Moving can be stressful and chaotic, whether you’re moving in or moving out. One of the best ways to help reduce those unpleasant feelings is to have a plan in place. A little organization goes a long way towards making sure things run smoothly on the big day. Step one is to make sure you’ve pre-planned the important things and done as much as possible ahead of time. How can you accomplish that? Use this list of To Dos for buyers AND sellers and you’ll be one step closer to a smooth move.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
A pre-qualification gives you an idea of how much you can afford but PRE-APPROVAL requires documentation of your financial stability & credit history and you’ll receive something in writing from your bank that confirms you qualify for financing and may even lock in an interest rate for a period of time. If you’re pre-approved, sellers know you’re ready to buy.
Line Up Insurance
Lock in your insurance provider and plan so that you have coverage effective the day you take possession of the property.
Get in touch with the hydro, gas, internet and propane/oil companies to make sure service is transferred over to your name and new address.
Forward Your Mail
Stop by the post office or go online to get mail forwarded to your new address. It’s best to allow 2 weeks notice.
Arrange for Moving Help
Hire a moving company, rent a U-Haul or gather boxes and beg your friends for help. Keep in mind that rental places are busiest on the first and last days of the month when leases and rental periods often end.
Meet the Neighbours
Before you move in, take a walk through the neighbourhood, knock on a few doors and introduce yourself. You’ll make some new friends and that can be extra important in a rural or small town environment. It’s not a bad idea to do this before you make an offer on a place too – sometimes neighbours can give you the inside scoop on any property details that could be “make or break” for you.
Toss or Donate?
Before you’re even thinking about packing up, start figuring our what items to keep, what to toss out and what to donate. If you haven’t used it in the last year, there’s not much point in hanging on to it or taking it with you when you sell. Habitat For Humanity will pick up donated large items that are in good condition and there are lots of local organizations who would be happy to receive donations of gently worn clothing, household items, etc. Older adults, families merging households or anyone who is downsizing or dealing with an estate could consider hiring a service such as House’n Order to help manage this task.
Think Like a Buyer
It’s a trick of the trade: making the rooms in your house appear large and spacious goes a long way towards attracting buyers. Less is usually more. Try to declutter as much as possible so that potential buyers can envision themselves and their families in the space.
Do an Informal Inspection
Have a friend or relative walk through your home with fresh eyes and provide honest advice about fix-ups and to-dos. If you want to get ahead of any potential issues, get a professional home inspector to pre-inspect your property (it’ll cost you about $500) so that you’re in the know about any repairs that must be done and issues that buyers could potential use to barter your sale price down.
Tally Up Your Ongoing Expenses
Buyers need to know that they can afford everything if they were to purchase your property. When they’re getting ready to submit an offer, many buyers ask their agent to find out about the monthly/annual costs they’ll be assuming as the new owners of the property in question. You can get ahead of this and save everyone a step by having this info on hand before it is needed. Provide totals for hydro, gas/propane/heating oil, wood/pellets for a woodstove, municipal water and sewage, internet service and property tax as well as any other ongoing fees that may be required for the property.