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Packing Fast and Furious: Tips for Moving Fast

Spring House Hunt

From questions to ask real estate agents and movers to how to pack effectively, we’ve got you covered. But we won’t be there to transport your sofa.


. Ally Rzesa/Globe Staff; Adobe Stock

The prospect of buying a home here remains daunting: The median price of a single-family home in Greater Boston soared to $900,000 in mid-March. Mortgage rates have climbed above 7 percent. And the rental market is tough, too, even further from the city: in fact, the Worcester metro area was recently named the third most competitive rental market in the country.

But life happens: a divorce, a new job, a parent who needs help. Sometimes you have to move, and quickly. How to make the process less painless? Here are the tips from the pros:

Work with the right real estate agent because relationships are key. Mary Yazbeck-Saliba, of RE/Max Real Estate Center in Walpole, understands the need to act quickly: in 1991, she fled to the United States to escape civil unrest in Sierra Leone; now, she specializes in relocation. “When buying, choose a real estate agent who practices real estate full time, someone you know is networked with a diverse group of brokers and who is well-liked and respected,” Yazbeck-Saliba said. “This is important because you can get leads before a listing goes public, and you’ll likely get an offer accepted faster. The agents on the other side know (then) that the buyer’s agent will have a buyer who is well guided and able to close without any problems. You want an agent who will protect you.

Check your real estate agent with the right questions. “Ask questions like, ‘How many properties have you put under contract for buyers in the last year?’ and “How do you help buyers get the winning bid in a multiple offer situation?” ” said Amy Weitzman, an agent with Commonwealth Standard Realty Advisors in Newton.

Also find out about lenders.

“Choose a reputable lender,” Yazbeck-Saliba said. “Follow your real estate agent’s list of recommendations. As real estate agents, we know who offers the best rates and service. Above all, they will answer your call on a Sunday evening at 9 p.m. You want to hire a team that communicates and works well together. The report is very important and this team will protect your escrow deposits at all costs. A reputable lender who can close quickly is also a key player.

Don’t wait for a open day. “Be sure to call your real estate agent immediately once you see a matching home. Don’t wait for open houses to visit these homes. Private showings can be requested and you can make offers before the open house, which gives you leverage for an accepted offer,” Yazbeck-Saliba said.

Look beyond Multiple Listing Service and Zillow and scale your network. “If you have a well-connected friend in the neighborhood you’re looking to buy or sell in, reach out to them and see if they know anyone who’s moving or looking to buy,” Weitzman said. Also join city Facebook groups: many cities have groups specifically for real estate listings; General municipal focus groups are also a useful source of insider knowledge.

Don’t let urgency trump financial responsibility. “In order to buy or sell quickly, buyers are waiving home inspections and mortgage contingencies,” Yazbeck-Saliba said.

But it’s not always wise: “Only waive the mortgage contingency when you have the cash or liquidated assets for the reserved funds.” Losing five percent on deposit if you lose your job or face a health crisis is too risky a bet,” she added.

Consider a short-term rental. Can not find what you want ? There are options: “Typically, people go the fully furnished route and store their stuff. I recommend Blueground,” said Alana Colombo, certified relocation agent with eXp Realty in Boston. Colombo said the online rental marketplace offers stylish, fully furnished listings in Boston, Cambridge and beyond with month-to-month leases.

The cheapest mover is not necessarily the best. “Be wary of movers who undercut the quote in an attempt to get the job,” said Wendy Buglio, an organizer and moving manager based in Arlington. “You don’t want them to arrive without sufficient resources, without enough movers or not enough truck space or not enough packing materials. If you’re pressed for time, this can delay and just add to the stress, so it’s best to aim high.

“When you get a quote, be sure to compare apples to apples: how many hours? How many movers? How many trucks do they offer? Choose the one that suits you best,” added Buglio.

Ask the movers to help you pack. If you’re willing to pay a little more, Buglio highly recommends it to speed up the process.

In the rush, “people end up packing boxes with kitchen sponges mixed with family photos. If you have the necessary resources, delegating some of the packing to movers or an organizer may be a good idea. Leaving them something like the kitchen is a really good strategy because the movers will be much more efficient, and kitchens take forever because of endless cabinets,” she said.

Plus, it makes sense from an insurance perspective.

“Movers generally won’t insure things you’ve packed unless they clearly drop and damage a box. If they pack the box and a glass breaks, then they are responsible for the breakage. I always like movers to pack fragile, valuable and expensive items,” Buglio said.

What if you did everything yourself? Label wisely. “Don’t just label the top of a box; label the sides as well, because the boxes are usually stacked on top of each other and you won’t be able to tell what’s in what,’ she said.

Passionate about technology? There are apps that allow you to list what you have packed in a particular box, associate it with a QR code and remind it with a sticker.

Pack a suitcase with the necessities. “Prep like you’re going on a trip with all your essentials: medications, essential documents, electronics, laptop, your chargers, toiletries, clothes for a few weeks, and just keep this suitcase with you so there’s nothing have no risk of anything. being packed in a random box that you can’t find for six weeks while you try to unpack. Having this essential bag is really a great idea,” Buglio said.

Declutter and charge efficiently. When packing, “think of your home like an onion: work from the outer layers of things you don’t currently use and save the things you use every day for last,” Buglio said. “I always start with storage areas, seasonal items, artwork and books. Although we like to have these things on hand, they are not essential for everyday life.

Take your ego (and aesthetic) out of the sale. If you want to get rid of your house quickly, downsize. Don’t be offended if your real estate agent suggests you store your belongings. It’s not personal.

“It’s not that we don’t value you or your choices, but that’s just not the way we sell. And the reason I don’t sell that way is because I can make you more money if I minimize the number of you that are still here,” said Kymberlee Albertelli, who leads the Find Your Village team at KW Realty in Concord. (She’s also a former commercial designer at Circle Furniture, so she knows aesthetics.)

Embrace mirrors. On this subject, Albertelli recommended that sellers who want to move quickly use lots of mirrors – and not stare adoringly at themselves.

“I spend a lot of time putting up mirrors. And I know it sounds ridiculous, but I want buyers to actually see themselves in the place as they move through the house and imagine their own lives there. They literally see each other in the house,” she said.

Don’t neglect a deep cleaning, even if you’re in distress. Before listing your home, give it a deep clean. Albertelli said homes that are often sold under duress — due to divorce, for example — are also less maintained due to distractions. Don’t forget this detail.

“A regular housekeeper probably doesn’t clean your baseboards and the inside of your appliances every week, nor (clean) a dusty, lint-filled washer and dryer. Cleanliness is next to godliness, which gives (buyers) the feeling that it has been cared for and maintained to the highest standard,” Albertelli said. “No one likes other people’s dirt.”


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