A Moving Experience . . .Pack It Up, Store It, Purge It & More
Selling a home your family has lived in for years and looking for something new in a completely different neighbourhood or even city/town, can be a time-consuming, emotional process for everyone involved.
Finding a new school and making new friends, meeting new neighbours, deciding what to keep and what to throw away is all part of the equation for families making a move across Windsor and Essex County.
But, there are ways to help the transition go as smoothly as possible.
At Biz X magazine, we spoke to experts from the real estate industry; movers who have been packing, transporting and unpacking furniture for decades; people who specialize in de-cluttering and downsizing and people who can help you decide what to keep, what to recycle and what to discard.
All of them have one common piece of advice — the more organized you are, the better the move will go.
Seller’s Market Or Buyer’s Market?
It was most definitely a seller’s market in the Windsor Essex region (before the COVID-19 shutdown), according to an experienced Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Capital Diamond Realty (Unit C-2451 Dougall Avenue, Windsor).
“It’s 100 percent a seller’s market and it’s difficult for a buyer to get in,” believes Jim Broad. “Of course, once you sell you become a buyer yourself, unless you’re downsizing or going to an apartment.”
The Windsor-Essex County Association of REALTORS released its monthly report showing that listings for March 2020 were up by 10.71 percent to 796, compared to 719 in March of 2019.
At the time of this report there were 934 available listings with 489 properties sold in March 2020 (down 9.44% compared to March 2019 when 540 properties were sold).
The average sales price for March 2020 was $357,874. The average sales price for March 2019 was $333,039.
The most popular style of homes sold this month were: bungalow (104) followed by ranch (79), two-storey (72), 1.5- storey (63) and raised ranch (55).
In such a growing marketplace, by Windsor standards at least, Broad advises his clients to find their new home before completing the sale of their existing property so they know exactly what they are getting into financially.
“They need to get their finances organized before making the leap,” Broad stresses. “They need to be sure they qualify for bridge financing and once all that is in place, it’s time to look for something new.”And to help that sale move smoothly through the process, Broad offers a number of tips, including leaving enough time to make whatever changes or updates you need to make to your former home.
“I make an initial visit, take some photos, assess the home and then I go away to prepare a report before returning and making suggestions such as painting or updating countertops in the kitchen,” explains Broad.
De-cluttering is also a key element in showing a home to its best advantage as well as moving out furniture that creates an impediment to smooth and easy access.
“If you have to step around an ottoman, move it so that people don’t see it as an obstacle,” he says. “Arrange your closets so they don’t look packed and cluttered because prospective buyers need to think there’s ample room for everything they will be bringing. Perception is so important and you need to create a perception that your home is a blank canvas just waiting for a new occupant.”
Broad mentions he handles all the paperwork required to sell a home and works with buyers to make sure that transition works smoothly as well.
“It’s a difficult time, especially for children, but if families include good schools among their reasons for locating in a particular neighbourhood, that can go a long way towards making it easier,” adds Broad.
“I Like To Move It, Move It”
The more organized you are, the faster and more efficiently the move will go, states Glen Cook, owner of Glen’s Moving Ltd. Operating from 4080 North Service Road East, Windsor, the company has been in business for more than 40 years.
According to Cook the first step for a move is to request an assessment of the amount of furniture and possessions that are being moved, so the right size van can be reserved and sufficient time set aside on the day of the actual move.
“We can provide packing materials, but we can also do the packing if people prefer that we handle it,” Cook notes. “We suggest people label every box, so when it comes time to unpack, they can just unpack what they need on that particular day.”
Cook recommends using newsprint rather than bubble wrap, because the former conforms to the shape of the item being wrapped and it isn’t as bulky and won’t take up as much space in the packing boxes.
Clients are also urged to keep a set-up box handy for smaller items such as couch casters, screwdrivers, labelling materials, phones, TV remotes or anything else that runs the risk of being misplaced during the move.
Cook suggests important items such as papers, documents, jewellery and medication be packed away in the client’s trunk before the movers even arrive, so it won’t get mixed up with everything else.