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Checklist for moving
Courtesy of Brenda Wasson, Indian Lake Realty


Send change of address to:


·         Electric
·         Gas
·         Water
·         Telephone
·         Fuel
·         Garbage and refuse

Publications (Notice requires several weeks):

·         Newspapers
·         Magazines

Government and public offices:

·         State motor vehicle bureau
·         Social Security administration
·         Post office


·         Life
·         Auto
·         Home
·         Health
·         Fire
·         Other

Professional Services: 

·         Doctor
·         Dentist
·         Accountant
·         Lawyer
·         Broker

Established Business Accounts:

·         Dry cleaner
·         Drug store
·         Diaper Service
·         Water softener service
·         Newspaper
·         Credit cards



·         Relatives, friends    
·         Book & record club
·         Organizations, clubs
·         School

Questions and Answers:

Q: What does a real estate broker do for the seller?

A: Through his MLS contacts, the broker can expose the property to a great number of potential buyers. Many brokers here also are tied to national relocation networks that attract transferees. They often are the most motivated buyers.

The agent helps a buyer set the price by doing a market analysis, taking a survey of the house and property and looking at recent comparable sales in the area. The agent likely will advise the seller to hire an appraiser and recommend a list of competent appraisers.

The agent provides an eye-appealing yard sign, a legal description of the property including a lot size and tax information, and an information sheet on the house including photograph. He also determines whether the property conforms to local codes, and helps the seller determine what steps to take to get the house ready to sell.

The agent can provide a contract for a home warranty plan, and acts as a liaison between buyer, seller and the home warranty company. In the final phases of the sale, the agent gets together the title or abstract, collects tax information, oversees home inspection schedules and keeps the seller informed as to how the buyers are working through the financing process.

Q: Why do people try to sell on their own?

A: Independence, spawned by fear they will be pressured by a broker. Or they feel they can successfully market the house and save the broker's commission. According to nationally-syndicated real estate columnist Edith Lank, fewer than 1 in 10 homes nationwide sells without a broker.

Q: How do you find a good real estate agent?

A: Look for a person compatible to your own personality, someone with training, experience, enthusiasm and a professional demeanor, someone referred by friends who have sold a home recently or who specializes in your area of town.

Q: How much should I do to the house to get it ready for sale?

A: Give it good road appeal by tidying up the lawn and planting flowers. Touch up exterior paint. Make sure the inside is spotless and uncluttered. Ask a friend or relative to store the excess from closets, attic, basement.

Repair small items such as silent doorbells, sticky doors, drippy faucets. If major items such as the roof, carpeting or basement walls need substantial and costly repairs, get written estimates and have these available for buyers to read. Bargain accordingly.


Q: What's the best way to negotiate?

A: If an offer meets your financial expectations and timing requirements, accept it. If the price is right but other details are wrong, counter the offer and keep the lines of communication open.


Hints to Sellers for a Smoother Settlement
Courtesy of Brenda Wasson, Indian Lake Realty

There are about 60 people involved in the settlement of any real estate transaction. The following are some tips to make the process run smoothly.

Call your lender for advice about making your mortgage payment during the month of closing.

NOTE: If you make a payment after the payoff amount is determined, the closing/escrow statement will have to be changed, and your lender may charge a fee for updating the documents to reflect the new payout amount.

If you currently have an FHA mortgage, 30 day advance notice of mortgage payoff may have to be given to avoid an additional charge of one month's interest. (Some lenders charge a per diem rate, others charge 30 day's interest.)

You should be aware that it is common practice to add several day's interest to the amount due as of settlement on your mortgage payoff. Your lender considers the actual payout date to be the day the funds are received. If you have a local lender, it may be possible to hand carry the payoff check to save any extra charges for daily interest. Check with your title company about their policy.

Lien waivers must be provided at closing for all work done to the property in the previous six months. A lien waiver is a standard form provided by contractors or other workman verifying that they have been paid in full and cannot place a mechanics lien against the property.

Be sure to make arrangements to transfer all utilities out of your name as of the date of occupancy. If your home is heated by oil, it may be considered personal property and, as such, will be purchased by the buyer at the time of settlement. Please arrange for your vendor to measure the amount of remaining oil and to give you a written statement as to its current value. Bring that statement to closing or escrow.

Water and sewer bills (if applicable) will be prorated on the closing statement. If you have a bill coming due near the date of settlement, please inform your closing/escrow agent as to whether or not you have paid it.

The following items are usually pro-rated on the closing/escrow statement:


Homeowner's Association Fees Current Taxes Rents (If applicable)

 If you will be unable to attend the closing/escrow, all documents may be pre-signed.

Some lending institutions have a policy of not releasing real estate tax escrows until after a loan is paid off in full. This may cause a temporary cash flow problem if all your proceeds of sale are needed immediately upon settlement. Call your lender and ask if the tax escrow will be fully credited on the payout statement.

Copyright Christine Doyle Seminars (hints to sellers)



Plants on the Move
Courtesy of Brenda Wasson, Indian Lake Realty

Plants can be moved fairly easily in your car, if room is available. It is not recommended that plants be placed on moving vans because of extreme temperatures that the plants may be subjected to. The following are some suggestions for moving your household plants.

Call your local U.S. Department of Agriculture to check on regulations if you are moving from one state to another. Many states have restrictions on certain kinds of plants to prevent importing bugs or pests that can destroy valuable cash crops in that state.

Three weeks before the move, prune plants back as much as possible to make them hardier and less bulky for the move.

Two weeks before the move, place the plants in a black plastic bag with a bug/pest strip or pest control powder. Close the bag and place in a cool area overnight. This will kill any pests on the plant or in the soil.

The day before your move, place the plants in their travel containers (cardboard is preferable). Secure the plants by packing dampened newspaper or packing paper around them. Use more paper to cushion the leaves and place a final layer of wet paper on top to keep them moist. Water the plants normally in summer, a little less in winter.

On the day of your move, set the boxes aside and mark "Do Not Load" so they won't be taken on the moving van.

On the day of the move, close the boxes, punch air holes in the top, and load them in your car.

While traveling, be careful not to leave the plants in extreme temperatures when the car is parked.

Unpack the plants as soon as you can after arriving. Remove plants through the bottom of the box in order to avoid breaking the stems. Expose the plants to sunlight gradually to reduce shock.

If you must leave your plants behind, take cuttings. Put them in a plastic bag with wet paper towels around them.

Copyright Christine Doyle Seminars (Plants)