By Shayne Bowen
One of my long time clients suggested that
I write a moving checklist, since there is so much to remember during the moving process.
This was a great idea, so I've written a checklist to help you through the
various steps involved. These steps cover the moving process and the final stages of the
Here is the checklist:
- Make a contingency plan in case the escrow closes late.
- Many escrows close late, due to lenders delaying the close. Several additional
factors can cause an escrow to close late.
- It's important
to make a contingency plan
in case an escrow closes late.
- Movers should be alerted that the move date may be delayed a few days
past the intended close.
- Hold a garage sale. Discard, donate, or sell any unneeded items.
- Send out change of address card to friends, relatives, and magazines. You
may get these from the Post Office.
- Obtain moving boxes.
- Pack all items in moving boxes.
- Write a number on each moving box.
- Record contents of each box on a separate list, referencing the box
- Get references from friends or me for moving companies.
- Interview moving companies. Get written estimates!
- Set things up with your mover in such a way that they know that the transaction
may close 1 to 5 days late (sometimes even more!).
- Make sure that your items are properly valued for your household goods. Don't
include sentimental items on the moving truck - they can't be replaced.
- Rent a moving truck if you are performing the move yourself.
- If you have any very high value items, obtain an appraisal and gather any
relevant receipts prior to the move.
- If you own a pool table, and are using a moving company, you will likely need to
disassemble and crate your pool table, or obtain a vendor who will do this for you.
- Disconnect cables and cords, and secure your stereo, TV, and PC equipment so that
it won't be damaged during the move. If possible, place these sensitive items in their
- PC: Back up the sensitive data from your PC before your move date. PC hard drives
are notoriously sensitive to loss of data, caused by the bumps involved in moving.
- Obtain insurance in advance on your new home.
- Sellers Only: If you are leaving the area, ask me for a referral to a competent
real estate broker in the area where you are going.
- Sellers Only: If you are currently living out of state, ask the title
company for paperwork to apply for an exemption from California's 3.33% withholding.
- If you are living out of state, California requires
that title companies withhold 3.33% of a seller's total proceeds from the sale, and hold
these funds until any taxes owed are paid.
- There is a form that you can fill out to apply for an exemption. The
state may or may not agree to this exemption.
- Ask the title company for this form early, as it can often take
the State several weeks to respond to your exemption request.
- Sellers Only: If you are doing a 1031 exchange, set up an intermediary (a
- Make sure that the title company knows that you are doing a 1031
- Arrange an exchange intermediary. Talk to me for a list of possible firms
- Change your address with the post office.
- Get final briefing from me for the last week escrow activities.
- Set aside at least 90 minutes in your calendar during the last week of
the transaction for signing at the title company.
- Get escrow number and escrow phone numbers from me.
- Ask me for the address of the title company, and save this address for
- Call escrow company to make an appointment for final signing.
- If you are leaving the area (and driving there), get your
- If you are leaving the area, make sure to drain gas and oil
from power equipment, and to empty your gas grill.
- Remember to cancel deliveries for all kinds of personal
services, including cancelling newspaper deliveries, trash collection, phone, cable TV,
etc. If applicable, remember to give these vendors your forwarding address.
- Give me your new address, phone number, and e-mail address. There are often routine items of business that need to be mailed to your
new address, even after the escrow closes.
- Get utilities set up at your new home. Do this in advance.
- Notify all of your credit card companies of your change of
- If you are leaving the area, transfer your bank accounts
and your safe deposit box.
- Discard perishable foods, and
defrost your freezer.
- Notify your stock broker, investment advisor, doctor, dentist,
veterinary, etc., of your change of address. If you are leaving the area request that they
forward relevant files and documents to your professionals in your new area.
- Buyers Only: Ask the escrow officer for the dollar amount of the cashier's
check needed to finalize the escrow. Please complete this no later than three days
before the scheduled close of the transaction.
- Buyers Only: Go to the bank and get cashier's check for closing.
- Tell bank that
the cashier's check must be drawn on
a California bank. Be aware that your bank may draw their checks
on a bank in Chicago or New York!
- If this is done incorrectly the escrow will be
held up, by law, 10 business days. This could imperil your interest rate or
potentially your transaction.
- Sign papers at the title company.
- Carefully review all escrow company papers.
- Review escrow papers at home after signing at title
- Call me immediately if there are any issues or needed
corrections in the final escrow papers.
- Sellers Only: Tell the escrow officer how you want to receive your final
- You may receive your final check by:
- Picking it up in person
- Having it mailed to you
- Having it wired to you (you'll need to bring your account & wiring
information to the escrow company)
- Having it direct deposited to you (you'll need to bring your account
information to the title company)
- Be aware that it takes 2 business days after
everyone signs escrow company papers to
(close) the escrow.
- If you are doing two transactions, repeat all escrow company
- This would apply only if you are both selling your existing
property and purchasing a new property.
- Confer with me as to our best estimate regarding the date
of your move day. Reconfirm this move date with your movers.
- Call utilities to turn on or off the appropriate services.
- Tell the utility companies that you want to transfer
the utilities into your name. Try to avoid a shut off of utilities. Doing so will
save you money.
- Sellers Only: Tell the utility companies that you are moving from your
current home, and that the utilities need to be put into the name of the new purchaser.
Please tell them that the buyer will call to set up a new account. Try to avoid a
shut off of utilities, if at all possible. Doing so will save the purchaser money.
- ISP: Call your ISP, DSL, or cable company (if you need this service).
- Your DSL or cable service may or may not be available in your new area. You may
be able to obtain DSL or cable coverage in your new neighborhood that was not available in
your current location.
- If your ISP changes, notify your email correspondents that your email address has
changed, and let them know your new email address. Several ISPs will do this for you when
you open a new account from them, if you ask.
- Approve all papers that I or my escrow coordinator have sent you, and
send them back to me as soon as possible!
- Turnaround time for transaction papers needs to be especially rapid
during the last week of the transaction.
- Sellers Only: Make sure that smoke detectors operate properly (please
test them), and that the water heater is properly strapped.
- State law requires that smoke detectors be provided in
normal operating condition, and that water heater be double strapped properly. This is important.
- Sellers Only: Prepare your home for buyer's final walk through
- Please insure that the home fully complies with all
relevant clauses in the purchase agreement! The relevant clauses are those that cover
property condition. These clauses are automatically part of the
purchase agreement, unless the purchase agreement contains an as-is clause.
- Any items in the home not in compliance with the terms in
the purchase agreement need to be repaired by the seller prior to close of escrow.
- Buyers Only: Schedule final walk through inspection.
- Sellers Only: Remove all items of personal
property and all debris, inside and outside, from the home and property.
important that all personal
belongings need to be removed from the home, including paint cans, wood, items from
attics, side yard, garages, front and back yards, etc.
- Sellers Only: If you are leaving the area, remember to
prepare your plants. Get them ready for shipping, or make arrangements to
leave them with a local friend or family member.
- Sellers Only: Please leave all keys
(home, mail box, pool, etc.) on kitchen counters, in plain view.
- Please leave
keys: garage door openers; front door; rear door; padlocks;
storage; pool; mail; sliding glass doors; storage sheds,
- Sellers Only: If possible, please leave brochures and operating manuals
for appliances, systems, & sprinklers.
- Buyers Only: Obtain new home key. I will provide this for you at close of
- Sellers Only: Cancel insurance on the home being sold.
- Please avoid cancelling the insurance until the property closes.
Escrows do often close later than intended. It's important to keep your property insured
until it closes!
- Sellers Only: If you are leaving the area, place charcoal or fresh ground
coffee (placed in a stocking) in your refrigerator, to keep it fresh smelling during the
move. Also, remove and pack glass shelves.
- Sellers Only: Drain the water supply faucets from your washer. Remove
exhaust line from your dryer.
- Sellers Only: If you own a chandelier
that is not remaining
with your home, obtain specialized packing or crating. Before the moving day, contact
a qualified electrician to remove this item.
- Sellers Only: If you own a grandfather clock, remove the weights and the
- Sellers Only: Pack your personal luggage and miscellaneous must-have
items so that they will not be included with your boxes on the moving truck.
- Sellers Only: Do your final move out, and deliver possession of the
property to the buyer.
- Double check that you haven't left anything. It's easy to miss things in
cupboards, storage areas, the garage, and the attic. Double check these areas.
- Sellers Only: Pick up your check from the escrow company
- If you wish to pick up your check, call the escrow company
to make sure that the check is ready and has been put in will-call for you.
- Sellers Only: If you are moving out of the area, on the day of your move,
consider staying the night in a local hotel, or with local friends or family. This will
allow you to leave the next day and set out fresh for your new home.
|If you would like a
complimentary, personalized property value analysis, please phone Shayne Bowen at 707
577-8200! (Alternately, you may click here
to make a request for a personalized property value analysis.)
|If you are interested in making
a purchase or exchange of a property, please phone Shayne Bowen at 707 577-8200!
(Alternately, you may click here
to request information on potential properties for you.)