Preparing for Buying, Selling, and Moving in the Winter

moving in the Winter with GetAssist is easyMoving in the Winter can create some extra challenges. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or selling and moving on, planning a move can already seem like a cumbersome chore. To assist in a smooth move, we’ve put together a Winter Moving Checklist.

If this isn’t your first rodeo, before you can even think about looking at other homes, you have to take a good look at your own house. Everyone wants to get the top sale price for their home. In order to achieve this, it means prepping your house in a way buyers will find valuable. The 15-year old furnace in your basement that you have not had a single problem with will definitely raise some eyebrows. The drafty old windows may chill any warm and cozy feelings the rest of your charming house evoke. How about your brightly colored walls that show off your cheery personality that will challenge buyers from envisioning themselves in the home? Below are some steps you can take to prepare your house for the open market.

Preparing Your House to Sell

Landscaping
When a potential buyer arrives at your house for the first time, the first thing they notice is the outside. Enhance your curb appeal by hiring a landscaping business to make buyers fall in love with your house before they even step inside. This can be a challenge in the Winter. You will have to work around the weather and your goals for when the house is to be on the market. And believe it or not, you can plant trees and shrubs in the winter.

Declutter and Clean
Stage your home in a way that will make it feel open and inviting. Remove excess photos, decorations, bulky furniture, and any personal items that will hinder buyers from being able to envision their own belongings in the home. You want each room to appear as spacious as possible. Rent a storage unit to store your decorations and furniture, and then begin the cleaning process. You can remove the dust and grime yourself, or hire a cleaning service to look at your home with fresh eyes, and make sure that nothing gets missed. This is also a good time to power wash the siding, ensuring that every surface is sparkling clean.

Fresh Paint
Painting the rooms in your house neutral tones will appeal to a broad audience of buyers. This also covers any smudges or stains on your walls, which helps make your house feel clean.

Repairs
The big-ticket item.
As buyers walk through a house, they will notice every single crack and creak they come across, as well as old appliances. That’s because all they can see when they come across these items are dollar signs. To prevent buyers from being scared away by these potential costly repairs, take care of them before showing the house. The average life expectancy of a furnace, for example, is 16-20 years. If yours is getting up there in years, consider replacing. Some other items to inspect before selling, include your roof, water heater, chimney, foundation and major kitchen appliances like the refrigerator and stove. Winter can be a game changer for those repairs you thought you could put off a little while, and we stay in and use our appliances more.

Once your house is ready to list, you can start the process of finding your next dream home!

Buying & Moving Checklist

Getting Pre-Approved
Most realtors are going to require a letter of pre-approval from your mortgage lender. To lock in the best interest rates on your future mortgage, shop around. Shopping around for the best mortgage rate will not hurt your credit score. Bureaus typically will notice you are enquiring about the same type of loan, and this is encouraged for home and auto loans.

Finding a realtor that’s right for you
Location, location, location… you’ve probably heard how important location is when buying a house. This makes finding a realtor with experience in your area essential. Don’t be afraid to interview a few realtors before the hunt for a house begins.

Congrats, your offer was accepted! It’s time to schedule the home inspection
After an offer is accepted on a house, there is an inspection period. The buyer has the opportunity to examine the condition of the home. To keep the process moving, the inspection period is typically only ten days, but can range from 1-30 days. It is a good idea to shop around for a reputable and affordable home inspector before making an offer on a house, because of this time constraint.

Electricians, Carpenters, and Plumbers, oh my!
If the home inspection turns up any causes for concern, it’s time to get these potential issues looked at by a professional. Perhaps the home inspector gave poor feedback on the house’s electrical wiring. This is a common problem in older homes and can be very serious. Having an electrician look at the electrical work and tell you what needs to be done can save you thousands of dollars. It also helps you decide if you want to pursue buying the house, and if you decide you do, it could give you a powerful negotiation stance with the sellers.

In the meantime…
Closing on a house can take 30-45 days. During this window of time, it’s a good idea to start packing your belongings, looking into professional movers, or rental moving trucks, cleaning services, and any repairs you’d like done to the house prior to moving in. Perhaps the gorgeous hardwood floors you fell in love with when you toured your home are in need of refinishing; it is a good time to research carpenters in your new community. If the house needs a fresh coat of paint, look into professional painters and handymen. These are things that can be done more efficiently before moving all your belongings into the home.

Check out the forecast for moving day and hire a snow removal and de-icing service to keep everyone safe on moving day.

Moving Day
You survived the most stressful parts of the home buying process. If you hired a moving service, you can sit back and relax as your belongings migrate to your new home. If you decided to go sans professional movers, recruit, invite and schedule your friends and family on GetAssist, to help you load and unload the moving truck. Either way, enjoy getting settled into your new home and community knowing you have everything covered.

From selling to buying a home, GetAssist helps make the whole experience a smooth transition. Make a Request on GetAssist for a realtor, mortgage broker and any tradesman you may need… i.e., plumbers, electricians, handymen (or women), carpenters, roofers, landscapers, painters, movers, professional cleaners, snow removal, etc. The list goes on! Check their reviews from other people in your new community, and hire the ones that fit your budget. Organize your move with the GetAssist calendar as you book service appointments.

Good luck with your new move, and welcome to your new community! Your new neighbours are waiting to Connect With Purpose.

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