6) Home Inspection, Settlement & Moving Tips

Home Inspections

When you're ready to complete a purchase and sale agreement on a home, your offer will generally be contingent on a professional inspection of the entire property, including improvements. The home inspector looks beyond the cosmetics to make sure that the home's general systems operate properly. The inspector will also look for large repairs that are needed and report on the condition of the home.

The standard home inspector's report will review the conditions of the home's heating and cooling system, interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement and visible structure. The inspector will also look for cracks in cement walls, water stains that indicate leakage and any indication of wood rot.

A home inspection also points out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape.

As your Windermere agent, I'm familiar with home inspection services and can provide you with a list of names from which to choose. Another good source for finding a home inspector is to ask a friend, or perhaps a business acquaintance, who has had a home inspection and can recommend a home inspector they were satisfied with.

Remember, no home is perfect. If problems are found, I will help you negotiate through the process.


Settlement - who pays what?

During the negotiation stage of the transaction, a mutually agreed-upon date for closing is determined. "Closing" is when you and the seller sign all the paperwork and pay your share of the settlement fees, and the documents are recorded. Settlement obligations vary widely due to specific contract language, local laws and customs. Prior to closing, the closing agent (usually an escrow or title company or attorney) will complete a detailed settlement statement for both buyer and seller. As your Windermere agent, I can help you understand which of the following typical settlement fees apply to you.

The buyer will receive:

  • Earnest money deposit

The buyer pays:

  • One-half of escrow or legal fees paid to the attorney or escrow company for preparing the closing
  • Document preparation fees
  • Recording and notary fees
  • Title search and title insurance
  • Local transfer taxes, if any
  • Repairs or inspections the buyer has agreed to pay for
  • Loan fees
  • Appraisal fees
  • Credit report fees

Moving tips:

Six to eight weeks before:

  • Use up things that may be difficult to move, such as frozen food.
  • Get estimates from professional movers or truck rental companies if you are moving yoursel£
  • Once you've selected a mover, discuss insurance, packing, loading and delivery and the claims procedure.
  • Sort through your possessions. Decide what you want to keep, what you want to sell and what you wish to donate to charity.
  • Record serial numbers on electronic equipment and take photos of or videotape all your belongings.
  • At Windermere, we offer Northwest Home Connections in most areas. Ask me about this program for changing your utilities, including phone, power and water, from your old address to your new address.
  • Obtain a change of address packet from the post office and send to creditors, magazine subscriptions and catalog vendors.
  • Discuss tax-deductible moving expenses with your accountant and begin keeping accurate records.
  • If you're moving to a new community, contact the Chamber of Commerce and school district and request information about services.
  • Make reservations with airlines, hotels and car rental agencies, if needed.

Two to four weeks before:

  • If you are moving yourself, use your inventory list to determine how many boxes you will need.
  • Begin packing non-essential items.
  • Arrange for storage, if needed.
  • If you have items you don't want to pack and move, hold a yard sale.
  • Get car license, registration and insurance in order.
  • Transfer your bank accounts to new branch locations. Cancel any direct deposit or automatic payments from your accounts.
  • Make special arrangements to move pets and consult your veterinarian about ways to make travel comfortable for them.
  • Have your car checked and serviced for the trip.
  • Collect items from safe-deposit box.

One week before:

  • Talk to your pharmacist about transferring important medical prescriptions.
  • Arrange for a baby sitter on moving day.
  • Return library books and videotapes.

Two to three days prior:

  • Defrost your refrigerator and freezer.
  • Have movers pack your belongings.
  • Arrange to have payment ready for moving company.
  • Set aside legal documents and valuables that you do not want packed.
  • Pack clothing and toiletries, along with extra clothes in case the moving company is delayed.
  • Give your travel itinerary to a close friend or relative so they can reach you as needed.

Moving day:

Old home

  • Pick up the truck as early as possible if you are moving yourself.
  • Make a list of every item and box loaded on the truck.
  • Label each box with the contents and the room where you want it to be delivered.
  • Let the mover know how to reach you.
  • Double-check closets, cupboards, attic, basement and garage for any left-behind items.

New home

  • Be on hand at the new home to answer questions and give instructions to the mover.
  • Check off boxes and items as they come off the truck.
  • Install new locks.
  • If you've used Windermere's Northwest Home Connections program, your utilities should be turned on and ready for use.
  • Unpack your "first day" box.
  • Unpack children's toys and find a safe place for them to play.
  • Examine your goods for damage.

Packing tips:

Essential packing materials:

  • furniture pads
  • handtruck
  • dolly
  • packing tape
  • bubble wrap
  • crumpled newspapers or packing paper
  • scissors
  • utility knife
  • labels
  • felt-tip markers
  • Styrofoam "peanuts"
  • plenty of boxes

Pack a "first day" box with items you will need right away. Handy items include:

  • scissors
  • utility knife
  • local telephone book
  • coffee cups
  • tea kettle
  • instant coffee or tea, soft drinks
  • pencil and paper
  • soap
  • bath towels
  • trash bags
  • shelf liner
  • paper plates
  • snacks
  • toilet paper
  • children's toys and books

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The Magner Group | Kathy direct 425-803-9457 • kathy@kathymagner.com
Brandi direct 425-803-9219 • brandi@kathymagner.com | Fax 425-739-4692
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