Some tips to help you through the stressful period of selling a home.
- Start Early
It’s never too early to begin the process. Begin by focusing on typical problem areas such as the attic, basement, garage, closets, file cabinets.
- Be Generous
If you are downsizing, and you can’t take everything to your new home, now is the time to make arrangements to “gift” some of your treasures to special people in your life including family, helpful neighbors, friends, or charitable organizations.
- Preserve Your Memories
You may have boxes of old photos from every holiday, vacation and birthday party. Consider the following ways to preserve family photos and stories: a customized process of audio and video recordings called Life-Storying. Copy your special photos on to CDs, or try your hand at scrapbooking. Also services now exist that will take all your photos, slides, and videos and do it for you.
- Think about Books
If you own large quantities of books, you need to spend time downsizing your collections. Books occupy lots of space and are heavy to move. Consider donations to libraries or senior centers, or sales to used bookstores. Call on a book dealer for older books with potential value.
- Use It , Don’t move it
Take an inventory of your canned goods, frozen foods, and paper products. Plan to use as many of these products as you can before moving. If you simply have too many of these items, think about passing them on to a local food pantry.
- Recycle the Toxins
Put together a box or two of household, yard, and automotive cleaning products, batteries and paint that cannot be thrown away and make arrangements for safe and proper disposal.
- Don’t Lose Touch
Create a list of people, places, and utilities/services that need to be notified of your upcoming change in address.
- Space Plan Ahead
Make a floor plan of your new residence. A floor plan will help you determine which pieces of furniture will fit in your new home, and the best location for each.
- Pack a Survival Bag
Put together a survival bag for move day. It might include personal needs (medications, eyeglasses, toiletries, change of clothes, important papers, etc); kitchen needs (snacks, drinks, folding chair, disposable cups plates); basic tools (hammer, screwdriver, flashlight, tape, etc.); cleaning supplies (sponge, roll of paper towels, soap, etc.); and payment for mover – be sure you know what forms of payment they accept.
10. Ask For Help
Don’t be too proud to ask for help when selling a home. Moving is not easy and you shouldn’t do it all yourself. But don’t wait until the last minute to ask for help. Some of these downsizing steps require months to accomplish.
For more information about selling a home in NJ see my client handbook at SellersLawyer.com.