Selling a home requires a lot of decisions and a lot of work. If you are a homeowner looking to make your next move, then you know just how complicated moving to a new home can be. It should be no surprise that moving is considered one of life’s most stressful experiences. However, planning and forethought can help reduce the amount of stress involved. This article explains four key ways to help you do just that.
1. Prepare Your Current Home
Before your home is listed for sale with a real estate agent, it is important to ensure it looks its best. Walking around all areas of your home with a critical eye is a good start. It’s easy to overlook areas of wear and age when you’ve lived in a home for a long time. Experts agree that repainting old walls, shampooing carpets, and hiring a professional cleaning crew are simple, low-cost ways to inject new life into your space. Taking the time to undertake small DIY projects and make minor updates can help you net more money and reduce the time spent negotiating during the inspection contingency period.
Next, ask your most honest friend or your REALTOR to appraise your home’s curb appeal. Homes are not that different from people—first impressions matter. A fantastic first impression can pull buyers in and help them view your space more positively. Taking the time to weed flower beds, adding new life to your garden, or pressure washing your home’s exterior can impact your home’s time on the market and increase your net profit.
2. Consult the Market (and Price Accordingly)
If you look around the internet, you will find plenty of tips on researching housing prices in your area. While a REALTOR can help by providing a comparative market analysis (CMA) and a professional opinion, the ultimate job of pricing your home is yours. If you take the time to search for similar properties in your area, you will be armed with a better understanding of how to price competitively. Beyond looking online, you may also want to attend open houses or ask your REALTOR to show you the competition in person. Homes can look vastly different online than they do in reality, and as buyers will see the homes in person, you should too. Having expert knowledge of the local competition will also help you justify your price during negotiations.
3. Decide On Your Next Home
Once you have secured and accepted an offer on your property, it is time to start thinking about your next move. It’s a good idea to start with a wish list in hand, but it’s also important to recognize that the final sales price of your current home may impact your budget for your next home.
When considering your next move, start with the non-negotiables. That might be the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, neighborhood, commute time, or school district. Second, make a list of wants. What things would be nice to have but aren’t necessarily deal breakers for you? For example, you may want to be within walking district of your favorite restaurant, or perhaps you dream of building in one of your area’s luxury gated communities, or maybe you dream of a home with a pool. While price will always be a factor, lifestyle is what buying a home is all about.
4. Plan Your Move Early
Finally, the importance of planning your move cannot be underestimated. It makes sense to compare multiple moving companies and the pros and cons of doing it yourself.
Price should not be the sole deciding factor when picking a moving company. Reputation, insurance, and availability should all be weighed equally with the price. You can ask your current or new neighbors who they used and if they would use the same company again. If that’s not an option for you, customer reviews of moving companies can be found online. Sites like Trustpilot or Angie’s List provide a quick and easy way of searching for customer experiences with different moving companies.
Most experts recommend that homeowners start packing well before it’s time to move. Seasonal items and the dusty appliances in the back of your kitchen can be boxed up first and in fact, will help reduce the amount of clutter in your home, making it more attractive to prospective buyers. One final tip? When it’s time to box up, mark all your boxes on at least two sides with the name of the room they are intended for and a brief description of what they contain. It’s really the little things you do in advance that can make a big difference in reducing the amount of stress you experience during the moving process.