Managing a move while closing on a home

Jim on

yellow house with for sale sign and moving truckGetting a new home is exciting -- a new space (new to you, at least), a new neighborhood or city, and new opportunities are all awesome things. But whether you're buying a home remotely or locally, it takes work. You’ve got plenty of things to juggle: offers, agreements, inspections... and our good friend paperwork, paperwork, paperwork.

Here at Moveline, we know that when it comes to real estate and moving, the unexpected is the norm -- it doesn’t matter if you’re hiring a mover, handling it yourself, working with multiple agents, or going it on your own. So if you're scheduling both a move and a closing, we've gathered a few tips to you plan a more frustration-free move.

Don't move on closing day

Closing on a home is a big deal. It's stressful. Moving is a big deal, and is also stressful. Do yourself (and everyone around you) a favor and don't order up a double pressure sandwich. Even if everything goes off with military precision (it won’t), you'll still be crazy at the end of the day. There are better options.

Schedule your closing time first

If possible, don’t try to cram your closing into a tiny little time slot because you’ve already scheduled movers. With a decision as large as buying a home, and with so much paperwork to handle, you don’t want to rush and miss something important. Take your time. Figure out when you can close first, and only then, schedule your move.

Dealer's choice: gap or overlap

This is a difficult choice to face. If you close a few weeks or a month before you move, you'll be paying for two homes when you can only be in one at a time -- unless you've figured out how to bend time/space, that is. (And if you've done that... well, you can stop reading now, Dr. Beckett.)

Or, you can plan to move out of your existing home before you close on the new one. This option avoids a double-rent or double-mortgage situation, but you'll likely need short-term storage for your things, as well as an apartment (or a willing friend/relative who has a couch you can crash on).

Try to plan your move and closing at least a week apart -- whichever route you choose.

The wildcard: pre- and post-closing occupancy

In the vast majority of home sales, closing day is literally the day the home changes hands. But some homeowners have gotten a bit more creative. When selling, you could negotiate a day or two of post-closing occupancy that allows you to schedule your move after the closing date has passed. Similarly, when closing on a new home, pre-closing occupancy would allow you to move your things into the home (or maybe the garage) prior to the actual closing. At the very least, both of these routes help you avoid temporary storage (and the stress and expenses that go along with it) between homes. Just make sure the terms are clear in your contract.

The bottom line: communicate

Ultimately, unexpected things happen. Plan for contingencies. If and when delays hit, talk to all parties involved. They might be facing delays on their own moves and could use an extra day or two themselves; you never know. Lastly, be ready to roll with the punches. It'll all be over soon enough, and the biggest home issue you'll be facing will be choosing whether you want Summer Emerald or Lime Sorbet paint for your living room.

For more tips, check out the bevy of helpful articles in the Moveline blog. And when you’re ready to book your move, don’t go it alone. Give us a shout. We’ll be there with you every step of the way.