You found a house, fell in love, made an offer, and it was accepted. Congratulations! Before you pop the champagne and pick out paint colors, there are still a few steps you need to take to ensure the transition from your old house to your new home goes as seamlessly as possible.
Below are seven tasks—some small, some big—that everyone should do on or before closing day. By taking care of everything on this list, you’ll be able to unpack your champagne flutes in peace.
1. Change the locks.
It doesn’t matter how trustworthy the sellers seem, it’s always a good idea to change the locks as soon as your new home is officially yours. After all, you don’t know who had a spare, how many keys are floating around, or how someone might take your move-in date as an opportunity to break in. Play it safe and call a locksmith so you can sleep soundly in your brand new bedroom.
2. Switch over the utilities.
Gas, electric, cable, Internet—basically, everything that makes a house a home! The last thing you want to do is take a cold shower after moving boxes all day, or turn on Netflix to relax, only to remember you’re not connected. Call your providers at least two weeks ahead of time to make sure you get appointments when you need them.
3. Update or sign up for homeowners’ insurance.
Almost all lenders require homeowners’ insurance, so unless you’re paying in cash, you will need to make sure your policy is in place the day you move in. This is because lenders need to protect their investment—that is, your home—in case of storms, tornados, or other disasters. Even if you’re not taking out a mortgage, it’s still a good idea to get homeowners’ insurance. Anything can happen and it’s best to be prepared!
4. Meet your neighbors.
Your new home is part of a community, and you’ll enjoy living there more if you feel like a part of the neighborhood. Introduce yourself to the neighbors on either side of your house and across the street, and get their contact information (and offer yours!) in case of an emergency. You can also check to see if your neighborhood has anyone virtual apps like Facebook or Nextdoor. This is a great way to introduce yourself to people and to stay aware of events and issues, from yard sales to suspicious activity.
5. Review your paperwork thoroughly.
If you can review all your documents a few days before the closing, take the opportunity and do just that! Any typos, from a misspelled name to an incorrect address, can hold up your closing for hours or even days. Your real estate agent is a great resource when it comes to paperwork. They spend all day reviewing contracts and documents and know exactly what to look for, so take advantage of their expertise!
6. Measure all the rooms while they’re still empty.
It’s a great idea to take measurements before you move anything in, since an empty house makes it easier to take accurate measurements. Why do you need this information? If you’re buying anything for your home, such as furniture, curtains, or décor, it will be easier to get the right sizes if you have this info on hand. It’s also good to know all the measurements of your home when it comes to things like tax write offs and insurance policies.
7. Be absolutely certain your home is move-in ready.
Take a final walk-through of the home right before you sign the final papers. If you notice anything is amiss—that is, if the home hasn’t been cleaned out, if something is broken, or if an agreed-upon repair has yet to be completed—bring it up immediately. Once you close the home is legally yours, and you won’t be able to make any more negotiations. Even though you’re excited, it’s best to slow down, take a deep breath, and make sure all is well before you sign your name on the dotted lines.
We hope these tips help you have a smooth closing day! No matter what stage of the home buying process you’re in, the agents at Network Real Estate can help you make the right choices every time. Contact us today to learn more about buying, selling, and making your dream home a reality.