With housing inventory still lagging, sellers continue to have the upper hand.
What is broom clean?
Broom clean is a real-estate term used to describe the condition in which a seller or a renter must leave a home. Although the term is open to interpretation, broom-clean homes are at a minimum free of any excess stuff, like personal items and debris, and have been swept or vacuumed.
Leaving a home in broom-clean condition doesn’t require painting the walls or having the premises professionally cleaned, but it requires clean, swept floors and vacuumed carpets. All personal items must be removed from the premises, including rugs, wall decor and furniture — anything that the new owner or the landlord would have to discard.
Even items that a seller may think the new owner would want, such as buckets of paint that match the living room walls or extra stepping stones or bathroom tiles, should be discarded. Of course, all trash and debris must be removed.
Because there is no legal definition for the term broom clean, it’s important to come to a decision about details regarding cleanliness before the closing or departure date. For example, whether or not defrosting the freezer or cleaning the oven is required and the extent to which the bathtub is scrubbed and marks are removed from the walls. A walk-through is necessary to ensure that a home or apartment is in broom-clean condition.
Some realtors make a distinction between a broom-clean condition and a professionally cleaned condition. Professionally cleaned homes have been more thoroughly scrubbed and are nearly immaculate, which may mean additional costs for the seller. The purchase agreement will specify in what kind of condition the seller needs to leave the home.
You’ve left your old place broom clean and are ready to move on. Use Bankrate’s mortgage calculator to help you determine how much your new mortgage payment will be.
Broom clean example
Consider a person who is selling a home with a functioning washer and dryer that came with the house. If these appliances aren’t needed in the seller’s new home, can they simply be left behind? Would that prevent the home from being broom clean? Possibly. The buyer may be planning to bring his own washer and dryer, and finding these items in the utility closet would not be appreciated and require extra effort to have them removed.