Should I Leave Cans of Paint When I Sell My Home?

You’re getting ready to move out of your home and you’re now faced with a stack of cans from paint projects long past. What should you do with them? Leave them for the seller in hopes they’ll find use for them or dispose of them?

Disposing of paint cans is inconvenient: you can’t just throw them in the trash. They need to be taken to the recycling building on Highway 421. Unless you already need to haul trash to the nearby landfill, it means a trip out of the way. This is usually the point when some sellers try to defy the trash collector by filling the cans with sand and burying them in the weekly pickup, but this can bring a heavy fine.

Other sellers just leave the cans of paint without a second thought, but the fact is that the home is supposed to be completely cleared out of all personal belongings, except those agreed to in the offer to purchase. If the buyers see those cans prior to closing, they could rightfully refuse to sign the closing paperwork. Believe me, it’s been done before. So, you need to ask yourself if you want to risk losing thousands of dollars when the sale of the home falls through or if you would rather pay someone to take it to the recycling center.

Another option is asking the buyers if they want the cans of paint. If it’s the paint you used to freshen up the home prior to listing it, they may be interested in keeping it for later touchups. They may even be interested if it wasn’t recently used, but is still good, as long as it’s the paint currently on the walls or exterior. You just need to make sure it’s still good.

How do you know when paint is bad?

  1. The paint no longer blends when stirred.
  2. It’s completely dried up or has hardened on the bottom of the can.
  3. There’s a horrible rancid smell when you open the can.

If the paint has gone bad, you definitely shouldn’t ask the buyers if you can leave it behind. It’s your responsibility to dispose of it.

Remember, the key is to always ASK if the buyer wants the paint. This is something your Realtor can do for you. Just make sure you do it before the final walk-thru or you could face delays in closing.

Ready to buy or sell in the Wilmington area? Give us a call or send us a message through our Contact page.

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About the Author
Meghan Henderson
Meghan is the Marketing Specialist for The Cameron Team and a published author of two young adult books. She also creates digital and printable planners and trackers, as well as coloring pages for Larkspur & Tea.