Well, you decided to sell your house. You are definitely going to move. You’re downsizing, upsizing, relocating…what ever the reason, you have to pack up your things, sell your house and move on.
Wait a second! Don’t most people sell their house first, THEN pack up and move?
Most of the time, this is the order of things but I want to introduce to you a little twist in the method. You see, many of us have too many things. Large furniture, many pieces that can be fit into a room. Prints and paintings can sometimes be so large it’s hard to tell if that is the frame around it or the wall behind it. Kids toys are generally piled high in the corner of the play room or stuffed in the closet when guests come over.
Well, think this way. If you are moving, why not pack now? I know that sounds extreme to some people but really, your house could sell tomorrow and then you have less time to get your things together. In any case, it is a good idea to start the packing process early; as soon as you know you are moving. Here’s how:
Go through your items and take those things you do not want anymore to either the neighborhood consignment shop or donation center. Throw away the junk you’ve collected but do not need. Then rent a storage unit for a month or two and fill it with the following:
- Books. Your huge book collection looks great on your built-in cabinets but to a buyer it looks like clutter. A buyer might not be able to see the house as theirs, with their things in it, when all they can see is your book collection. Clear your shelves and stage them to look open and spacious. A few photos, a short stack of horizontal books, a glass jar or vase can still decorate and look appealing.
- Music. CDs and record albums are more fragile than books and can take longer to pack sufficiently. And a large music collection will leave most buyers stopping to see what kind of music you like and compare their collection with yours. It’s fun to look at but distracting and by packing them away, you can free up a lot of space that can make a room look larger.
- Knickknacks. These collectibles take a while to pack up: individually they must be wrapped and packed so there is no chance of breaking them. If you don’t trust yourself, it’s o.k. to hire someone to come in this early in the game to help you get started. Other knickknacks include trophy collections, other displayed collections and a wall filled with framed awards. These are just some examples. Pack them up; you don’t need them out right now. Plus, trophys and awards are distracting to the buyer.
- Kids toys. Let’s say your house is competitively priced. It shouldn’t last long so take the toys your children don’t usually play with and pack them up. Well…if they don’t really play with them it may be time to pass them on to another family. If these are items that your children will pick up again after you move, box them up now; get rid of some of the clutter to show how big the rooms in the house are.
- Out of season clothes. Buyers want to know how much storage is available inside the house. If your closets are packed full with not only stuff but also clothes for all seasons then it is time to get them cleared out. Take the stuff and box it up. Separate your clothes by season and pack what you don’t need for now. Moving during a season change? Then pick the clothes you will most likely need in the next month. If you are going from Spring to Summer, you certainly don’t need your coats, sweaters, heavy blankets, skis and snow boots. Pick what else you don’t need and pack it away.
- Excess furniture. You might love that wall to wall cabinet in your keeping room but if it isn’t staying with the house the room looks so much smaller than it really is. You might need that extra long dining room table for the holiday dinners but take the extra leaves out and shorten it to make the dining room look larger. Are there more dressers and tables than you need in your bedrooms or living room? Take some out to storage and show off the space available in those rooms. It might seem strange being without some of your furniture but in the long run, buyers can see the interior as it is meant to be which might help your house to sell quicker.
Now that you have packed some of your things, store them away in a storage unit…not your garage. Buyers would want to see the space available to them in the garage and that would be hard to do if it is packed full.
The point is: you’re moving so why not pack what you don’t need. If your house is cluttered, even with the things you love, it can be distracting to a buyer. The clutter can make the space look smaller than it is. Once cleared out and staged, call your REALTOR and put your house on the market so you can move on.
Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road Oxford MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 email@example.com Equal Housing
I recently read a story about a theft in a family’s new home. Turns out the police investigation found the employees of the moving company were the robbers. These two men moved the family to their new home and left a lower-level window unlocked. Not long after, when the homeowners were gone for the day (work, school), these guys got into the house through that window and stole some items.
Moral of the story: Always check your windows to make sure they are locked.
Home sellers: after each showing, check your windows. I’m not saying everyone is dishonest but people do like to test things out. Buyers will run the faucets, open and close a few windows, cabinets, oven, pantry and more. Make a quick check after a showing to make sure your home is safe, even a garage window. If there is a note on the door to the garage telling agents to leave it unlocked (kids might use the key pad to get inside after school) and the garage has windows, that is an easy entry point. Be secure.
Home buyers: after you move in, make sure your windows are locked. Don’t assume they are. The previous owner could have had windows open to air out the house while they were moving out. A less-than-honest worker could unlock a window to get back in. Movers know what kind of stuff you have, especially if they’ve packed it which makes for the point that you should pack your valuables.
Homeowners: you know that “tricky” window in the dining room? Get it fixed so it can close and lock properly. I was recently showing a house to a buyer and discovered a water stain on the window sill that looked like it had been there for a long time. I don’t think it had rained for 90 days at that point. The window, it turned out was left unlocked and opened because it was stubborn and wouldn’t close tightly enough to latch. They are sometimes easy to fix so please, for your safety, get that “tricky” window fixed.
Moving companies do their best to hire the most honest people but like any other business, sometimes a dishonest person can slip through the cracks. Just be aware that if this happened once, it could happen again.
So, how do you know your real estate agent is safe and honest? In a growing number of states real estate agents must go through a background check in order to get and maintain a license. Fingerprints are also kept on file. Recently, Mississippi has joined at least 37 other states that require this.
Eileen Saunders is a Realtor® with Tommy Morgan Realtors in Oxford, MS. She is an expert at moving, having moved 15 times in 23 years, buying, selling, and renting houses along the way. Her soon-to-be published book, tentatively titled “Moving,” chronicles her family’s adventures over the past years and includes tips to make your moves smoother and less stressful. You can reach Eileen at her office, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford MS 38655 or by phone: 662-234-5344 or 662-404-0816. Eileen is a certified Seniors Real Estate Specialist® and believes in Equal Housing for all.
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Copyright 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
used with permission
Eileen Saunders, SRES REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 Equal Housing
Visit houselogic.com for more articles like this.
Copyright 2016 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®
Reprinted with permission
Eileen Saunders, SRES(R) REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 Equal Housing
It doesn’t matter how much time you spend at your home, how many security systems or barking dogs you have, it still makes sense to follow common sense ways to keep your house secure.
l. Make sure your doors are always locked. A story circulated last year that a mom was getting her kids ready for school. Her husband had already left for work and left the front door unlocked. She walked out of one room and into the living room to find a stranger going through her things. True story; don’t let this happen to you.
2. Check your window locks. Surprisingly, I have noticed a lot of lower-level windows unlatched when I show a house. If someone is going to break into your house, they’ll want to find an easy way to get in. Don’t help them. Always check your windows. If y ou have a window that doesn’t shut properly, call a professional to fix it. Better to pay a few dollars for repair, than come home to find your house has been broken into.
3. Keep outside areas well lit. Do not give a thief an opportunity to hide in darkness around your house in order to break in, unseen.
4. If you have a garage but park outside, make sure your cars are locked each night before heading to bed. I lock each of our cars by remote and watch to see the headlights light up for assurance. Not only do you leave your car vulnerable to theft when it is unlocked, but if your garage door opener is in the car you’ve just invited a stranger into your house. A former neighbor’s garage was emptied one night because she left her car unlocked. Bikes, tools, golf clubs: all gone. (that wasn’t in my current neighborhood)
5. Do not leave a key to the house under a rock near your front door, or any door. It’s so common place, someone is bound to find it. I just found an old key sticking out of my front garden. Yup…it opened my front door. Maybe I should have had my locks rekeyed when I moved in (like I always suggest to homebuyers). I know…time slips away and before you know it you’ve been in the house over a year with the same locks. I searched near all of the other doors to my house and that was the only “hidden” key. Lesson learned for me. If you need to give someone access to your house, put a coded keypad on the front door (be sure to keep up with the batteries). If you have a garage, code the garage keypad just for that person and hide a key inside of the garage so he/she can get into the house from there. But don’t put a key under a rock or your doormat.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 Equal Housing
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan Realtors, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655. 662-404-0816/662-234-5344 Equal Housing
Moving can be an exhausting activity. There are too many things to do but one is most important of all: changing your mailing address with the post office.
As soon as you have a move out day or a closing date and the contingencies on your sales contract are removed, go ahead and change your mailing address. Whether you arrive at your destination by that date or not, you’ll want your mail there waiting for you, not the other way around. How frustrating for you to have your mail go to the “old” address and then have to wait for it to be forwarded to you by the new owners, if they are kind enough to do that.
The new home owner should write “not at this address” or something similar on your mail and send it back to the post office. The post office will then forward it to you but you will have to have a forwarding order placed with the post office for that to occur.
If you get mail at your new residence for the previous owners, please be kind and forward their mail along.
Change of address can be done for free at the post office on a form or online at http://www.usps.com for a small convenience fee.
Then stick a nice note into your mailbox today to say “THANKS” to the guy or gal that delivers all of your bills, catalogs, birthday cards and online purchases. Today is, after all, Thank A Mail Carrier Day.
The sign ordinance proposal has been tabled for at least two weeks and removed from the agenda for tonight’s meeting.
No public hearing at this time. If you were planning to attend based on this issue, you can now do something else.
I will stay in touch as I find out information with a possible new hearing date or another decision about the proposal.
Thanks for contacting the Aldermans’ offices as well as the local Board of Realtors with your questions and concerns.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan REALTORS, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford, MS 38655, 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 Equal Housing
February 1st is “Car Insurance Day” so let’s talk about your coverage.
If you own an house and also have car insurance, you may want to look into an umbrella policy.
What an umbrella policy does is cover you for excess amounts if you are in an accident and someone is suing you for damages. If you don’t have the money to pay, should the suit be decided against you, your house might be in the cross hairs as a way to pay what you owe.
Rather than potentially lose your house, the umbrella policy would cover $1 million or more in damages, depending on the coverage you purchase. It is not something you can get after the fact, so be proactive. Call your insurance company today to find out more about it.
Disclaimer: I am not an insurance authority. I simply want to pass on information that might be helpful. It is your decision to either purchase or not to purchase an umbrella policy. I am not liable for your decisions. Consult your insurance specialist for more information.
Eileen Saunders, REALTOR with Tommy Morgan REALTORS, 2092 Old Taylor Road, Oxford. MS 38655 662-404-0816 | 662-234-5344 Equal Housing