Posted on May 11, 2011
Moving Day is such an exciting time when buying a new home, but it can be stressful too. I have put together this list in an effort to help you focus on what needs to get done in the event that things become crazy leading up to the big day. Here are some things* to remember to do to make your move a bit less stressful and worry-free (I hope):
- Contact the utility companies – make sure that the gas/oil, electricity, cable and any other utility services have all been transferred into your name at the new house. At the same time, make sure you cut off service for those utilities at the home you are leaving.
- Complete a change of address form at your post office – this is a crucial step so that you can rest assured that your mail will be forwarded to your new home.
- Confirm school enrollment/information for your children – if you are moving to a new town, and your kids will be attending the public school in your new town, make sure that they are properly enrolled and that the school(s) have all of your up-to-date information. Even if you are moving within your town/area, make sure that the schools have your new contact information.
- Take final measurements – take any last minute measurements of spaces in your new home to confirm that your furniture fits in just the right spot.
- Reserve a safe place for important documents and items – this is especially important during a move when things have a tendency to get rather chaotic. Put your passports, birth certificates, medications, etc., in a designated place so they don’t get lost in the move. In fact, I might put them in my purse or briefcase so they are “on my person,” as they say, rather than on a moving truck.
- Confirm your moving logistics with the moving company – by this time, you will have hired a mover so check in with the company to confirm the arrival time on moving day and any other logistics.
- Find a babysitter or family member to watch your children – if you have younger kids, you may want to do this and/or schedule play dates so that the children are cared for during the closing and first hours of the move. This will help you focus on the task at hand.
- Schedule your walk through – ask your buyer’s agent to schedule a walk through of your new home the day before or morning of your closing. During the walk through, you want to make sure that everything has been removed from the property and that any inspection items have been repaired or resolved.
- Review the HUD-1 Settlement Statement with your real estate attorney – the HUD-1 Settlement Statement is usually available to review with your attorney the day before the closing. You can also wait to review it with your attorney at the closing, but many like to go over it in advance of the big day.
- Send out change of address cards – make sure all of your friends and family know about your move and your new address and phone number. It’s a fun way to reach out to and connect with your loved ones and share the exciting news. Congratulations on your new home!
I think that pretty well covers it…. Are there any other things you did just prior to moving day that you would add to the checklist? I can’t wait to hear….
* This list does not include the packing of items and furniture and the determination of what is being given to goodwill or other family members, thrown away, potentially sold at a yard sale or to a consignment shop and/or moved to the new house as these efforts are part of the overall and ongoing moving out process.
Posted on January 19, 2011
I was with a buyer client last week, and we were touring a house that had not necessarily been lovingly well-maintained and was full of “stuff,” for lack of a better word. After taking in the state of the home’s interior, she asked me if she were to buy the house would it be clean. In response to her question, I promptly mentioned the term, “Broom Clean,” which is the condition in which sellers are required to leave their homes when the closing takes place.
It is clearly stated in the Purchase and Sale (P&S) Agreement – which is generally signed two weeks after the offer has been accepted and within which time the home inspection has taken place – that “the Seller shall deliver possession of the Premises in broom clean condition, free of all debris, personal effects and other tangible items which are not sold to Buyer or left on the Premises with Buyer’s prior written permission.” I just took this language verbatim from one of my recent P&S agreements, but as I read it over, it sounds pretty general to me – in other words, open to interpretation. And this is exactly what happens, which is what I then said to my client. Some sellers take the concept of “broom clean” to an extreme. Not only do they remove everything from the premises, but they hire cleaners to clean every surface, cabinet, drawer, etc. If you are buying this particular seller’s house, then it is your lucky day.
What tends to happen most of the time, however, is that the sellers remove their items – or the majority of them – but don’t do a deep clean of the interior. And so I usually find that my buyer clients either do the deep clean themselves or they hire someone to do it. And then other times, there are sellers who do not remove everything thinking that some items “go with the house” especially since those items were there when they bought the house. Some of these items* might be extra floor tiles, leftover wallpaper segments or carpet remnants. This is why the walk-through is essential. The walk-through usually takes place the day before or the morning of the closing; in essence, whenever the seller has moved out. This is the buyer’s chance to tour the property and make sure the premises are in “broom clean” condition. If the property is not in “broom clean” condition, then the seller needs to remedy the situation, which can mean multiple trips to the dump with car loads of boxes, small rugs, doormats, mirrors and more.
The bottom line is that it all usually works out in the long-run, but the term “broom clean” is subjective enough that sometimes it can throw a curveball into the closing process at the last minute. Has anything like this happened to you when you have bought or sold? I can’t wait to hear….
*Paint is another item but because it is considered a hazardous waste, the buyers and sellers generally have a conversation about what to do with the non-empty paint cans prior to the closing. Some buyers want the paint cans to stay so they can do touch-up painting; others do not.