It’s well known that moving to a new home is one of the most stressful things you do in life. It can stress you out just thinking everything that needs to happen.
You have to find an agent to sell your house, and deal with another one to buy your new home. You also need to get ready to move, find a new home, talk to lawyers, check insurance, haggle over price, get a mortgage…. If you’ve ever moved, you can probably add a lot more to the list.
What’s the Most Stressful Thing About Moving?
What would you say was the worst part of any move to a new home? Different people will have different answers. Most people could relate to the financial stresses – and stretches. But others might worry about closing the sale on their old home in time to move into their new home. Or maybe there’s a detail of the sale that becomes a sticking point.
In any case, while each of those stressful parts of moving are different, they have one thing in common – and that thing is a big reason why moving itself is so stressful.
When the Unexpected Happens
It’s inevitable in every move that something unexpected happens and, very often, it’s the ‘unexpected’ that’s the single most stressful part of any move.
Missing furniture, forgetting to enroll the kids in their new school, finding the keys to your old house in your pocket when you arrive at the new one. The list could be endless because no one can predict what the unexpected might bring.
And that includes the fact that the most stressful ‘unexpected’ event can happen before you even list your home.
Especially if you’ve lived in your home for many years, you figure it’s in fairly good shape. The roof doesn’t leak, you generally take care of it and it’s relatively presentable.
But, regardless of what you think about your home, the vast majority of houses are far from ‘move-in’ condition when the homeowner starts the ball rolling to sell it.
When you first decide that you have to move, your focus is on where you’re moving to and finding a home there that suits your needs and wants. You usually don’t think too much about your current home because, well, you’re moving out of it.
But it’s problems with your current home that can get in the way of getting the closing date you want. And while most of us know that we need to maximize the curb appeal of the home, and have it smelling really nice when people walk through, getting the home into showroom shape can be a far more daunting than we realize.
How to Keep Your Home in Move-In Condition
To avoid a long list of time-consuming, wallet-draining repairs and renovations just to get your home ready to sell, it helps to try to keep your home in move-in condition as much as possible.
There will always be some last-minute panic that pops up, but, if you do what you can throughout your time in a home, the process of selling it will be that much less stressful when the time comes.
Keep Your Home in Good Repair
This might sound obvious. But, again, homeowners can be blind and/or accepting of many issues in their home that others will find objectionable.
That sliding door that sticks a little, but you know to push down on the handle. The hole in your window screen that you patched so that no one will notice. The little crack in the ceiling. You live with them all and they all can make a difference in whether you get an office or not.
Keep Your Décor Generally Up-to-Date
Yes, you did a great job on the bathroom reno in 1998. But potential homebuyers walk into your home after seeing all the latest home décor trends in magazines and on the web. Try to update one major part of your home every couple years at least.
Keep an Eye on Your Curb Appeal
From keeping trees, shrubs and bushes healthy and well-trimmed, to getting your home’s exterior painted every 10 years or so, they’ll all make it easier to get your home in shape when you move.
Take Care of the ‘Invisible’
These are the things you don’t think about until something goes wrong with them – things that will definitely be checked out in a home inspection. They include your roof, attic insulation, plumbing and HVAC equipment, among other parts of your home. For an idea of what we mean, if a prospective buyer flushes one of your toilets and the water doesn’t drain quickly and smoothly, it could be a deal breaker. And that’s not something you want to chase down when you’re trying to move.
It’s impossible to list everything that could go wrong with your house, now or when you’re ready to move. But if you go about your home life with the idea that one day you will need to sell the house, you’ll reduce the stress of doing so when the time comes.