Moving is one of those life events that fills you with a mixture of dread and excitement. If you’re looking to sell your home and relocate to pastures new, you may be approaching the next few months with trepidation, but there are ways of eliminating stress and increasing the chances of everything running smoothly. Here are some tips to help you transition from selling up to settling in.
Selling your home
If you’re preparing to relocate, and you’re ready to set the ball rolling, it’s wise to think about how you can present your property in the best way before you get any valuations from real estate agents. Even the simplest actions like painting a wall, mowing the lawn and adding some potted trees and planters to the porch can make a difference. You don’t have to spend a huge amount of time or money, but sprucing up your home a little before you have photographs taken and agents looking around is a great idea.
When it comes to choosing a realtor to represent you, look for agencies or individuals that have local knowledge and expertise and a proven track record. If you have neighbors that have sold up and moved recently, contact them and ask for recommendations and referrals. It’s a good idea to arrange for a few different companies to look around your house and provide a valuation. You can also chat about the services that are available and get to know the team more before you make a decision.
Images are vital in this day and age when many people make up their minds about a house simply by viewing online brochures and galleries. Try and choose a bright day to take photographs, use angles that make the rooms appear spacious and open, and remove any clutter.
If you have a viewing booked, clean and tidy up beforehand, use candles or room spray to add a pleasant scent, and remove traces of personalization, for example, family photos. Buyers often like to feel like they’re buying a blank canvas on which they can put their own stamp.
Finding the perfect new house
If you’re looking at potential new homes at the same time as selling your house, start by working out where you want to live and how much you have to spend. It’s wise to ensure you have an accurate budget in mind before you begin your search so that you don’t fall head over heels with a property that is out of your price range. Contact agents in your desired area, sign up for email alerts, and try and be open-minded unless you know exactly what you want. If you’re unsure about a property based on an online brochure, don’t rule it out if it appears to tick lots of boxes. Houses often look very different in the flesh, and the feel of a home is also incredibly important for most buyers.
If you do have a viewing booked, take your time to look around and use both your head and your heart. You need to make sure the property works on a practical level, but most people also want to feel that connection when they walk through the door. It’s worth evaluating the potential of a house if you love it, but it’s not quite perfect.
If it’s a little on the small side, for example, but there’s scope to extend, get some quotes and see if the numbers add up. If you are interested in a property, arrange more viewings. It’s essential that you’re 100% sure that you want to proceed before you make a decision. Be prepared to negotiate a deal if the house has been up for sale for a long time or you get wind of the owner being open to offers.
Moving without the stress
If you’ve managed to sell your home and find a new one, the next step is the move. Moving house is said to be one of the most stressful things you can do, but there are ways of making life easier. As soon as you have a date confirmed, start looking for agencies that offer the services you need to make your move, for example, companies that offer packing and unpacking or a specialist international or interstate removalist. Ask around for recommendations, and choose a firm that has positive reviews. Make some calls, get some quotes and make sure you specify a date if you aren’t flexible. Once you’ve booked a removal firm, you can start planning.
If you’ve chosen to pack your home up yourself, start tackling packing as soon as possible. If you have a loft or a basement, it’s usually a good idea to start here, as you’ll probably find that you won’t need the stuff you have stored before you move. At this point, decluttering is a fantastic idea, as there’s no point in taking things that you don’t want with you. Go through each room, setting aside piles of items you’d like to throw away or donate to charity.
When you’ve got rid of everything you don’t want to keep, you can start packing boxes of stuff you won’t use until you’re in your new home. If you’ve got a cloakroom full of winter clothes and it’s the middle of summer, for example, you can clear the room. As your moving date approaches, try and box up as much as you can, so that you have only the essentials left for the last few days. If you’ve got a big house or you have kids, ask friends and family to help out by babysitting while you pack or helping you fill and carry boxes. Make sure you label each box, as this will make unpacking much quicker and easier.
It can take a while for a new house to feel like home, but there are some steps you can take in advance to make settling in easier. Redirect your mail, arrange to get your broadband and TV package up and running and contact utility providers to ensure that everything is set up and ready for you. Keep an overnight bag with you and fill it with things you’ll need that first night in your new home.
You don’t want to be trawling through boxes trying to find pajamas or coffee cups when you’ve been lifting boxes and climbing up and down stairs all day. If you’re keen to get going on the unpacking as soon as possible, start with the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. You can tackle boxes that contain non-essentials as you go. To give your house a homely touch, put some photos up, buy some fresh flowers and add soft furnishings to bedrooms and living areas. As you get used to your new home, you can turn your attention to redecorating and putting your individual stamp on each room.
Are you thinking about moving house? If you’re looking forward to selling up, moving, and settling into a new home, there’s no doubt that the months to come will be busy. Selling, buying and moving can be stressful, but if you plan ahead, you’re clear about what you want and you’re willing to ask others to muck in, you may be pleasantly surprised. If you’ve got a moving date pinned down, hire a removalist with an excellent reputation, ask friends to lend a hand, and stagger your packing to save last-minute panics. Pack a bag of essentials, tackle the most important rooms first, and add some homely touches to make the house more welcoming and comfortable.