Last month, I shared tips for getting your home ready for the housing market. In this post, I'm highlighting more ways to help ease the stress with the move-out and move-in.
Moving Your Stuff
Soon after landing a contract on your home and/or signing a contract to buy a home, it's important to decide the manner in which you plan to move your belongings. If you have a lot of items, I highly recommend hiring a moving company to alleviate the stress. (You can also hire companies to pack up your house.) If you have a manageable amount of stuff, perhaps you can move them yourself by simply renting a moving truck and buying a padlock. Depending on the timing of things, you may want to consider a storage unit or PODS.
If you decide to hire a moving company, it's good to get a couple of estimates beforehand. Generally, moving companies operate one of two ways 1) charge per hour based on the number of movers you hire per hour; 2) charge a flat rate (based on an onsite estimate). There may be companies that do a hybrid of the two, but in my experience, most companies fall in one of these two categories.
There are pros and cons to both. For our recent move, we hired per hour (our first time to do that) and it ended up costing more than the two flat rate estimates. I think this last experience convinced me that an in-person estimate is most beneficial for the size of our family, and a flat rate takes the stress off the moving-out and moving-in day experiences.
It's good practice to clean your house after you move-out and to have your new home cleaned prior to move in. Sometimes cleanings are negotiated in the terms of the contracts. In our last move they were not, so we had to arrange both.
Since our closings were within 24 hours of each other, our schedule was tight. We did our own move-out cleaning. (Where we live you take possession at the time of closing.) We hired professional cleaners to deep clean our new home within an hour of closing. We moved in the same day as the closing transaction so the cleaning crew worked as items were moved into our house. This wasn't the ideal situation, but the cleaners were able to address the kitchen, all the bathrooms and dust and disinfect important areas in the house before large items were moved in. We made the best of it.
You may also want to consider having the carpets cleaned in your new home. Our new house only has carpet in one bedroom and the seller had it professionally cleaned so we didn't have to worry about that aspect, which was a relief. We had the carpets cleaned in former home before it hit the market so we didn't have to worry about doing it again for closing.
It's good to have a plan for what you and your family will do between the two transactions. You may want to consider staying at a hotel or with family. We opted to rent an Airbnb for a few days. It was wonderful to have a place to land during the transition. In fact, it was one of the best decisions we made; it was a comfortable place to sleep and to store items we didn't want the movers transporting (wall art, large photos, lamps, computers, etc.) We weren't cramped, which was important with us.
Projects For the New House
As if you don't have enough going on after your closing dates are set, it's wise to schedule contractors for any early projects you want completed at your new place. Right now, contractors are incredibly busy, as they have been through the pandemic. We had a list of things that we couldn't or didn't have the time to do ourselves and it was a big relief to have those lined up upon move-in. Early decisions and scheduling will help with a smooth transition into your new place and make it feel more like home.
I hope you've found these tips helpful! Let us know how you approach moving!