There is nothing easy about moving but there are some wise tips I have learned over the years that can make moving much easier. I have been a Realtor for 15 years and have watched over 1,000 clients move. I’ve also helped friends, mother and grandmother, so I have seen a lot of pain but I have acquired a lot of wise ideas that made the process easier.
Whether you are moving yourself or helping a friend or family member, here are 6 tips that have made moving much easier.
Come up with a plan – Make a plan that is easy, doesn’t overwhelm you and has a comfortable timeline. Just keep it simple. Give yourself deadlines and work the plan. Life is played out in chapters and a new home or new location can be one of the best chapters in your life, so think of the benefits of the move and work the timeline of your plan.
Start Now – Start by interviewing real estate brokers and choose one that you’re comfortable with who can help you select all the vendors. You can let your Realtor be your Project Manager and help manage those vendors. Get advice from your Realtor, but you may need a list of contractors such as painters, carpet installers, gardeners, movers and estate liquidators to prepare your home for sale. If you’re selling a house you will need to know the value of your home and how much you will net before you can calculate the price of the next home you may buy. Start packing now. So many times when I bring an offer to the sellers, their first reaction is, “oh no – we need to pack!” If you pack a little each day over time it makes it a lot easier.
Get rid of your stuff – This part paralyzes some people who have a great attachment to their belongings and have assigned a sentimental value to all their possessions. You have three options with your belongings: you can move them, store them, or get rid of them. There is a lot of great help out there from Estate Liquidators. They come in, mark what you don’t want, then they sell it on eBay, Amazon, or through an Estate Sale or Auction. They take a cut but you make some money and reduce what you have to move. If you are one of those people who can’t part with your possessions and they are overwhelming you, then I suggest you store them. This can really help a lot of people who don’t want to make a decision on what to get rid of. Anything in question, simply store it in public storage. In a year, go back to the public storage and see if you really “need” anything in storage or if it’s time to sell it and use the money elsewhere.
Preparing your house for sale – Most houses I see don’t need much preparation before they sell. You do need to complete any projects that were started and not completed, as no one wants to buy someone else’s projects, but this is not the time to start major renovations. Focus on the first impression which usually entails fresh carpet (clean or replace), fresh paint (touch up or do entire walls), fresh bark, new bark on garden beds with fresh flowers at the entry. You may have to do more serious clean-up to undo smoke or pet smell, or to repair deferred maintenance that may be obvious.
Selling your home – Vacant homes are great and they can be staged with furniture that is attractive to all buyers. If you have the financial resources to go ahead and move before you sell, that’s the best way to do it. You can get a “bridge” loan that will help you buy your next house, and then when you sell your current house you pay off all or part of the bridge loan. If you’re not in a position to get a bridge loan and you are living in the house when it goes up for sale, don’t be there when your house is shown – take a walk or go to the neighbors. Buyers want to be alone to bond with the house and imagine that it’s their house. Another tip is to negotiate with the buyer to have extra time after the close of the escrow to stay in the house so you have more time to move without feeling rushed.
Moving day – Your Realtor can help provide you with a list of movers. They come in every variety. You can get movers that move you a block or across the country. Movers can simply load your boxes and move them or they can help you sort, wrap, pack, move and unpack! The more the movers do, the less you do, but it can get costly. You’ll also need to call and cancel all the utilities (garbage, cable TV, internet, gas, electric & water). You also need to call your Insurance company and cancel you home insurance but may want to change it to a renter’s policy if you are occupying after close. Lastly, go on-line and do a change of address with the post office as well as all your magazines and newspaper.
If you use some of these tips hopefully your move won’t be too painful; and, if you think you are going to have an emotional attachment to your old house you may be surprised how quickly that goes away!