The Moving Checklist You Didn’t Know You Needed

You’ve made an offer on a house and it’s been accepted. You’re under contract and it’s 30 days before you close on your new home. Talk about it officially being crunch time! You have right at four weeks before you need to be packed, loaded, and ready to accept the keys to your new place.

During the hustle and bustle of getting everything done, it can be super easy to forget little things that you need to take care of. For example, does your favorite toothbrush need to be packed away just yet, ready for the big day? No, but that address change does need to be submitted to your local post office to ensure your mail gets forwarded.

In the chaos and excitement of your big move, it’s okay to feel a little overstimulated. It’s normal to feel like you’re forgetting something no matter how many notes you make for yourself. Major things are happening! And settling in at your new home is something to look forward to and cherish.

To help you get in the perfect groove to move, try tackling a little bit each day. You don’t have to attempt to get everything packed and ready to go in the span of one night, or even one weekend. This checklist is the moving checklist you never knew you needed!

Week 1: Tasks That are Easy to Knock Out

Congratulations! By now you’ve officially received confirmation that you’re under contract. This is when things begin to get serious. During this first week, you’ll likely feel an influx of emotions that range from nervous to excited, happy, and stressed. That’s completely normal.

Here are five easy to handle tasks that need to be done before the big day. They’re things that won’t leave you in a bind or feeling rushed but will make a big impact on getting you to closing day.

  1. Purchase Your Packing Supplies. This includes boxes, bins, tape, bubble wrap, newspaper, etc.
  2. Make a list of everything you’ll be moving (yes, include furniture, kitchenware, and the small things).
  3. Start decluttering by getting rid of, donating, or gifting items you won’t be taking with you in the move. You could even plan a garage sale for the weekend.
  4. Research moving companies and contact them to get quotes, time frames, and an updated list of things that can’t be moved without extra care (pianos, aerosol cans, appliances).
  5. Set a moving budget and determine if your savings will cover everything.

Week 2: Duties Are Getting Serious

This is the week where you’ll really start feeling some pressure to kick things into action. It’s a good time to start packing items that you don’t use frequently. These can be items such as books and seasonal decorations.

During this week, you’ll want to start looking at and scheduling things like switching the utilities over, transferring insurance policies, and the finer details.

Five important items that you can get started on are:

  1. Notify your work, and schools if you have kids, about your move.
  2. Request any personal records that you may need to take with you and have handy in the future (medical records, school records, birth certificates).
  3. Alert your bank, credit cards, and any monthly subscriptions of your address change (don’t forget your internet provider).
  4. Request time off work for your closing date.
  5. Address and deal with any repairs or concerns that need to be handled before you move out of your current home.

Week 3: You’re Almost at the Finish Line

Things are getting electrifying as your moving day gets closer and closer! You’re halfway through the race to your new place, and it’s time to start packing seriously and confirming the dates of everything you’ve been preparing for.

This week, it can be helpful to finish packing away any nonessentials and start boxing up clothes, smaller furniture, and items that you can get by without using within the next 7-14 days.

Tasks that can help the process flow smoothly are:

  1. Compile appliance manuals or warranties for the homeowner that may be moving in after you leave.
  2. Meal prep for a full week to save on the cost of eating out during your final week before the move.
  3. Return any borrowed items from friends, family, and neighbors.
  4. Contact a professional cleaning company.
  5. If you have a furry friend, make sure you have plenty of food and some toys to keep them occupied. It can help to look at potentially having a friend or somebody in the family take care of your pet during the first few days of moving. Moving can be stressful for humans, but it can be even more difficult for your pet family.

Week 4: Welcome Home!

One week to go and you’ll be living it up at your new address! Now’s the time to triple check everything and make sure nothing has been missed while packing. Be extra kind to yourself in the next few days, as things may feel a little overwhelming.

In the final days at your current residence, say your farewells to any neighbors and take the time to enjoy your last few nights there. Take a few photos for memory and pack up any remaining items that you’ve left out.

Final tasks before you say goodbye include:

  1. Clean out the refrigerator and freezer 24-48 hours before moving day, and allow it to defrost.
  2. Check and keep an eye on the weather in case of unexpected storms that may delay things a bit.
  3. Put together an emergency contact list for electricians, plumbers, and service technicians in the area you’re moving to.
  4. Cut the grass and clean any exterior furniture that you’ll be leaving behind or movers will need to carry.
  5. Do one final walk-through and be sure to cut off any lights before locking up.

You can finally head to the closing table to sign any paperwork needed and collect your new keys!

Do you have questions about moving or need help finding the perfect home? Contact me today to find out how I can help make the home buying process a seamless experience.

Agent Maralee


Preparing Your Home For The Market

Deciding to put your house up for sale can be a difficult decision to make. It can feel both scary and exciting. When you’re ready, investing some time to declutter and make small repairs can be beneficial and help you get your home market-ready.

All sellers want their homes to do well when it hits the market, and speaking with a professional real estate agent is the first step to getting ready. They can help you determine what exactly needs to be done before you sign a listing agreement and put that for sale sign in the yard.

To help you get ahead of the game, let’s review 5 easy ways you can prep your home when you’re getting ready to sell it.

1. Organize and Purge Your Space

Home buyers love seeing a place that shows off how much space is available in a house. Kitchens, bathrooms, and storage space are often selling points in homes, and clean, organized areas can stand out.
For example, buyers look at the following when viewing a home:

  • How big of a kitchen they’ll have to cook meals in.
  • How nice the bathroom is.
  • How much closet space they’ll have for their necessities.

These things can help a buyer decide on whether they submit an offer or choose to look at other properties.

Cleaning up and decluttering can make a huge impression on buyers. To make things easy, try starting with your closets and cabinets by getting rid of, selling, or donating items that are old, out of date, or are things that you no longer need.

The slightest improvement to these areas can help you tidy things up as well as ease any anxiety you may be feeling about putting your home on the market. From there, work outwards towards the rest of the space in your home. Aim for your living room, garage, and any open spaces where you can eliminate clutter.

During this process, it can be beneficial to invest in storage bins, baskets, or cubbies that can be easily tucked away or stacked neatly. Not only can this help make an impression on buyers, but when a professional real estate photographer comes to capture the beauty of the home it’ll show in the pictures.

One additional benefit is that decluttering can also assist you with packing when it comes time to move.

2. Identify Needed Repairs and Get Estimates for Fixing Them

Believe it or not, a fresh coat of paint doesn’t always equate to being a ‘home improvement’. In the mindset of ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’, painting isn’t always a necessity.

Depending on the current market and your specific situation, your REALTOR® may tell you not to worry about painting before listing the place. This is because many homebuyers have specific colors, shades, or hues that they’re dreaming of when they look at a home. They may paint over the colors that are currently there as soon as they close on the property, which can defeat the purpose of you putting in all of that hard work in the first place.

The best rule of thumb is that if you want to touch up some areas, that’s fine, but if it’s not desperately in need of a paint job then you can save yourself time and money.

Hinging on your time and ability to do so, making everyday or major repairs isn’t always something you need to do before selling your home. Cost-efficient and quick fixes that may benefit viewings once your home is listed include:

  • Changing out dim or dull lightbulbs
  • Pressure wash the siding of your home, garage doors, and porches
  • Patch small holes or cracks in walls and ceiling

For major repairs, you may not want to or be able to fix them right away, but you can get estimates on the cost of fixing them for potential buyers. This can help home buyers with seeing the potential in the home, and some may want to handle the repairs themselves.

Potential issues to check for are:

  • Leaky Faucets
  • Test all appliances to see if any aren’t fully operational
  • Faulty electrical outlets
  • Wear and tear on shingles
  • Standing water in attic spaces and crawlspaces

Making any repairs is entirely your choice. When you list a property, you can always choose to sell the place as is, but small things that are easy to fix can help market your home.

When a good offer comes in, there will likely be a negotiation period to address concerns and discuss potential repairs following an inspection. Your real estate agent can assist you with deciding how to negotiate.

3. Utilize Your Green Thumb in the Yard

Everybody loves a green yard. It’s the first thing you notice when you pull into a driveway and the last thing you see when you leave. You may not be a magician when it comes to plants and bushes, but you don’t have to be to get your yard market-ready.

As you’re getting your house ready to list, completing simple tasks such as mowing the grass, trimming back hedges, and getting rid of any weeds or adding fresh mulch can make a big impact.

The yard helps highlight the house. It accentuates the place by making that important first impression, and home buyers will notice a home more if the yard is tidy and well kept.

You don’t need a professional landscaper to come in and completely redo everything, but if you have the ability to plant a few colorful flowers, it can really help make the small details pop.

Bonus Tip: Check for Warranties

Depending on how long you’ve had your appliances, it can make a home buyer feel like you’ve gone the extra mile if you’ve compiled any warranties for appliances you’re considering leaving behind. If you’ve had any roof repairs, landscaping, foundation, or general construction done on or in the home within the last few years, you might also find that those services are still under warranty.

Want more tips on how to get your home ready to put on the market? Give me a call today and we’ll discuss what you can do to prepare.

Agent Maralee – (706)-498-0943

3 Rooms Buyers Pay The Most Attention To

Putting your house on the market can be nerve-wracking. It’s a big step in the right direction towards major change. While it can leave you feeling a little anxious, it can also be filled with excitement for the next chapter as a homeowner.

When you get ready to talk with a real estate agent about putting your house up for sale, knowing what buyers are looking for can make a world of difference in helping you prepare.

Things like a tidy space can definitely make an impression on buyers when they view the property, just as much as a well-kept yard can. However, many homebuyers look at homes with the mindset that they’ll change the aesthetics of a living space to meet their desires as a homeowner.

What a lot of buyers are looking for when they view homes are:

  1. How much space is available
  2. What kinds of repairs need to be done
  3. What’s the curb appeal of the home
  4. Where’s the property located

In addition to these things, here’s a fun fact: buyers prioritize three rooms over the rest of a house when looking. Can you guess what they are? It may seem like pretty easy answers, but the results might surprise you.

1. Kitchen Galore

A key component of any home is a functioning kitchen. It doesn’t have to be picture perfect, but having a nice space to prepare home-cooked meals is a perk. 73% of homeowners enjoy cooking in their kitchen because it provides them with a sense of accomplishment.

This could be one of the many reasons why the kitchen space is one of the first rooms in a home that buyers look at, but it’s definitely not the only reason.

Whether you’re single, married, have kids, or don’t have kids – the whole shebang – cooking at home is a great way to save money, eat healthy, and test out your master chef skills. The kitchen is often one of the most utilized rooms in a home, often being visited more frequently than bedrooms and bathrooms combined.

Home buyers look for a nice kitchen when hunting for their dream house because most of us spend a lot of time there. It’s a comfortable setting and the home base for many nights of entertainment, fun, and dining.

2. Primary Bathroom

Every buyer checks out the primary bathroom when they’re viewing a home. It’s a place of comfort and safety, the one place we all unwind. Often, the bathroom is where most of us begin and end our day. It’s a space of cleanliness, relaxation, and one of the biggest deal makers when buyers are looking at homes.

As odd as it sounds, the primary bathroom in a home is the place that sort of sees everything. This is why it’s such a key player in buyers making their decision whether or not to make an offer on a property.

3. Pantry and Storage Space

While the number of bedrooms in a home, and the primary bedroom can play a huge part in a buyer’s ultimate decision, storage space actually plays a more important role. The pantry isn’t always a separate room in a home, but it is commonly a closet space where we keep the essentials.

Home buyers pay close attention to how much room they’ll have to store items they don’t consider everyday necessities, and how well they can use that space to organize items to keep the main rooms of the home tidy.

How Can I Use These Rooms to Market My Home?

As you prepare to list your home, the best way to highlight these rooms for potential home buyers is by keeping them clean.

Most buyers recognize and understand that homes they’re looking at are often currently lived in, so don’t feel an overwhelming sense of pressure to deep clean every aspect of the space before a showing.

However, it can be beneficial to do things such as going through your kitchen and bathroom to store away items you don’t use daily. Try to get rid of outdated foods, donate items you no longer use and declutter a little bit.

This can make your space stand out more when an agent shows the property, and it can also help you start the process of organizing and packing for the big day when your house sells.

Do you have questions about your home’s equity, how to best get ready to list it, or want to better understand what’s going on in today’s real estate market? Contact me today and let’s chat.

How Professional Photography Can Make Your Home Stand Out on the Market

Real estate photographers are more than your run-of-the-mill photography gurus. They’re experts that’ve honed their skills to provide you with high-dynamic media that will optimize the way a home can be promoted across all social media platforms.

What many people may not realize is that real estate photographers do more than stand behind a camera and click a button. They focus on perfecting each angle, use natural lighting to their benefit, and spend hours behind the computer working with editing software to perfect the results.

The goal isn’t to adjust and alter an image so that it misguides or takes away from the natural beauty of a property, but to enunciate the things that make a home so perfect. From HDR images to virtual tours, real estate photographers encompass many hidden talents behind the lens.

When your REALTOR® recommends scheduling a professional photographer to come out before putting your home on the market, you can mark that off your checklist of marketing expertise.

When your REALTOR® recommends scheduling a professional photographer to come out before putting your home on the market, you can mark that off your checklist of marketing expertise.

By having a professional real estate photographer on call it can benefit you by:

  • Increasing the likelihood of receiving offers right away (research shows listed homes using professional photography sell almost 50% faster than homes marketed with poor imagery).
  • Consistency in showing off the areas of your home that will draw in the attention of buyers.
  • Triple the marketing material available (we’re talking more than 2D images. Think bigger, virtual tours, aerial footage, floor plans, and more).

The reality is that we’re living in a digitally run world. When you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, you need an expert in all things SEO content, visualization, and media play.

Consider this when looking at the best ways to market your home – over 80% of home buyers won’t think about viewing a property that doesn’t have listing photos. That means that without visual media showing them what a place looks like, they won’t take the time to even contemplate making an appointment, much less making an offer.

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported that 87% of home buyers rely on photos and digital media to help make decisions on whether they want to view a home. That only leaves you with 13% of home buyers that may or may not schedule an appointment to check out your property regardless of what they can find online.

The days of using newspapers and magazines to promote a listing are outdated. While putting ads in local papers can reach a different demographic, visual media and social media are leading the way for the future of real estate.

Most home buyers rely on social media platforms to bring them the latest updates on the local real estate industry. The convenience of shopping for a home from the comfort of a phone/computer has forever changed how homes are marketed and advertised.

I’ll leave you with one final perk of using a professional real estate photographer when you’re preparing to list your home. High-quality images and visual media allow real estate agents to efficiently and successfully advertise your property to home buyers all over the world. It breaks down the barriers of reaching buyers that might be relocating and otherwise not see your home is up for sale. This only further increases your chances of selling.

If you’re considering putting your home on the market, give me a call. I’d love to talk with you about how I’ve teamed up with leading photography experts such as Greyroom Industry to bring my clients the best opportunities for visual aid advertisement.

I’ve found that their team of photographers produce consistent results, are detail oriented, and always go above and beyond to show off the highlights of each unique property.