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Checklists for Buying and Selling a Home

Moving into or out of a home can be chaotic. Make sure these tasks are on your “don‘t-forget“ list.

Before You Move In

Line up insurance
Lock in your insurance provider and plan so you’ll have coverage the day you officially take ownership.

Contact utilities
Have electric, gas, water, and internet services placed in your name and new address.

Forward mail
Stop by the post office to forward your mail to your new address or do it online at (it ’s free). It’s best to allow two weeks’ notice.

Arrange moving help
Hire a moving company, rent a truck, or gather boxes for a moving party with friends (free pizza and beer always help). Keep in mind rental vans and trucks are busiest on the first and last of the month when most leases and rental periods end.

Meet the neighbors
Introduce yourself and give neighbors your number before you move in—in case they have questions about people coming and going. The Nextdoor app lets you connect with neighbors and find lost pets.

Before You Sell

Toss and donate
If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s not worth packing up and moving to a new place or paying for storage. Websites like help older adults and their families with downsizing, estate sales, online auctions, and relocating.

Think like a buyer
Real estate agents agree: It ’s all about making rooms look larger and livable. “Less is more,” says Scott Vaillancourt of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Masiello Group in Bedford, NH. “Try to depersonalize and declutter so that prospective buyers can envision their families moving in.”

Do an inspection
Have a friend walk through your home with fresh eyes and give honest advice for fix-ups. Another option: Pay for your own home inspection (around $400) and get a heads-up on the repairs potential buyers may ask to have done.

Not sure about selling? Consider renting your home
Keeping your home as a rental (short- or long-term) might be a good option if you don’t need to sell it to buy another. Ask your real estate agent if it makes sense in your area.