Canton MA Events and Real Estate


Dear Sellers....the Buyers Do Not Want Your Old Paint

Dear Sellers....the Buyers Do No Want Your Old Paint
The end is drawing near.  The house was fixed up and put on the market.  It was marketed and shown.  A buyer put in an offer, which was accepted.  The closing is almost here and both Buyers and Sellers are looking forward to the move.
The Sellers are packing up and getting rid of their unwanted belongings.  The purchase and sale agreement provides that the property will be left in broom clean condition.....with all of Seller's personal property not included in the sale having been removed.  That does not mean all of Seller's property except what they do not want to move or are too tired to move or think they can leave behind.
paint cansFrequently I find Seller's leaving their old cans of paint behind.  Often they claim to be doing the Buyers a favor so that they can match the paint.  Let me tell you something....the buyers do not want your old paint.  If it is in such poor condition that it needs touching up, they are going to re-paint.  Chances are, the buyers plan to re-paint anyway. 
It can be difficult to dispose of paint in some communities and most buyers have enough to do without getting rid of your old paint.  If we see it at the final walk through, most buyers....or at least my buyers.....are going to ask for money to dispose of it.  So, do not wait until the end.  
Once the house is under agreement, go to your basement or garage and get rid of the paint....first thing....the buyers do not want it.

If you are looking to buy a house in Canton MA or in Norfolk County MA make sure you have 100% buyer representation from the home search through that final walk through.  Contact the Canton MA Buyer Broker.

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Christine Smith is an Attorney and Exclusive Buyer Agent with over 25 years of experience in the real estate field. 


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Comment balloon 10 commentsChristine Smith • June 06 2012 02:11PM


You are right - it's a hassle to dispose of, so many sellers hope that the new owners might want it.

Several years ago after a walk through for one of my listings, I was surprised when the buyer's agent called to tell me that a closet full of paint was left in the basement.  The sellers were already out-of-state!

I went over with my daughter and her friend and the three of us spent several hours hauling up old cans of paint - one of which did spill on the carpet and remained there until I sold the car many years later . . .

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

Christine I'd say that's absolutley spot on half the time in my neck of the woods.  Normally the sellers will ask the buyers if they want the paint and they'll leave it if they do.  Everybody has differnet tastes.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) almost 7 years ago

Hi Christine,

It does depend on how recently the seller's have painted. So many of my listings the sellers have recently painted and removed wall paper and chosen some yummy colors! The buyers are always asking for the paint cans to be left and to be sure and mark the rooms on the cans. If it's original paint I could totally see the buyers wanting the paint cans gone!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) almost 7 years ago

I think some buyers are happy to have a little touch up paint as they be cash strapped after making the purchase. I recently sold a property that included some matching carpet and hard wood floor strips. I stooped in after the sale was complete and they were delighted to have them. 

Posted by Dale Bledsoe, Realtor in Tracy, California (Crown Key Realty) almost 7 years ago

Hi christine.... leaving old cans of paint for "touch up' is an excuse for the sellers to use so they are not saddled with disposing of hazard waste....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) almost 7 years ago

Margaret....that's one reason I try to remind the listing agents to remind their Sellers that everything is supposed to go.

Anna...that's the best way to handle it...ask about it up front.

Dorie...yes, I have had buyers say yes, to leave it.  But Sellers should not assume it should stay.

Dale...some are happy and again, they just need to be asked, not ust assume they willwant it.  I've seen matching tile left behind and as you say,Buyers are usually happy.  But if they plan on re-tiling it's not much help at all.

Barbara...that's exactly what it is!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - almost 7 years ago

Christine - Couldn't agree with you more! In most instances, it is dried up and unusable anyway. However, (for future reference) there is a local paint recycling center called The Paint Exchange where people can dispose of their unused latex paint. They turn it back into usable product. The only one of its kind in MA that I am aware of.

Posted by Judy Jennings, Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA (The Green Company) almost 7 years ago

Thanks Judy!  I am going to bookmark that site!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - almost 7 years ago

It is kind of funny how so many sellers believe they're really doing a solid for the new owners.  I suppose it's generally out of good intentions, but they should recognize that all they're leaving is a mess.

Posted by Chris deLambert almost 7 years ago

Chris....I think they have talked themselves into thinking they are being helpful!

Posted by Christine Smith, Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA (Buyers Brokers Only LLC - almost 7 years ago

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