Moving sounds easy - call up a mover, load up the truck, and you’re off, right? Wrong - below are Kelly Grant's important details you might have overlooked but must be handled in advance to make sure your next move is a success:
(1). Plan out everything weeks or months in advance, starting with selecting the right mover. Call up various movers in the Yellow Pages, and also ask your REALTOR®, family, friends, and / or the Better Business Bureau for referrals of good companies. Questions to ask movers: rates, availability, level of bonding, WCB, and insurance for customers (along with their documents to be supplied to you prior to your move date), number of trucks and moving personnel, years of experience, company procedures and policies followed for all moves, etc. Of equal importance: allow enough time to complete all tasks, and develop contingency plans for unforeseen circumstances such as weather; truck delays; money transfer / key turnover delays; storage / accommodation issues; etc.
(2). Consult your REALTOR® in advance of signing a purchase contract to ensure coordination of possession dates. For example, you do not want to turn over your existing property before you take possession on a new property you bought without an interim place to stay and storing your furniture and other household goods. Conversely, with an overlap of properties, it is important to speak with your bank in advance to ensure any required interim financing arrangements have been made.
(3). Notify everyone that you want to know of your address change: Canada Post; Revenue Canada; Elections Canada; insurance companies; employer; magazine and news subscriptions; banks (including cheques); motor vehicle licence / registration; credit card companies; power company; phone company; water / sewer company; heating / gas company; cable company; professional or union affiliations; family and friends; etc. Note forwarding mail via Canada Post is only temporary and unreliable (and only available for a few months maximum) before the service stops altogether so forwarding does not replace the importance of notifying address changes.
(4). When moving out: leave insurance on your property a few days after possession until your lawyer has confirmed that the Buyer’s money has arrived; notify insurance company if your home will be vacant for any period of time prior to possession; remove all unattached goods that will not be turned over to a new buyer or renter; keep a supply of cash with you for unforseen expenses; map out your travel route; keep valuable items you do not want going with the movers; arrange special transportation of any pets, pianos, etc.; turn out all lights but do not turn furnace off; talk to your REALTOR® for instructions on leaving keys, garage door openers, etc. behind; and ensure all doors and windows are locked on your way out.
(5). When moving in: check unattached goods included and condition of interior / exterior; check power, phone, water / sewer, and heating / gas; ensure furnace, hot water tank, air conditioning, and / or appliances are all turned on; call post office for any mail waiting at their depot; call in a locksmith to change all locks since one never knows who may still have a copy of a key given by a previous owner.
Note also: if moving yourself including help from friends and family, there are many associated risks (i.e. vs. the option of hiring an experienced moving company) including: high risk of damage to your personal belongings; high risk of damage to property; high risk of injury to yourself and others; and the associated legal risks for all of these.
In summary, moving to a new address should be an exciting and memorable experience. Addressing the important details outlined above will help to make sure your next move goes smoothly and successfully.
[Article written and ©2009, ©2020 by Kelly Grant, M.Eng., ABR, NCSO, P.Eng. - REALTOR® at MaxWell POLARIS in Edmonton, AB]
Disclaimer: for those readers not currently represented by another licensed REALTOR®, to obtain more information on this topic and / or if you will be selling or buying in the Greater Edmonton Area, call Kelly at 780-414-6100 (pager) or send Kelly an email to SOLD@KellyGrant.ca to schedule a confidential appointment.