Whether clients are buying or selling a house, moving is an inevitable part of their future. Real estate agents go the extra mile to help their clients find a home of their dreams. Agents offer the highest level of service by providing useful tips about the process. Share the ultimate moving to-do list with every client to ensure they are well-prepared for the hectic days ahead.
Two Months in Advance: Strategic Planning Begins
Once the contracts are signed, remind clients about the steps it takes to move successfully. A handout is a helpful way to keep clients on track throughout the process. Timing is crucial during the busy weeks before a move. Strategic planning prevents last-minute panic and unnecessary costs. Add these tasks to the moving to-do list for two months before the closing date:
- Purge the current residence of garbage and unwanted items to be thrown away, donated, or sold at a yard sale. Sort through the items that will go to the new home. Then make a list of things that require special packing or added insurance coverage.
- Research moving companies to get the best deal instead of paying more at the last minute. Verify the movers are registered, insured, bonded, and licensed to move people in-state and interstate. If possible, request in-home estimates to compare services.
- Parents with school-age children should tell the current school about the move and get the kids’ records. Then parents should contact the new schools to enroll the children and get the files transferred. Schools need time to receive and review the documents to place the children in the right classes.
Six Weeks Before the Move: Get the Wheels in Motion
As inspections are scheduled and financing is confirmed, two weeks fly by fast. Clients need to get the wheels in motion six weeks before the anticipated closing date. While the closing date can be unpredictable, smart people are well-prepared. Here are what clients need to do next:
- Contact doctors, medical providers, and pharmacists to get copies of medical records and prescriptions. For those who are moving out of town, ask current providers to recommend new doctors. Have enough medication on-hand to get through the move and settle into another location.
- Verify medical insurance coverage continues in the new venue. Find out if new insurance policies are required for vehicles, property, and home businesses. People with licenses should find out about adding a new address to the official record.
- Make travel arrangements, such as booking flights and hotel stays if a long road trip is involved. For local moves, schedule a moving truck and order packing supplies such as boxes, packing tape, bubble wrap, and containers.
A Month Before Moving: Get In Gear
With just one month left, everyone wants to get in gear and move into a new home. Emotions are high and there never seem to be enough hours in the day. This is an ideal time for a dedicated real estate agent to offer another copy of the moving to-do list to harried clients. The list will remind them to:
- Create an inventory list, and start packing seasonal and little-used items. Then label each box with the contents and the room where it should be placed. Measure the doorways in the old and new home to ensure everything can easily get out of and into the spaces.
- Contact the utility companies to disconnect services the day after the move and turn on services at the new location the day before the move. Utilities may include electricity, gas, oil, landline, cell phone, Internet, cable, and alarm services. Schedule the mail to be forwarded to the new house. Tell banks, creditors, and other important entities about the move. A real estate agent can recommend a free concierge service to handle these tasks for clients and help them save time.
- Make plans for the fur babies during the move. Have leashes, cages, and other essential equipment ready to keep pets safe in transit. If necessary, schedule a pet sitter for the moving day. Contact the veterinarian to verify all vaccinations are up-to-date. People moving out of state should find out about pet licensing requirements and other regulations on pet ownership if there is an HOA.
- Clean out the freezer, refrigerator, pantry, and storage areas. Drag out everything and only take what is necessary. Eat down the food that is left, so it doesn’t need to be moved.
- Get all necessities in good working condition. Download computer updates and store important files on a flash drive. Visit a car mechanic to ensure all vehicles are able to survive the move.
Just Two Weeks Left – Tie Up Loose Ends
With only two weeks left, clients need to be reminded to tie up loose ends before the big day arrives. Even well-prepared clients will discover there is still plenty to do, including:
- Make a clean sweep by returning library books, picking up dry cleaning, and emptying storage units and safe deposit boxes.
- Confirm the movers are coming on-time and verify there is insurance to cover all valuables. Schedule time off from work to make the move.
- Order any necessary furniture and appliances for the new home and verify all delivery dates.
One Week Left – The Heat Is On!
The anticipation builds to a crescendo when there’s one week left before the closing. Real estate agents can offer to text updates to clients to avoid potentially disruptive meetings or phone calls during the move. Gently remind them to:
- Finish packing and pack individual bags for each person involved in the move. Include toiletries, toilet paper, a change of clothing, a few pair of underwear and socks, and comfortable shoes.
- Put essential items in a separate bag that should be with the head of the family at all times. Important things include licenses, insurance policies, bank statements, titles, credit cards, financial statements, tax returns, deeds, licenses, Social Security documents, medication, cell phones, laptops, tablets, chargers, water, snacks, fine jewelry, cash, flashlight, tools, etc. And remember to get the keys to the new house.
- Clean large appliances and disconnect them. Clear out the last of the garbage and unwanted items. Arrange for a pickup or dumpster to get rid of all trash before leaving. Hire a cleaning crew and landscapers to tidy up the old place and refresh the new one.
A Whole New Lease on Life – Moving Day!
The closing date might not be the official moving date, depending on the clients’ plans. Clients will be focusing on coordinating the moving crew, inspecting the premises, cleaning up, and turning off the lights as they start their new lives. An understanding real estate agent offers to help when needed and has a team of professionals to recommend services such as cleanups, moving, and more.
Agents often give clients a move-in package with local goodies and discounts to welcome them to the neighborhood. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate offers numerous discounts for agents to pass on to buyers and sellers. Always tuck a few business cards in the gift to encourage them to recommend you and use your services in the future. And remember to send a postcard or note a couple of weeks later to express your best wishes. Staying in touch reminds them you’re always there when they need you.
Helping your clients find a house is just the beginning. Seasoned real estate pros assist their clients throughout the process. Offer them a comprehensive moving to-do list to show you’re in-the-know and care about their progress. Provide the highest level of service at all times to get future business and more referrals.