Get it done / Get moving
Basic steps to get you from mulling to moving
When moving isn’t urgent—downsizing or finding something that checks all the boxes on the dream home list—it can be tough getting from thought to packing. Before any more wasted years go by, here’s how to get from mulling to moving.
Determine your motivation. What is it that keeps you obsessing over HGTV or scouring the internet for newly listed homes? Do you want bigger? Smaller? A more walkable neighborhood? A closer commute? Without a Big Why to carry you through the messy middle of moving, you’ll keep putting the idea back on the shelf. Instead, take a few minutes to list the reasons you want to move and compare it with a list of reasons to stay; your motivation should be revealed in minutes. Once you do, write it down and hang or stash the note in a place you’ll see it frequently, like on your fridge or in your planner. Written goals are significantly more likely to happen than ones that just float around in our heads.
Contact a real estate agent. Ask friends for referrals, check out online reviews on sites like zillow.com, and interview your top two or three picks. It’s important to find an agent you feel comfortable with and who can give you a detailed plan for how she will market your home. There are many reasons to contact an agent, but it’s important to do it early to avoid spending money on things that won’t help you sell your house, and direct you toward repairs or improvements that will get you more bang for your buck. She can give you insights into your local market and when might be the best time to list your home, as well as an educated idea of price range. Lastly, a good agent will keep in touch, which gives you a bit of accountability. If you say you want to list in three months, her follow up will give you a concrete deadline. Even if your move is a year away, it’s not too early to talk with a real estate professional.
Make a punch list of repairs. Walk through your house as if you’ve never been there before. What would you notice as a potential buyer? What items stand out? The most important things to take care of are red flag Items. These are repairs that aren’t usually big, but have been put off because they’re not a priority. You can live with that broken door knob, the hole in basement wall from an errant football, or that water stain on the ceiling from a long ago roof leak, but buyers won’t want to. Even if the active issue is taken care of—you replaced the roof—evidence of the issue is still there, and it will make buyers nervous. Take care of it before they ever see it, and it won’t raise unnecessary red flags.
Create an action plan with a deadline. Ask a friend or your real estate agent to help you make a realistic timeline with the necessary steps broken down into weekly tasks. Asking for help with this step provides an extra layer of accountability. You have your Big Why. You’ve talked with an agent about what needs to be done around the house. You’ve made your “honey-do” list. But none of that will help if you don’t create an action plan. Once you do, ask someone to hold you to it, you’ll be well on your way to moving day.
Keller Williams Realty
5500 Main Street #108
Williamsville, NY 14221