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Our Agent-Approved 8-Step Move Out Checklist

Updated: May 23, 2023

While moving into a new space can be the start of an amazing new chapter, stress is part and parcel of making that move—especially when paired with the sale of a property. After all the pressures of planning, negotiating, and getting to the closing table, handing over the keys might seem like the easy part, but we know first-hand that a lot can happen between the buyer’s final walk-through and the passing of the keys. After years of experience (we’ve seen it all), here is our take on a moving-out to-do list, complete with recommendations from our seasoned crew of agents.

Photography: River Stephenson
move out checklist

1.) Make a Plan

Prepare for actually, physically moving out. We cannot stress this enough: call the movers and get on their schedule ASAP. Know the exact date buyers will be taking possession, and plan your big move-out date to be 24-48 hours ahead of that. If delayed movers, lousy weather, or any unforeseen circumstances arise, you’ve got a buffer for plan B (and make a plan B, too).

2.) Do Your Homework

Get clear on what items or fixtures legally have to stay with the home. When in doubt about whether something stays or goes, call your agent. They can go over the Inclusions & Exclusions on the purchase contract—this contract lays out the agreement on what is included with the sale and what is expressly excluded. 

3.) Organize

Coordinate everything that’s staying with the home: 

  • Keys: all house keys, mailbox keys, etc., should be organized, labeled, and left on the kitchen counter for the new owner. 

  • Electronic openers: garage openers, keypad openers, codes, etc. should also be labeled and left out. Same for manuals for operating instructions or appliances staying within the home, i.e. HVAC and security systems.

  • Home materials such as paint swatches or surplus buckets, renovation materials, etc. should be labeled and stored.

4.) Give Tips & Tricks

Leave a note including all the little details that only you know about the home. Share everything that you feel would benefit the buyer in their new ownership and help them continue to show the home the same love you’ve shown it! This could be myriad things:

  • Contacts of service contractors familiar with the property  

  • List of routine or scheduled maintenance

  • List of specific yard plants that need special care

5.) Exchange of Power

Call the utility companies and let them know that you are selling the home and the utilities will need to transfer to the new owner. DO NOT have them shut off. Let them know the exact date of the transfer.

6.) Clean House

Rather than leaving unwanted items curbside, consider donating goods to local spots such as The Neighborhood House or Habitat for Humanity ReStore, or call The Other Side Movers, who will haul items to their Millcreek/Murray thrift store locations. In the event that you’ve been tasked with navigating a significant life-transitional move, the professionals at Wasatch Organizer can help facilitate an estate sale, cleanup, and disposal through local businesses specialized to fit your needs. 

7.) Final Sweep

Ensure you sweep the floors, wipe the counters, and give the home the last bit of your love before saying goodbye. Kindness goes a long way in this crazy market…be sure to pay it forward. 

8.) Do Good

When in doubt, apply the Golden Rule: Leave the home exactly how you want to find your new space. It’s as simple as that.

The team at Homeworks Property Lab is experienced. We’re fastidious and fierce… experts at navigating this chaotic market on behalf of our clients. If you’re in need of some guidance or just looking for a friendly face in these shark-infested waters, give us a call. We can help.


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