Cheryl Fleming, GRI, ABR's Blog
Moving is stressful at the best of times. But when you’re moving across the country rather than across town, it adds to the number of preparations you’ll need to make.
In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to best prepare for your long-distance move, whether it’s across the state, across the country, or to another country altogether.
Packing and moving
One of the biggest concerns you’ll have during a long distance move is the condition of your belongings.
If you’re using a moving company, you’ll want to make sure you trust them to handle your belongings with care. To ensure that they’re responsible movers, read over their reviews online. It’s also a good idea to review their contracts and to make sure you have enough insurance to cover any costly damages or losses. Speaking of moving companies, be sure to shop around to find out which one offers the best prices and delivery windows.
When it comes to packing your items, air on the side of caution and start boxing items well in advance of your move. Not only is it a good idea to label your boxes by room, but you should put your name and contact information on your boxes if they’re being shipped by a large moving company.
Remember that not everything needs to be in boxes. Soft items like clothing and towels can easily be packed in trash bags, suitcases, and duffel bags. You’ll be able to squeeze in more items and they’ll take up less space in the moving truck.
When filling the moving truck, be sure your fragile items aren’t the top box on a stack of boxes. Similarly, you don’t want fragile belongings underneath too many heavy boxes. Your movers likely have their own way of securing boxes, so be sure to indicate to them which boxes are the most fragile with labels.
Downsize your belongings
The month leading up to your move is a good time to sell or donate items you no longer use. It could save you space on the moving truck, and you could earn a few extra dollars before your big move.
Larger items should be your top priority. Bicycles, lawnmowers, and other big items that you’ve been thinking of replacing can be sold now and you can buy new ones at your future home. However, don’t discount the weight and size of things like DVD and book collections. Many people lug around bookcases from house to house and hardly ever touch the books on them. Furthermore, technology like Kindle and Netflix are making owning physical copies of your media less of a necessity.
Before you start packing the rest of your items into moving boxes, make sure you set aside a “survival kit” filled with your daily use items. Things like cell phone chargers, glasses and contacts, and sanitary items should be in your vehicle or carry on, not in the moving truck.
Moving is expensive, but there are a number of ways you can squeeze some savings out of the experience. First, take advantage of free boxes from local stores and restaurants. Then, ask for friends and family to help you pack rather than hiring professionals, offer them lunch in exchange for their help.
When it comes to getting to your new home, don’t rule out flying as being the most expensive option. Hotels, gas, and eating out add up quickly if you’re making a road trip out of your move.
Finally, see if your move is tax-deductible. If you’re relocating for work, there’s a chance some of your moving expenses will be. If so, be sure to keep all of your receipts along the way.
A home listing often introduces a homebuyer to a residence. It may include home photos, a brief home description and details about various home features and amenities. As such, an effective home listing is a must-have, particularly for a home seller who wants to stir up plenty of interest in a residence.
Ultimately, there are several best practices to consider when you create a home listing, and these include:
1. Provide Accurate Information
Learn about your home, and you can provide accurate information about your residence in your home listing.
If you're unsure about your home's condition, it often pays to complete a home appraisal. That way, a property appraiser can evaluate your residence both inside and out, identify any problem areas and offer a property valuation.
Furthermore, if you recently completed assorted home improvements, you should include information about these upgrades in your home listing.
Whether it's new windows that you installed throughout your residence or an updated home air conditioning system, including details about various home upgrades in your home listing could help your residence stand out to potential buyers.
2. Include High-Quality Photos
You don't need to be a professional photographer to capture high-quality photos of your house. In fact, many smartphones and tablets feature first-rate cameras, and you can use these mobile devices to take photos of your house's interior or exterior.
As you photograph your home, remember the homebuyer's perspective. For instance, a homebuyer likely wants to see photos of a clean, pristine kitchen and other awe-inspiring images of your house. If you clean and declutter your house before a photo shoot, you can increase the likelihood that your home photos will capture homebuyers' attention.
On the other hand, if you want professional assistance, you can always reach out to a real estate photographer as well. A real estate photographer can offer home photo recommendations and suggestions and help you capture photos that show off the true size and beauty of your residence.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent knows what it takes to craft an effective home listing. Therefore, if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you should have no trouble creating a home listing that hits the mark with homebuyers.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with you, learn about your home selling goals and plan accordingly. He or she then will use the information that you provide to develop an engaging home listing.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can seamlessly navigate the home selling journey too.
For instance, a real estate agent will host open houses and set up home showings to promote your residence to homebuyers. Plus, he or she will keep you up to date about any home offers and provide expert advice at each stage of the home selling journey.
Creating an effective home listing may seem difficult. Fortunately, if you use the aforementioned best practices, you can craft a home listing that can help you generate substantial interest in your residence.
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Making an offer on a home you’d love to buy is arguably the most stressful part of the buying process. You’ll be worrying about making the right offer, whether you’ve presented yourself in the best possible light, and just how much competition you’re up against.
Today we’re going to help you alleviate that anxiety by giving you the most common real estate offer mistakes to avoid, and show you how you can increase your chances of getting the perfect home for you.
1. Do your research on the house
You have a lot of research to do before making an offer on a home. You’ll want to know the price the home formerly sold for and improvements that have been made and that will need to be made if you move in.
It also helps to know the seller’s situation. Are they on a deadline and moving out-of-state? If so, they might be tempted to take one of the earlier offers they receive.
2. Know your own financial limits
Before you ever make an offer you’ll need to know how much you can spend. This isn’t just a matter of offering the maximum amount you’re preapproved for. You’ll have to factor in moving expenses, final payments on your last rent or mortgage, changes in utility costs, and more.
3. Don’t offer your full preapproval amount
Sellers who know that you’ve offered your maximum preapproval amount may be wary of selling since they know you lack room to negotiate your budget and therefore might have a higher chance of backing out of the offer. They might favor other buyers who have room to negotiate and account for unexpected changes in their budget or of rising interest rates.
4. Avoid aggressive negotiation
We know the stakes are high for everyone involved in making a real estate deal. However, sellers are more likely to accept the offer of someone they trust and like over someone who seems to be trying to gain leverage.
Always be cordial with your offers and support them with numbers--explain to the seller why you chose the number you did, so that they can understand your reasoning.
5. Don’t attempt to gain leverage by waiving a home inspection
By law, you are allowed to have a home professionally inspected before purchase. Waiving this right is sometimes misconstrued as a way to tell a seller that you trust them and don’t want to cause them any unnecessary headaches.
The reality of the matter is that if you truly do want to own their home, sellers understand that you want to know what you’re buying.
6. This isn’t the only house you can be happy in
Hunting for a home is hard work. Once you find one that seems perfect for you or your family, it can seem like everything depends on your offer being accepted.
However, the fact is there are endless houses on the market, and next week a new one could be put up for sale that is even better than the home you’re hoping for now.
If your offer isn’t accepted and you don’t feel comfortable committing to a higher price, move on to the next house knowing that you made the best decision under the circumstances.