Stay Organized During the Sale Of Your Home
There’s no denying that even when you’re working with a great Realtor, there are a million things for a homeowner to do in order to be best prepared for the sale of his or her home. Selling a home often accompanies major life changes like relocating for a job or the growth of your family, which are hectic events in and of themselves. The to-do lists are a mile long, kids and pets running around get in the way, and there’s always something that comes up at the eleventh hour to throw a wrench in your plans. You can’t control everything, but you can make life a lot easier for yourself by staying organized. It’s easier than you might think. First of all, make things easier for yourself. For example, it’s in your best interest to find a safe place for your pets to stay temporarily while you’re showing your home. Smells, pet hair, irritating dander, stains, chewed-on objects and other indicators that animals call your house home can be very off-putting to potential buyers. And some people have fears (rational or not) of certain animals. This extensive article has some great information on preparing your pets for the move.
Once the pets are out of the way, it’s time for the dirty work. Before you pack, go through all of your belongings and set aside those that you don’t want or never use. Then, donate. This keeps your moving costs down, gets you a tax deduction, and makes your life simpler by reducing the amount of stuff in it. After you’ve pared down your possessions to the essentials, create a system you’ll stick with when it comes to packing your stuff: labeling each box with what’s inside it and which room it belongs to is a good start. Also, an inventory of your possessions and a list of all your boxes and where they belong can help you minimize the likelihood of things being lost or misplaced during your move. Before your house is ready for potential buyers to see it, you’ll want to remove any personal items, knick-knacks, and extra furniture, so you can get a head start on your packing.
When your home is ready to show, it’s time to update your schedule. Coordinate with your real estate agent so that you know when the house needs to be available for showings, and write it down. Any time there’s something you need to sign, turn in, or approve, write it town in a planner (or program it into your phone) so you’ll remember. And keep track of your meetings, too. Time is of the essence when it comes to selling your home, so any missed deadlines can be costly. If you’re selling the home with a spouse, make sure both of you are on the same page.
There’s a lot of paperwork involved in selling a home, so make sure you keep track of everything you sign--and make copies. It’s very important that you keep detailed and accurate records of the whole process; you never know when you could need that information again. While you’re at it, make sure you know where you’re packing all of your important documents, and keep them close to you throughout the moving, traveling, and unpacking process. Digital backups are a good idea if you have time, since losing these materials could not only put you in a tight spot if you ever needed to reference them, but could also leave you vulnerable to identity fraud.
Each seller’s circumstances are different, but these basic tips should be a solid starting point. The important thing is to find a system that works and stick with it. An organized home sale and move is much, much easier to handle than a disorganized one!