Charleston, SC Posts


Cleaning upon move out...professional or self clean?

So I wrote a contract for one of my buyer clients and we included that the property should be professionally cleaned.  The sellers removed it in the counteroffer and just said they would clean it themselves. No problem.  The house was fairly neat so we conceded that they would probably do a suitable job. The selller's agent called and the seller's moved out early and they wanted us to do the final walk thru prior to them leaving to make sure the house was satisfactory to the buyer.  In the event it wasn't, they could address any issues prior to their departure.  So 3 weeks prior to closing, we went over to walk thru and take notations of the items we request for repair also.  When we walked in it was obvious the floors hadn't even been swept out.  Then we noticed the cobweb that went from the corner of the dining room over to the corner of the kitchen.  The laundry room floors and walls were covered with dryer vent lint. The kitchen cabinets weren't even wiped out. Baseboards still had dust bunnies on them.  So I called the seller's agent to ask if she was aware of the condition and listed the items we saw.  She couldn't believe it either and came over later to verify to which she agreed it was unsatisfactory. She called the sellers to address it and they asked me to write a specific list of items to be addressed.  Hello?! How about everything?! (*&*&%&^ The sellers are "list" people and it would be helpful to have a list so that they would not miss anything.  Okay, fine.  So I wrote up a very detailed list and sent it over.  I get a call from the seller's agent who explained the seller was very upset because they felt the buyer was being very picky and he got such a great deal on the house.  Last time I checked, no one put a gun to the seller's head to take my buyer's offer.  He could have countered or waited on another buyer.  They agreed to give my buyer a "great deal" and they also agreed to clean the house.  They also asked us to do a walk thru to make sure the house was satisfactory and when it wasn't, they were upset!  The poor agent said she was going to go over there to clean it herself since her seller was being unreasonable about it.  So in the future, should I not budge on the professionally cleaning?

Michele Reneau, ABR, GRI, CRS

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Comment balloon 8 commentsMichele Reneau • June 10 2008 08:06AM


Professional Cleaners do a great job! They free up time and you have proof that it was done and paid for. If one party isn't happy then they could take it up with the cleaners.

Posted by Marcie Purcell, Realtor, Bucks & Montgomery Co PA (Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

I have had this scenario happen twice and finally learned my lesson.  Never accept anything less than a professional cleaning service -- it's amazing to me what some people consider clean!

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) almost 11 years ago

good post..this happens all the time..what they think as clean, we don't think that way.

Posted by Michael Shankman, Selling Las Vegas 702-498-3383 (Award Realty) almost 11 years ago

Some people's idea of clean is dirt!  In fact that is true of many people.  Stick with the professional cleaning.

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) almost 11 years ago

As your professional stager - STICK TO THE PROFESSIONAL CLEANING!  Frankly the home should have been cleaned PRIOR to being put up for sale, and that probably should also have been a professional cleaning.  At closing there is simply no excuse, particularly since it had been asked for in the contract. 

Posted by Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) almost 11 years ago

I have buyers calling me after closing because they say my sellers left the place a pigsty. My sellers had the place professionally cleaned. The buyers did a walk-thru the day before closing. Any thoughts on my obligation here?

Posted by Stephanie Davis almost 11 years ago

Stephanie-Speak before closing or forever hold your peace.  The purpose of the walk thru is to make sure the property is satisfactory prior to the closing-that includes cleaning.  If there is something wrong, it must be mentioned and addressed prior to closing because we all know that likelihood of it happening after a seller moves to Hawaii or wherever. If the seller hired a professional cleaning company, they should be willing to stand behind their work and do a touch up.  I would also provide the receipt to the buyer's agent.

Posted by Michele Reneau, Realtor, GRI ~ Charleston, SC Relocation Experts Team (Certified Staging Professional (CSP) Elite Instructor) almost 11 years ago

Thanks Michele. I said something to the same effect when I wrote the buyer back. I just can't believe the buyer is contacting me directly and not using his agent... or that he waited 4 days until after closing to say something. I appreciate your reassurance that I did the right thing.

Posted by Anonymous almost 11 years ago

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