The Tools Advantage


In reality, there’s no way to predict exactly how the process of buying OR selling a home will happen for you, especially your first home. There are too many variables along the way. But there is a general pattern to the process, and with these checklists as a guide- you are sure to stay on track!


  1. Find an agent that you trust. Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Always choose someone you feel comfortable with and that is experienced.
  2. Be an informed buyer. Visit with your Advantage Realtor about market trends and the buying process.
  3. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved will strengthen your offer when you find a home. Familiarize yourself with the mortgage process by visiting with a mortgage lender.
  4. Be aware of your credit situation. You can get a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com. The best time to work on your budget is before you move!
  5. Determine your housing needs and wants. Needs are what you must have, but wants you might be willing to compromise on for the right house!
  6. When visiting different homes, make a list of what you like about each one to help you compare them later and make the right decision.
  7. When you find an acceptable house, write an offer.
  8. Make a mortgage loan request from your lender for the final purchase amount.
  9. Arrange for a home inspection.
  10. Learn about home warranties and what they cover from your Advantage Realtor.
  11. Compare and secure homeowners insurance.
  12. Make your moving plans.
  13. Do a final walk through of the house prior to closing with your Advantage Realtor.
  14. Attend the final closing and settlement of the transaction.
  15. Move to your new home and begin enjoying it—-your deserve it!!


    • Do a PRE-listing house inspection.This will eliminate surprises at closing time and provide you ample time to address any issues. Commit to spending some time on the house preparation phase – it will most likely be the most productive time you can spend!
      • Rooms: Have every room in the house – including closets, garage and storage rooms – prepared for Buyers like to look inside every area of the home they are considering buying. They like to see how much space they have. And remember – potential buyers are there to view your HOUSE – not your STUFF.
      • Exterior vs. Interior: Some homes can have amazing “I can’t wait to see this” curb appeal, but the inside looks as though a truck has run through. The opposite can also be true – if the interior glows with the latest in popular design trends, don’t leave the yard looking like the neighborhood junk man was in charge.
      • Have a yard sale: Before you Sell, donate or trash anything you don’t need!
    • Know what you can and cannot change about your home. This allows you to concentrate on those items that bring the highest rewards. Visit with your Advantage Realtor about prioritizing your “Home Work” to maximize your competitive edge in the marketplace.
    • Strategize with your Advantage Realtor about highlighting the strengths of your home at showings.  When it comes to preparing a home to be viewed and SOLD – there is both art and science to staging it before it is listed to maximize its appeal to the broadest number of target buyers. Home decorating and home staging are two VERY different concepts.  When you decorate your home, you do so with your personal tastes and preferences in mind. The mission of successful home staging is to strategically neutralize the look and feel of your home so it appeals to more buyers. (See Staging your home)
    • Consult with your Advantage Realtor regarding the correct pricing for your home.  Price is determined by the market – not by sellers, agents, or your friends – unless they are going to buy the property! Your Advantage Realtor will show you homes in the area that will be competing for the same buyers. Homes sell at fair market value.  Pricing a home realistically will bring an early sale, stronger offers, fewer


      Congratulations! You are about to become an official member of the thousands of people that have packed up and moved their family to a new home or a new community. Why not do everything you can to make these memories become cherished stories rather than sleep disturbing nightmares? Use this handy checklist as a resource to make this a “smooth move”!


      1 Month Before The Move

      • Contact your bank and arrange transfer of your accounts; order checks with new address; clean out your safety deposit box.
      • Submit change-of-address forms to the post office; mail postcards to friends and creditors.
      • Organize all important documents in a fire-safe box. Some things you want to include are school records, home purchase/safe papers, will, marriage/divorce papers, pet documents, financial records, stock certificates, social security cards, birth certificates, and passports.

      2 Weeks Before The Move

      • Take a ruthless walk-through to determine what you really want to take.
      • Tag the rest of it and hold a garage sale; or call a charity for pick-up.
      • Arrange for the disconnection or changeover of utilities.
      • Retrieve and return all borrowed items from neighbors and friends; return library books.

      1 Week Before The Move

      • Make an inventory list of all items going with you personally.
      • Clean out and defrost the deep freezer.
      • Disassemble furniture or other items.
      • Be sure to check yard and sheds for all items to pack.
      • Set aside a box of cleaning supplies and the vacuum cleaner.
      • Begin making a “Survival Box” for the move. This should include paper, pens, stamps, envelopes, cellophane & heavy duty tape, scissors, tape measure, paper cups, ziplock bags, paper plates & towels, plastic utensils, facial & toilet tissue, instant coffee or tea, cream/sugar, soap, moist towelettes, aspirin, bandaids, can opener, bottled water, travel alarm, flashlight, small tools kit, trash bags, snacks or drinks, children’s games, address book, spare car keys, phone books for the city you are leaving and your destination.

      1-2 Days Before The Move

      • Clean and defrost refrigerator and freezer.
      • Conclude financial matters relating to the sale or lease of your home.

      Moving Day

      • Clean the home and check entire grounds before leaving.
      • Check thermostat and make sure temperature is set appropriately. Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked, and all appliances are turned off. Leave forwarding address, garage door openers and any keys, if agreed to, for the new owners or renters.
      • If your home is going to be vacant when you leave, make sure a relative, neighbor or real estate agent have keys and contact information in the event of an emergency. In addition, notify your insurance agent and the police department that the home will be empty.

      inconveniences, and a greater monetary return.