Mop, dust, hoover, and clean out the fridges and cupboards. Imagine the state you would like your new home to be in when you walk in.

Sharon McRill, president of organising and relocation assistance company The Betty Brigade, states

‘Unfortunately many sellers leave behind way too much stuff that a new buyer doesn’t want. Sellers should empty the house and leave it as clean as possible. If the buy/sell transaction went particularly well, have the home professionally cleaned as a courtesy. The new buyer will love it.’

An image of a clean and empty house


Should you leave cans of paint when you sell a home?

Aim to make the house literally spotless, by painting over any obvious marks or scratches on the walls. It’s also a good idea to leave little paint pots for the new owners in case they want to brush up the marks themselves. In this case sample size paint pots or left over paint will suffice, don’t splash out on litres of paint in case they want to go over the walls in a different colour.

An image of a variety of paint pots


What information should you leave for new homeowners?

The most useful thing to leave at this point is a home owner’s manual. Write down as much information as possible, for example:

  • Where the mains for the water, gas and electricity are
  • Where the meters are for gas, electricity and water (if there is one)
  • Where the stopcock is
  • How to use the central heating
  • Waste collection dates
  • Alarm codes (if there are any)
  • Where the keys are for any internal doors and windows

Sharon McRill adds that it’s helpful to leave manuals and receipts for appliances, saying ‘it really helps to know how old the appliances are and where they were purchased, or if the warranty is still active.’

It’s also beneficial to leave any useful phone numbers for the newcomers, for example if you have any gardeners or cleaners. You could even leave your own number in case they have any pressing questions.

An image of a couple moving in

Related – What To Expect On The Day Of Your Move

Do you have to leave light bulbs when selling house?

Legally, no. But I think we can agree the new owners are not going to want the job of inspecting all the sockets and trying to find the right type of light bulbs. Chances are, your current light bulbs won’t fit the sockets in your new home, so you may as well leave your light bulbs where they are, so the new owners can avoid unpacking in the dark. Hopefully this will have been done for you in your new home. What do you leave when selling a house? The light bulbs!

An image of several hanging lightbulbs

A welcome mat

Nothing says welcome to your new home quite like a welcome mat. Although unessential, this is a nice touch to make the place a little homelier for the newcomers and help them avoid bringing dirt onto the recently hoovered carpets.

An image of a doormat with welcome written on it

Local take away menus

After a long day of unpacking, the new home owners are bound to feel peckish and too tired to cook.  If you have any take away menus, leave them out in a visible place so they can have a care-free meal. If you really want to go the extra mile, leave a bottle of wine and a couple of glasses for a celebratory drink.

An image of a Chinese take away

Have you got any moving house etiquette tips for what to leave in your home? Let us know in the comments!

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