Prepare to move out of your home
Congratulations! You’ve put your home up for sale and received an offer that meets your requirements. Now what? The buyer has started their due diligence. Along with following up on that buyer due diligence you have another important task: preparing to move you and your family out of the house.
This can be both a very stressful and very joyful time. If you have already purchased a new home or have signed a rental lease, things will be a bit less stressful. If you have been unsuccessful in finding a new place to live, it’s time to get serious with the search. If you are considering buying, but can’t find the right place, consider a short term rental. You might even find a seller who has already moved out that is willing to rent their home while it is for sale, if you are willing to be flexible with showings and are able to keep the house in top showing condition.
Assuming you do have another place, then here are some tips for getting ready for moving day:
Don’t jump the gun: If your buyer has several contingencies you may want to hold off on putting deposits down on moving trucks, for example, until after the initial inspection. This is going to depend a lot on timing, so your best bet is to avoid committing to large expenses where you can’t get your money back if the sale is delayed or does not close.
Host a yard or garage sale: Depending on how much de-cluttering you did before putting your home up for sale, it may be time for another attempt to get rid of ‘stuff’. The less stuff you have to move, the less it will cost to move it. Depending on your new place, your current furniture may not fit or may not be the right style. Host a garage sale or donate unwanted items to a charity.
Start packing early: Start packing early and take your time. This process will prove much less stressful if you are not in a rush. Start with items that you use infrequently or won’t be using for a while, such as seasonal clothing, holiday decorations, the fine china, etc. Starting early will also help keep you organized and give you time to acquire extra packing materials should you run out. Leave out your coffeemaker and other daily use items as long as possible. Pack them up at the last minute and mark the boxes clearly. Then you can unpack them first when you get to your new place.
Keep up the maintenance: Don’t forget that you are expected to keep your home in the same condition as when the buyer put in their offer. Be sure to keep the lawn mowed and to repair any damage that might occur during your move. Pay the premium to keep your home insurance active until closing in case of an unexpected major catastrophe.
Don’t take the curtains: Be aware of what is considered a fixture in the home and is expected to remain. Outdoor plants, built in furniture and even curtains and blinds are all expected to remain with the home when you leave, unless you specifically outlined your plan to take these items as part of the sales contract.
Host a party: Don’t forget to say good-bye to your neighbors and friends who live nearby. This is especially important if you are moving further away. Plan a barbeque or an evening out for a final open house. If things are going smoothly with the sales transaction and all contingencies are satisfied, you might even consider inviting the new owners.