Moving? Some Pre-Planning Advice
No matter if you are a home buyer or a home seller you are going to have move. This can be stressful for you, your family and your pets. Here are some easy to follow tips to make this final task on your real estate adventure easier.
1. Plan Early For Your Move
Most homes are going to close in 30 - 45 days. You should be researching quotes from movers as soon as you are under contract. The infographic suggests a 6 week time frame. But sometimes everything happens much quicker in the real estate world.
2. Change Your Home Address
The timing of changing your home address is difficult task. This is because tour actual closing date may change due to a last minute delay in repairs or financing. So you will need to make decision in the worst case scenario. Are you ok with the other party holding onto your mail at your new home should there be a delay in closing. Current opinion is to fill out the USPS change of address form 2-3 weeks before closing. This way the postal service has the time to process your mail to the new address.
3. Turn On/Off Your Utilities
As a home buyer your Realtor should provide you with the new utility information. When you contact the utility company you will find the seller having already having a cut off date. So it's easy to turn them on without interruption. You should contact water, electric, gas, cable, telephone, etc.
If it is a vacant home you are turning the utilities on you want to make sure that there isn't a faucet left running. One of the worse scenarios we saw was the washer moved with the water valve left open. The water was off so no one knew the valve was open. When the water turned on the utility room flooded.
For Home Seller: Don't forget to cancel your lawn and pool service. Be nice and provide their information to the new buyer.
4. Secure Your New Home
Your at closing. You sign the papers. You get your new keys. Congratulations! Other problem is you don't know who else has those keys. The neighbor? The seller's aunt? The gardener?
Secure your new home by calling the locksmith and getting the locks re-keyed. There may be a bonus if the seller had different keys for different locks. Make life easy and get one key for all the locks.
5. Clean Your Home
This usually falls on the home seller. But if you are like most home buyers then the seller's cleaner didn't do quite a good enough job. So hire you own. If you do a walk thru a day or so before closing and the cleaning looks good enough then just cancel your cleaner.
As the home seller you want the home to be "broom clean". But it never hurts to give the home a deep cleaning. You don't want the home's cleanliness to be an issue at the closing table.
It's best to order the cleaning after you move out (if possible). You will be surprised what was hidden under the couch! If you have moved out and cleaned then take pictures. It doesn't hurt to have proof.
Also, check the corner of the attic. We often find your Christmas tree or Halloween decorations left behind.
6. Have Your Personal Kit Packed
You may not have easy access to the boxes you packed. The move may be late. You may not remember which box you packed your vital items. (Hint: Don't just label the box with what in them but also the room they are going into). So have a personal bag filled with the following:
- Copies of Contract
- Overnight Tolietries
- Overnight Clothes
- Kids Toys
7. Miscellaneous Tips
- Have children? Then make sure you take care of school transfers.
- Change your address on your bills and bank account.
- Empty gas from your yard equipment.
- Empty and defrost your refrigerator a day or two before moving.
- Take a picture of your electronic wiring so you can reconnect with ease.
- Have something you don't want to move but is valuable? Sell on craigslist or ebay. Or have a charity come pick up the items.
- The Box Rules: The heavier the item, the smaller the box (i.e. books). New boxes only. Packing tape only (This time duct tape won't work).