When you sign on the dotted line to make an offer on the place of your dreams (or accept an offer on the home you’re moving on from), you’ve reached the beginning of the end. For buyers, it means no more dreaded house hunting, and for sellers, it means finally folding up those front yard “For Sale” signs. But that doesn’t mean the deed is done! After all, you’ve still got to navigate everything from inspections and appraisals to – you guessed it – closing day! That’s why we’re sharing our 6 tips that’ll get you prepped and ready to breeze through your closing day like a homebuying (or selling!) boss:
Tips For Buyers
Let there be light.
So, you purchased your home and showed up on move-in day ready to get crackin’… only to realize it’s not ideal unpacking boxes in the dark? It’s called forgetting to transfer your utilities, and it happens way more often than you’d think. Trust us – we know that in the hustle and bustle of moving, it’s easy to forget that you’re going to need those pesky little details like power, water, lights, and heating or cooling on the day you get possession. But we can almost guarantee the sellers didn’t forget to put a stop on their utility service effective for your move-in date (one less bill, anyone?), so be sure you remember to have your service start on your first day of possession. Thankfully, you can now transfer your DTE Energy or Consumers Energy easily online with just a few clicks, using their Start/Stop/Transfer Service feature.
When going through inspections, it’s sometimes hard to keep in mind that it will likely be the last time you’ll set foot in your new home before move-in day. So, if you forgot to jot down every nitty-gritty detail (and every measurement of every room and closet, down to last half-inch), don’t be afraid to reach out to your agent and have them ask the sellers to pass along any measurements you need. With all the right room dimensions at your fingertips, you’ll be able to buy the perfect furnishings for your new home ahead of time (and avoid any move-in day catastrophes when that super-comfy oversized sectional suddenly doesn’t fit through the front door!)
Make it easy on the mailman.
Another detail that’s easy to overlook in any move is forwarding your mail (and, despite how much you’re already dreading next month’s credit card bill, it’ll be an even bigger problem if that pesky statement doesn’t find its way to your new front door). So, well in advance of closing day, file your change of address with the USPS (and prepare to swim in special movers-only coupons to some great stores you just might’ve heard of… Wayfair, Lowe’s, Home Depot… need we go on?)
Tips For Sellers
Leave the lights on.
Just like buyers need to remember to have utilities transferred into their name effective on the possession date, you need to remember as a seller to have utilities transferred out of your name for that same date (and not a moment too soon!). After all, no buyer dreams of taking possession of their new place in the middle of winter, especially to find that the seller had transferred utilities too soon causing shut-off heat and a “welcome home to two inches of standing water, courtesy of your burst pipes” moment.
Leave a note.
While your buyers will probably be more than content to come home to their new abode regardless, it never hurts to leave them with a few “been there, done that” tips from you as the former owner. It may seem like overkill, but buyers appreciate any level of detail you can give, from how to fuss with that touchy toilet flush in the basement bathroom to where (and how) to turn on the underground sprinkling. All of these little tricks will mean less time for your buyers to spend stressing and guessing, and more time for them to enjoy making the space their own.
Leave your buyers without a laundry list.
We know. The minute that final offer is accepted feels like your own personal celebration of never having to rake the leaves in the yard or power wash the deck again. But, as eager as you are to move on to greener pastures, try to keep up the maintenance basics and leave a little less on the laundry list for the new owners to contend with. What does that mean? Depends on the season! Think things like: having the underground sprinkler lines blown out when selling in late fall so the lines don’t freeze when the first frost hits, or trimming back plants like hydrangea at season’s end so they bloom for their new pruners in the spring. While these things may seem to fall in the “not my problem anymore” category, it’s always nice to leave your home in even better condition than your buyers remember, making a smooth and happy transition for all.