What To Expect Of The House On Closing Day For Buyers

What To Expect Of The House On Closing Day For Buyers

Listen up buyers and sellers.  We all have expectations for your exciting closing day.  But I’m here to give it to you straight.  Closing day can be really stressful for both parties, and I’m going to tell you why but most importantly how to fix the problems before they happen. This way you feel just as good at the end of the day as you woke up that morning.

 Stay to the end to learn how bad closing day can be if you don’t set yourself up for success now.

Remember that real estate is a two way street and being courteous to the buyer and seller will make the final stages of the process so much easier and less stressful.

Let’s start with buyers and if you’re a seller, don’t leave because this will help you understand my Closing Day Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts for Sellers blog here.

Buyers, let’s go over three situations that can happen on closing day with situation one being the best.


Situation #1

Your house closes early during the day, you enter the house and the air smells like the professional cleaning company left 5 minutes ago. There’s a bottle of wine on the kitchen counters accompanied by a love note from the sellers giving you the ins and outs of the light switches, remotes and quirky tricks to the property. Heck, they even left their cell number in case you have a few questions. 

Wouldn’t we all love this each and every time? 

I told you I was going to give it to you straight.  This unfortunately isn’t the norm, but after this blog and my blog post on Closing Day Etiquette: Do’s and Don’ts for Sellers, we can start to slowly change the game.

Situation #2

You walk in… It’s empty, too cold or hot for your liking, maybe not as clean as you would prefer but it’s been wiped down. Everything is there or not there that’s supposed to be, and there’s a few nail holes in the walls.

You’re excited yet also in shock of how the property looks now that it’s completely unoccupied and worried the space isn’t what you had bought, now leaving you staring at the property noticing every little flaw you didn’t see when you purchased. 

My first home pretty much fell into this category. This is how most closing days occur for buyers.  In most cases, a few days later when things get cleaned up, furniture comes in and buyers start arranging their decor, the house starts to feel like home.

This is a good situation to prepare yourself for because it is a shock to go from a perfectly staged house, to blank walls and a whole lot of work ahead of you.  It’s extremely overwhelming. 

In other scenarios this is where buyers can get very emotional and upset about the small issues they didn’t see when viewing the house, wondering what can be done about it.  Yes, some problems can be addressed but in reality, the house can only be as prepared for you as the listing agent preps the seller.

So before you write your offer to purchase, I want you to make a list of expectations for the condition of the house on closing that you wish to have.  This will help your realtor, prepare you and the sellers on what to expect on closing. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty details, you will need to outline that in your offer so there are no issues on closing and everyone can walk away happy. I’m going to go over this in more detail with our third situation.

What To Expect Of The House On Closing Day For Buyers

Situation #3

Alright, our last situation may make you cringe!

You walk into the house and it looks like a bank sale. The floors are disgusting, there’s personal belongings left behind, they took all the appliances, the garbage that doesn’t go out for 2 weeks is still full and the alarm system is ringing with no knowledge of how to turn it off. 

What a mess, right?

You’re now calling your realtor crying or yelling, either way you’re freaking out.

Here’s how you’re going to attempt to avoid this. When I say attempt, sellers may not execute your wishes perfectly, but you can set some ground rules. Here we go…

What To Expect Of The House On Closing Day For Buyers

Add Extra Clauses To Protect Yourself

Add extra clauses into your purchase agreement stating you want the house left in broom swept condition, all garbage, recycling and personal belongings are to be removed from the property. All screw or nail holes need to be filled, sanded, primed and painted.

Yes, you would need to be that specific, if you’re going to be picky about holes left in the walls, unless you would like some painted bumps on the walls. 

Most buyers are okay with the few holes to patch, knowing they are going to refresh the paint anyway but be specific in writing if you’re going to complain about the DIY handy work on closing day. 

And buyers, be courteous to sellers on this point too.  If you plan to do a major renovation right out of the gate that will leave the house a mess anyway. Let the sellers know and save them time or money hiring a professional cleaner or hours spent mopping floors.


In your offer be as specific as you can with the appliances such as brand or model number to make sure they don’t get swapped out.

Yes it happens. No it’s not right and will get fixed but it’s easier to have it in writing.

What To Expect Of The House On Closing Day For Buyers

Check The House Over

Verify that all the inclusions and exclusions are there or gone, check all the lights, dimmers, windows, appliances, and outlets are properly working and that no old paint cans or boxes of flooring are laying around that you don’t want.

For that noisy alarm ringing in your ear, you can ask for alarm systems to be removed or a cheat sheet to reset them before closing.

Alright buyers, which situation would you be okay with and if you have had any horror stories in the past, let me know in the comments below.

My sellers out there, do you now understand the perspective of the buyers?

If you’re interested in my FREE Buyer’s Guide to help you with more tips Click Here or to get in contact with me you can find the link here.


I go over how you can make sure you don’t have your listing agent calling you or cursing your name on closing day.

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