Whether it's on your own or for a specific job offer, you need to move for your career. The idea can be exciting yet frightening and overwhelming at the same time.
What do you do first? How do you make sure you get everything done and ensure your move is as hassle-free as possible? According to Diane Wirtz, a Realtor with Realty Executives Boston West in Massachusetts, here are 10 to-dos before you move.
Ask Your Employer About Relocation Benefits
When moving for a specific employer, it is always a good idea to check with your benefits coordinator regarding relocation services. Many large employers have relationships with relocation companies that offer great financial benefits, such as covering moving expenses and closing costs and even providing a buyout option if your home does not sell prior to your move date.
Pick the Right Realtor to List Your Home
An experienced real estate agent will give you a realistic estimate of not only how much your property will sell for, but also how long the process will take. Choose a Realtor with whom you can work well and who has a strong plan for marketing your home.
Be careful not to fall into the trap of hiring the agent who suggests the highest listing price. While everyone wants to see a profit, the expected sale price should be supported by comparable sold homes in your area.
Check Out Your New Home
As soon as you know you'll be moving, start surfing the Web and looking at community profiles local to your new employer. Perhaps one of the most important factors in your decision will be understanding the local economy and housing market. You may be excited about landing a new job with a higher salary, but if the local economy is significantly more expensive than the one you're coming from, you may find yourself further behind financially rather than ahead.
Plan to Make a Few Preview Trips
It will take some time for you to gain familiarity with a new area, so plan a few preview trips, if possible, to help you get comfortable there. You may be assessing various towns or neighborhoods, so do some comparison shopping.
Determine What You Can Live With
The commute to work may be a breeze from the northern suburbs but horrible from the south. You may prefer a bedroom community to the city life. If you have children, the school systems are always critical to your decision. This is a process that will more than likely take some time to work through. Your Realtor can play a key role here.
Find a Real Estate Agent in Your New Hometown
When searching for a real estate agent in your new hometown, remember: You will be relying on this person for guidance and expertise in an unfamiliar community. Your agent should be well-versed in local real estate values, as well as be able to provide helpful information on local amenities such as schools and churches.
In some locations, you will be able to work with a buyer's agent, who will be your advocate. Be sure to take some time to talk to your agent about your working relationship, who the Realtor represents and who pays the Realtor fees. If you don't know where to start looking, ask your listing agent for a referral. Also, the people you have spoken to during the interview process might be able to provide you with a name, since they have probably used a local Realtor themselves.
Look into Mortgage Services
Your Realtor can provide you with a list of local lenders he has worked with. Shop around for the best interest rate and closing costs. Keep in mind, however, that the cheapest does not always mean the best. A reputation of great service and a hassle-free closing can save you both money and headaches in the long run.
When you make a final decision on a lender, it is important to get a preapproval letter, which your Realtor will include with any offer to purchase you write.
Decide What Kind of Moving Services You Want to Use
If you're moving long-distance, be sure to use a reputable, insured moving company that frequently handles this type of relocation. You will be entrusting these people with precious cargo, so shop around and make sure you understand the process.
Moving companies offer various insurance options, and your needs will be dictated by what is being carried and other details of your move. There may be additional fees, such as packing services, boxes or large-item fees, as well as storage fees if the truck needs to sit for a day while you wait to close on a property. It is a good idea to have a few companies send out a representative to give you a quote and then get a written contract before you move.
Make Your Travel Arrangements
As soon as you know your move date, book any flights to coordinate with the dates of your move. If pets will be moving with you, be sure to make arrangements for them and understand the airline's policy and what travel containers will be required. It is also important to decide what necessary items you will want to keep with you and what you can send with the moving company. Keep in mind the number of changes of clothes and the weather where you are heading, and make sure you keep prescriptions and closing paperwork with you.
Attend to Transitional Details
Once you've settled on your new home and are ready to make the move, be sure to take care of all those transitional details. Have utility services such as gas, electricity, television and Internet connections turned off at your previous home and turned on in your new home on moving day. Make sure you have stocked up on all prescriptions, and get copies of any medical records you need to provide to your new doctors (including your veterinarian). Fill out change-of-address cards at your local post office, and notify credit card companies, banks and other important contacts of your new address. Finally, transfer funds and arrange check cashing in your new hometown.
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