Moving: A Realtor’s Perspective – Part One
By Jim Broderick, Sales Representative
The following is the real life, full colour account of my move.
First, let me start by saying that moving is not fun! We can get that out of the way immediately. The furniture, the boxes, the kids toys, the garage, the stuff, stuff, stuff.
Recently (actually, last week) my family and I moved for the very first time. My wife and I had lived in our home for several years but this was our first move as a family from one owned home to another. And while we planned the whole thing out, hired movers, cleaners and babysitters it is honestly one of the most hectic days that one will ever go through.
My kids were born 5 and 8 years ago, and while those days were THE craziest of my life, this move easily ranks as #2. With kids under 10, it really helps to include them in the process. Kids get it. They sense stress and may be upset with the idea of leaving the only home they’ve ever known. Assign them jobs they can handle. Make them feel part of the process. This applies to all but moving day however…arranging for baby sitters will be better for all involved.
Three months ago, my wife and I fell in love with a beautiful, fully remodeled character home in the Old Glenridge district of St.Catharines, and purchased it almost immediately. We then became incredibly fortunate to sell our own home three weeks later. Hard work done, all easy stuff left.
By early November we had the good folks at Birds Moving and Storage all booked up and ready to roll for December 15th. They even provided us with our first 50 boxes for free. During the last two weeks of November and the first two weeks of December my wife and I went into overdrive packing things up, getting rid of excess clothing, toys, decorations, and our entire basement furniture collection. Some advice :: when packing, colour coded moving labels are a great help. Labels are good but colour coded are even better. Rather than having to read, you can see from a distance where a box should be going.
We were ready to roll, we were 100% in control of everything that WE could control. That’s an important thing to remember…there are some things that are simply not in our control. You’ll see how that factored in further on.
On December 15th at 7:30 am our movers showed up, a bit early, but better than being late. My wife and I watched them move our boxes and furniture at speeds that would make the Road Runner jealous. Three hours after they showed up, our house was packed in the movers truck, everything that we could control, had been controlled. The movers then decided to take an early lunch, which was a wonderful idea because we had not yet received the keys for the house that we were moving into, that and the fact that it had started to rain, hard.
In case you didn’t know, there is no fixed time for a closing to take place. You know which day, but you don’t know what time. On any typical day of the month, not being the 1st or the 31st, you can typically count on getting the keys to your new property either just before lunch or just after. Any real estate transaction has to go through your Region’s Land Registry Office, and they do take their lunch break, so it is closed from 12-1 pm.
My wife and I decided to use our time effectively, so we started to clean our old house up one last time to leave it in as respectable a condition as possible for its new owners. While you are in a hurry to get to your new home, arrangements should be made to have your home cleaned and in reasonable condition for the new owners. Remember, the owners are the same people that will call you if mail still arrives or if they find something important that you left behind by accident. And you will appreciate it in the home that you are moving to.
It was now just after 1pm, our house was sparkling clean, all of our possessions were gone and there was no remaining garbage or debris of any kind. We actually could have closed on our old house at that time, that’s how far ahead we were. The only problem was that we still didn’t have possession of our new house, and the movers were on the clock.
Something that you will have to accept with an industry that still involves mainly people all trying to do their jobs effectively, is that delays can and will happen. Movers can be late (or accidentally drop a lamp or two) or lawyers can be detail oriented and demand that the other Lawyer resubmit paperwork. The current homeowners may think that they’ve got all day to move out when in fact, the second that their Lawyer closes, they may technically be trespassing if they are still on the property. And sometimes as happened to us, Mother Nature decides to mess with your day by dropping buckets upon buckets of rain on you. All of these are things that are beyond the control of the buyer/seller or their Realtor, you just have to accept that these things happen.
We finally get the phone call from my lawyer/friend Carlo at 2:00 pm that the deal has officially closed, the keys are on the way, and the movers are chomping at the bit. Oh…and now it is REALLY raining. The reason the deal took so long to close was because the previous homeowner tried her best to make the home as clean as possible which slowed things down some. None of this matters now as our damp boxes are making their way into this house. My attitude at this point in time is c’est la vie. Thanks to numerous deep breathing exercises and counting to 10, I’m managing to keep my temper in check. Even though the movers are tracking in water, dirt and leaves throughout my clean house, again, some things are simply out of our control.
Now we get the curveball followed up by the slider. While bringing boxes into rooms I noticed that a TV that was supposed to be in the home is missing. Wait a second, we negotiated for this, it has to be somewhere in the house. I ignore the movers for a few minutes to search for the TV and the other chattels that were to be left with the house. Appliances and water softener are here. Even the neat ceiling fan is still here, but no TV. I head out to the garage and still no TV. What I do find is 4 inches of water on the floor of my new garage.
Thank-you for visiting.