Preparation for Moving

 

Here is a checklist of tasks to take care of prior to moving:

 

  1. Decide whom you will retain as an attorney or closing agent and retain them as soon as you have a ratified contract, or before if the negotiation will be complex. If the negotiation will be complicated, have your attorney look over the final offer before ratifying and submitting it. Be sure to know what the attorney or closing agent’s fee will be.
  2. Shop for and obtain an “insurance binder” for your new home and request that it be delivered to your attorney or closing agent prior to closing because you will be responsible for home insurance beginning the day of closing. You probably will need to prepay six months to a year of the premium, but this cost can be rolled into closing costs.
  3. Schedule a time and date for the settlement appointment at your attorney or closing agent’s office, and notify your Realtor of this. Try not to schedule closing for a Friday or for the last day of the month.
  4. In advance of closing, discuss with your attorney what specific charges will be part of your closing costs.
  5. If you are obtaining a mortgage, ask your lender what closing costs can be rolled into the mortgage, to reduce the amount of cash you will need available at closing.
  6. Keep checking in with your lender until you have a firm letter of loan commitment on or before the deadline in your contract which specifies a date and time you have agreed to for loan commitment and therefore, removal of the financing contingency.
  7. Schedule a mover well in advance
  8. Schedule a “Pod” to be delivered to your present home if appropriate.
  9. Consider scheduling a housekeeper to clean out your new house before/during the move and to return to your former home to clean for the new occupants.
  10. Buy boxes for the belongings you want to pack yourself. Plastic boxes with secure one-piece tops from WalMart or other stores work well. Label where each box will go in the new home; for bedrooms and bathrooms, number them “master bedroom, bedroom #2, bedroom #3, etc). These same boxes can be used to organize your garage/attic storage areas after the move. Be sure to have a cooler(s) on hand to transport your refrigerated and frozen food the day of the move.
  11. Obtain a postal forwarding kit and request in advance that all mail be forwarded to the new address
  12. Inform the following of your new address and the date when the move will occur:
    • Bank(s)
    • Credit cards
    • Medical providers: doctors, dentists, therapists
    • Medical insurance company
    • Employers
    • Cell phone provider
    • Professional advisors: Financial advisor, accountant
    • Family
    • Friends (a just-moved email is appreciated by friends)

       

  13. Schedule a transfer of all utilities for the day of closing: so that your move will go smoothly:
    • Electric company
    • City gas and sewer
    • Internet
    • TV service
    • Telephone company
    • If moving to the county, retain a garbage service
  14. Consider/schedule ahead a friend, family member or nanny to assist with

    your children or pets the day of the move.

  15. Plan ahead for time off to obtain a certified check or to wire the money in advance for the amount of money your attorney or closing agent instructs you as necessary to close. If you are wiring money to the attorney’s account, try to do so the day before so that it will be received prior to your appointment. You should receive from him/her a HUD statement a few days to the day before closing, delineating the costs. If you have not been instructed on the amount to bring to settlement by the day before closing, be sure to call and find out so that you will be prepared.
  16. Be aware that many things can go wrong to delay closing, even when you are in the attorney or closing agent’s office. The delay is usually not more than one day (a reason not to have closing on Friday), but can take longer. So have a Plan B for where you will stay in case of this unpleasant eventuality. Many attorneys/closing agents do not allow you to have the keys and occupy the house until the transaction is recorded.
  17. 17. Pack. If you have children, let them help pack their own belongings and reassure them that everything will be put in their new room. Let them reserve a favorite toy, stuffed animal or book to keep with them in the car.
  18. Consider transporting your own valuables, and things you will need immediately:
    • Silver
    • Jewelry
    • Artwork
    • Food/snacks for children and dog
    • Toys, books for children
  19. Be alert and attentive when the movers unload your belongings. Orient them to the house, including the names of rooms as they relate to your labeled boxes. Direct them to put each piece off furniture and box in the room where you want it. Observe carefully that everything is unloaded and that nothing is missing or damaged.
  20. Unpack/set up the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom necessities first.
  21. Take care of yourself and your family with dinner (a good time to try a restaurant or order in?), showers and an early bedtime. Most of the unpacking can wait until tomorrow!