Ask The Experts: Buying and Selling a Home
It’s no secret that moving can be stressful. Between completing transactions for your new place, updating addresses with your bank and the post office, and getting your belongings to your new home, it is easy to overlook a detail or two.
At College Muscle Movers, we aim to make planning, preparing for, and completing your moving service is as stress-free possible. By understanding that each move is unique, we’re able to tailor our services to each customer’s needs. However, we understand the moving process starts well before arranging movers, especially when you are buying and/or selling a home.
In order to shed a little light on the home buying and selling process, we spoke with our friends Sean and Jennifer Dunn of Integrity Realty.
FINDING A REALTOR
First, get started by connecting yourself with the right people.
As Jennifer says, moving “is fun, exciting, and quite honestly stressful, but having professionals help you will make it so much more enjoyable. This is what movers, realtors, and loan officers do every day, and we can guide you through the process, and help to minimize the surprises.”
When looking for a realtor, ask a lot of questions. Get an idea of how they work before committing. Communication and trust are key.
Almost a third of all buyers in 2015 were purchasing a home for the first time, and with all the moving pieces involved in a home purchase, learning on the fly could set you up for a delay in closing or even the transaction falling through. By working with a realtor you can trust, you can better ensure your needs and timeline are met.
Jennifer continues, “Don’t expect the experience to be like what you’ve seen on HGTV.”
“We spend a lot of time talking about what to expect from the process, the inspection, and how to get through it all with a minimal amount of stress. Folks often don't know where to start, so we connect them with high quality lenders who have the same level of commitment to their clients as we do,” Sean adds.
With the vast number of resources available online, it’s important turn to a realtor you can trust for advice. After all, it’s their job to stay in the know, and maintain relationships with trustworthy lenders and other professionals that can assist with the home buying process. You have enough to worry about, let the professionals do the legwork.
PREPARING YOUR HOME
Once you’ve found the realtor for you, it’s time to list your home for sale!
But wait- how to make your home appear most appealing to potential buyers?
Sean and Jennifer agree that staging is one of the most important steps in preparing your home for sale. “Staging is key to selling a home quickly and for the best price,” says Jennifer. “It's about minimizing "stuff" and maximizing the space.”
Sometimes homeowners react negatively to the idea of staging, but Sean is quick to emphasize that “Staging is NOT interior decorating, and it’s certainly not a judgment of taste. Rather, it’s about making the property appealing to the broadest range of tastes.”
“Sellers sometimes think a buyer can look past the wallpaper from 1976, but unfortunately the thing the buyer will remember about the house IS the wallpaper from 1976, not how great the layout is, or how simple it would be to get rid of the wallpaper.”
Staging can also offer an excellent opportunity to try out a moving company without committing too much money up front. And, if there isn’t a place to store your items within your home or elsewhere, keep College Muscle Movers in mind for affordable, flexible storage options.
FINANCING YOUR MOVE
Once you have a buyer for your home (or are ready to buy yourself), it’s time to get final details of financing in place. If you’re taking out a loan (you worked with a lender to get pre-qualified, right?!) Jennifer notes “there are new laws in place now that make the process longer. If you are taking out a loan, plan on about at least 6 weeks to get to closing.”
This is the point in the process where it makes sense to start contacting moving companies. At College Muscle Movers, many of our services are scheduled about a month in advance, and we are more than happy to provide quotes over the phone. Sometimes for larger projects it’s best to get an on-site assessment, which we can also provide!
Of course, every homebuyer’s worst nightmare is closings getting delayed or falling through at the last minute. Jennifer says the key to avoiding delays is to work with a good lender: “someone who has a reputation for delivering on time, or ahead of time!”
“Buyers also have to understand that there's a lot that goes into securing a loan. When loan officers ask for information, get it to them quickly. Get your inspection done quickly and work with your realtor to get through the inspection contingency period efficiently.”
As with the rest of the process, she says, “communication is key to making sure things go smoothly, and finding out ahead of time if changes might need to be made to closing dates. Make sure your loan officer is keeping you and your realtor up to date on the status of your loan, or if delays are anticipated so you can all plan in advance.”
MANAGING CLOSING TIMES
The final hurdle is signing the paperwork, and actually getting your belongings over to your new place.
Depending on how your purchase is structured, the timing of your closings is something to consider when planning for your move.
“Back to back closings are scheduled when someone has to sell their home in order to have the money to buy another home. A seller has to be out before closing so the buyer can do a proper walk through of the property, and then closing might be a few hours later on the new home” says Jennifer. This is a scenario College Muscle Movers deals with often, and we have the ability to work with you to create the best logistical plan for your move, or to temporarily store items if needed.
Lastly, we asked Jennifer if she had any other advice for people preparing to move to a new home. She said: “Labeling boxes, and put the things you need right away in your car. Things like a change of clothes, toilet paper, paper towels, those sorts of everyday items. Think about your day and what you use most often, and just set aside a couple of boxes for those items.”
To sum it all up, the best way to avoid unnecessary stress from the very beginning is to connect with professionals who have the know-how and experience to navigate the process. Make sure to work with someone you communicate well with, and whom you feel makes a genuine effort to listen to your needs and goals. By doing so, you’ll ensure the move goes as smoothly as possible from start to finish!
Sean got started in the realty business in 2007, and Jennifer in 2008. Though both started out on different career paths, they have found that helping people buy and sell their homes has been a perfect fit for them. On getting started in realty, Jennifer said “it was a natural for us as we love to look at houses and dream of ways to fix them up. We both love working with people so it gives us an opportunity to use our expertise to help others.”