Memory is a funny thing – people often recall events, scenes, and conversations they hardly paid any attention to at the time, but completely forget things that are supposed to be remarkable or important. This is especially true when a person is under a lot of stress or feeling very emotional – small details stick in the mind whereas essential matters slip from memory.
It’s easy to overlook a small detail in the relocation mayhem or lose track of things when overwhelmed with laborious moving preparations. Failing to complete an important moving task, however, may result in lots of wasted time and money. Even a single forgotten item may cause plenty of headaches so here’s a helpful list of what I felt are some of the crucial things to remember.
Feel free to share your story if you’ve ever accidentally forgotten or overlooked an important ‘move’ detail, don’t feel bad, we’ve all been there...
Make Sure Your Down Payment Funds Are Ready
In the case that you are using funds from your RRSP to complete the purchase, make sure that you’ve informed your bank representative at least one month prior to closing on the house so that the funds will be available.
If you’re just in the starting period of purchasing, your mortgage broker should be able to provide you with a rough estimate for your closing costs as well so that you know how much you will have left over for your down payment.
Be Aware of Your Closing Costs
It is extremely important that you have a crystal-clear understanding of exactly how much money you will need to pay in order to complete on closing day.
This amount owing will not just include what is stated in the purchase agreement, but also other payments such as property transfer tax, legal fees, disbursements, property tax adjustments, and more.
Make sure to have this discussion with your lawyer well in advance of closing to ensure that you have sufficient funds available.
Change your utilities
Make sure to call your utility companies and let them know you’re moving. In some cases, that will mean canceling service with your existing company and setting up services with a new provider. Make sure to call the company a week or two before your move in date – in some cases, a technician may need to come to the house before they turn on services. You’ll want to make sure you have water, power, gas, sewer, trash service, and internet.
Change your locks
When moving into a new home, you never know who has keys to your existing locks. Old tenants, previous homeowners, or even some of your neighbors might have spare keys. It’s a good idea to replace the locks on move-in day, make sure to order a replacement lock set ahead of time.
Arrange for Home Insurance on the Property
In order to obtain mortgage financing the lender will most likely require you to have insurance on the property.
Arrange your home closing insurance coverage well in advance, as the insurance company will have a questionnaire with questions that you need to fill out in detail.
You’ll Meet with your Lawyer to Sign Off on the Statement of Adjustments, preferably at least 2 Days in Advance
The lawyer will prepare a statement of adjustments outlining what has been paid, and what is owing on each side of the transaction. Many notaries and lawyers will work 9am-5pm, so make sure that you’re planning well in advance to take time off work to review the statement of adjustments for closing.
Complete Your Final Walk Through
Your realtor should have added a term that you can go back to see the property prior to closing, as well as warranted all of the appliances to ensure that they will be working upon possession.
You’ll have to arrange with the seller for a pre-closing inspection of all the appliances, heating, plumbing, and electrical systems as close as possible to the closing date. Make sure that the seller has completed, or has scheduled to complete everything that they have promised will be given to you on closing.
Decide on a mover
Are you going to hire a moving company? If so, you’ll want to do some research on different movers in your area, get some quotes, and schedule your moving date ahead of time. If your friends and family were so kind as to offer their help, then it’s best to start lining up your help as soon as possible. You might also want to consider reserving a moving truck from a local rental company.
Organize Your Move In Date
You will have agreed to a move in time on the contract of purchase and sale, along with the specified possession date. The time ranges, but is commonly 9AM or 12PM the day after completion.
Make sure that you are well aware of the time that you are entitled to receiving the keys, and arrange your movers well in advance as they book up quickly.
Strategize Your Overlap
If you are selling your home and buying at the same time, dates will be a very important factor for you.
To avoid a rushed move, many sellers like to have their purchase complete before their sale so that they can transition in to their new home slowly before they have to leave their current one.
What Can Go Wrong: Reasons to Try to Avoid an End of Month or End of Week Closing
There are certainly things that can go wrong at completion, and the above information will help to avoid this. However, notaries and lawyers often see the following issues arise at completion:
- Not having the proper funds to complete
- Failing to complete a walk through & realizing there are issues with the home
- Lender pulling out because your financial situation has changed
If something goes wrong, you’ll want a day or two to resolve the problem. If you close on a Friday, then that means that you’ll have to wait until Monday to get the issue resolved as notaries and lenders are not open on the weekends.