Buying/Selling Tips

Moving tips - before you leave your present address:

Eight weeks before

  1. Remove unnecessary items from your attic, basement,storage shed, etc. Use things you can't move, such as frozen foods and cleaning supplies.
  2. Obtain information about your new community.
  3. Secure a floor plan of your new residence cland decide what household items you want to keep.
  4. Start a possessions inventory.
  5. Solicit estimates from at least three moving companies.
  6. Call your homeowners insurance agent to find out to what degree your move is covered.
  7. Create a file for documenting all moving papers and receipts.
  8. Arrange to transfer your children's school records.

Six weeks before

  1. Contact the IRS and/or your CPA for tax-deductible information.
  2. Evaluate your possessions inventory. Can you donate anything? Do you need it all?
  3. Notify your friends, relatives, professionals, creditors, subscriptions, etc.
  4. Subscribe to a local paper in your new community and familiarize yourself with local government, community and social news and activities.
  5. Begin the off-site storage process (if applicable).
  6. Locate high-quality health-care professionals and hospitals in your new location..
  7. Complete post-office change of address cards for the following: banks; charge cards; religious organizations; doctors/dentist; relatives and friends; income tax bureau/Social Security Administration/union; insurance broker/lawyer/CPA/ stockbroker; magazines; post office; and schools.
  8. Clean your closets.
  9. Hold a moving/garage sale or donate items to charities.
  10. Choose a mover. Contact your mover to make arrangements and inquire about insurance coverage.
  11. relocating due to a job, contact your employer to see what costs, if any, they will cover.

Four weeks before

  1. Start packing!
  2. Send furniture, drapes and carpets for repair/cleaning as needed.
  3. Gather auto licensing and registration documents, medical, dental and school records, birth certificates, wills, deeds, stock and other financial documentation, etc.
  4. Contact gas, electric, oil, water, telephone, cable TV and trash collection companies for service disconnect /connect at your old and new addresses. Also ask for and ask for final readings.
  5. Request refunds on unused homeowner's insurance, security deposit with landlord, and prepaid cable service.
  6. Notify your gardener, snow removal service and pool service (if applicable).
  7. Complete post-office change of address cards for the following: banks; charge cards; religious organizations; doctors/dentist; relatives and friends; income tax bureau/Social Security Administration/union; insurance broker/lawyer/CPA/ stockbroker; magazines; post office; and schools.

Three weeks before

  1. Make your travel plans.
  2. Arrange to close current bank accounts and open accounts in your new locale (if necessary).
  3. Notify your state's motor vehicle bureau of your new address.
  4. Arrange for childcare on moving day.

Two weeks before

  1. Arrange special transport for your pets and plants.
  2. Service your car for the trip.
  3. Contact your moving company and review arrangements for your move.

One week before

  1. Prepare detailed directions and an itinerary with emergency numbers for your moving company.
  2. Settle outstanding bills with local retailers. Pick up dry cleaning, and return library books and rented videotapes.
  3. Take pets to the veterinarian and get copies of their records.
  4. Drain gas and oil from power equipment.
  5. Give away plants not being moved.
  6. Cancel newspaper delivery.
  7. Buy two-weeks worth of medication and have your prescriptions forwarded to your new pharmacy.
  8. Buy traveler's checks.
  9. Make arrangements to pay for your move.

Two to three days before

  1. If you're not doing it yourself, have your mover pack.
  2. Defrost refrigerators and freezers.
  3. Consider gathering all valuables and giving them to family or friends to hold until the move is completed.
  4. Disconnect all major appliances.
  5. Contact your moving company for any updates.
  6. Pack first-night items and a survival kit. Keep them in separate boxes in your car. First night items may include: sheets, towels, toiletries, phone, alarm clock, change of clothes and flashlight.
  7. Mover's survival kit may include: scissors, utility knife, coffee cups, instant coffee/tea or a coffee maker, water and soft drinks, snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, paper towels, toilet paper, soap, pencils and paper, local phone book, masking and/or duct tape, trash bags, shelf liner and aspirin or ibuprofen.

Moving day

  1. Be home to answer any questions your mover may have.
  2. Record all utility meter readings (gas, electric and water).
  3. Stay until your movers are finished.
  4. Complete information on the bill and carefully read the document and the inventory sheet before signing it.
  5. Keep your copies of the bill and inventory until your possessions are delivered, the charges are paid and any claims are settled.
  6. Take one final look around to see if you forgot anything.
  7. Give movers the directions to your new home, and an emergency number where you can be reached during the move.

At destination

  1. Unpack first-night items and mover's survival kit.
  2. Be at the destination to welcome the movers and be on hand to answer any questions.
  3. After the job is completed, pay what is owed. The driver is obligated by law (a federal requirement for interstate moves) to collect payment upon delivery.
  4. Scrutinize the unloading of your items and account for each one on your inventory sheet. Check promptly and carefully for any damaged or missing items.
  5. Place moving and other important documents in a safe place.
  6. Go to the post office and collect held mail.

Home Selling Tips

If you're thinking of selling your home, keep in mind that buyers appreciate a clean look in the homes they view. You can increase the value of your home and decrease the time it takes to sell by making a few simple improvements.
Aroma is the first thing prospective buyers notice when they step inside a home. To eliminate odors, steam clean your carpet and wash walls and floors with household cleaners and disinfectants. Keep your home smelling fresh by burning candles or potpourri, boiling a pot of cinnamon sticks or putting a dab of vanilla on cold light bulbs before turning them on.

Nothing makes a home look newer faster than painting. Painting your walls and removing outdated wallpaper may be the best interior improvements you can make. For broader appeal, paint in neutral colors such as beige, white, off-white, or gray. These colors suggest newness and cleanliness and can brighten a dull or outdated room. If your carpet is badly worn, outdated or stained, consider replacing it. If your carpet is heavily soiled, you may want to have it professionally cleaned. Brighten the interior of your home by cleaning your windows and opening your curtains to let light in. Clean hanging light fixtures and add the highest-wattage bulbs allowed. Below are 20 suggestions to help you sell your home.

Make the Most of that First Impression

If you're thinking of selling your home, keep in mind that buyers appreciate a clean look in the homes they view. You can increase the value of your home and decrease the time it takes to sell by making a few simple improvements.
Aroma is the first thing prospective buyers notice when they step inside a home. To eliminate odors, steam clean your carpet and wash walls and floors with household cleaners and disinfectants. Keep your home smelling fresh by burning candles or potpourri, boiling a pot of cinnamon sticks or putting a dab of vanilla on cold light bulbs before turning them on.

Nothing makes a home look newer faster than painting. Painting your walls and removing outdated wallpaper may be the best interior improvements you can make. For broader appeal, paint in neutral colors such as beige, white, off-white, or gray. These colors suggest newness and cleanliness and can brighten a dull or outdated room. If your carpet is badly worn, outdated or stained, consider replacing it. If your carpet is heavily soiled, you may want to have it professionally cleaned. Brighten the interior of your home by cleaning your windows and opening your curtains to let light in. Clean hanging light fixtures and add the highest-wattage bulbs allowed. Below are 20 suggestions to help you sell your home.

Invest a Few Hours for Future Dividends

Here's your chance to clean up in real estate. Clean up in the living room, the bathroom, the kitchen. If your woodwork is scuffed or the paint is fading, consider some minor redecoration. Fresh wallpaper adds charm and value to your property. Prospects would rather see how great your home really looks than hear how great it could look, "with a little work."

Check Faucets and Bulbs

Dripping water rattles the nerves, discolors sinks and suggests faulty or worn-out plumbing. Burned out bulbs leave prospects in the dark. Don't let little problems detract from what's right with your home.

Don't Shut Out a Sale

If cabinets or closet doors stick in your home, you can be sure they will also stick in a prospect's mind. Don't try to explain away sticky situations when you can easily plane them away. A little effort on your part can smooth the way toward a closing.

Think Safety

Homeowners learn to live with all kinds of self-set booby traps: roller skates on the stairs, festooned extension cords, slippery throw rugs and low hanging overhead lights. Make your residence as non-perilous as possible for uninitiated visitors.

Make Room for Space

Remember, potential buyers are looking for more than just comfortable living space. They're looking for storage space, too. Make sure your attic and basement are clean and free of unnecessary items.

Consider Your Closets

The better organized a closet, the larger it appears. Now's the time to box up those unwanted clothes and donate them to charity.

Open up in the Daytime

Let the sun shine in! Pull back your curtains and drapes so prospects can see how bright and cheery your home is.

Lighten up at Night

Turn on the excitement by turning on all your lights - both inside and outside - when showing your home in the evening. Lights add color and warmth, and make prospects feel welcome.

Avoid Crowd Scenes

Potential buyers often feel like intruders when they enter a home filled with people. Rather than giving your house the attention it deserves, they're likely to hurry through. Keep the company present to a minimum.

Watch Your Pets

Dogs and cats are great companions, but not when you're showing your home. Pets have a talent for getting underfoot. So do everybody a favor: Keep Kitty and Spot outside, or at least out of the way.

Think Volume

Rock-and-roll will never die. But it might kill a real estate transaction. When it's time to show your home, it's time to turn down the stereo or TV.

Relax

Be friendly, but don't try to force conversation. Prospects want to view your home with a minimum of distraction.

Don't Apologize

No matter how humble your abode, never apologize for its shortcomings. If a prospect volunteers a derogatory comment about your home's appearance, let an experienced Real Estate Agent handle the situation.

Keep a Low Profile

Nobody knows your home as well as you do. But a Real Estate Agent know buyers - what they need and what they want. Your Real Estate Agent will have an easier time articulating the virtues of your home if you stay in the background.

Don't Turn Your Home into a Second-Hand Store

When prospects come to view your home, don't distract them with offers to sell those furnishings you no longer need. You may lose the biggest sale of all.

Defer to Experience

When prospects want to talk price, terms, or other real estate matters, let them speak to an expert - your Real Estate Agent.

Help Your Agent

Your Real Estate Agent will have an easier time selling your home if showings are scheduled through his or her office. Offer to keep an eye on the brochure box attached to your sign and make sure it is always filled with flyers. Try to accommodate prospective buyers when they want to see your home.