Step 4 – Plan on working with professionals
Working with experienced, reliable professionals throughout the entire downsizing process is the surest way to ensure a smooth transition. Not only does Junell Home Selling Team have an extensive referral network of reputable professionals, but in most cases we can also help coordinate and oversee their work on your behalf.
|Estate Liquidator||Home Repair Contractor||Attorney|
|Professional Packer||Pest Control Specialist||Financial Planner|
|Mover||House Cleaning Services||Insurance Agent|
|Mortgage Lender||Interior Decorator||Financial Institution|
|Title Company||Home Inspector|
- Interview a minimum of three people/companies in each field when possible.
- This is not the time when “cheaper is better.” Make your selections based on service delivery, reputation, references, and whether or not they can meet your needs. You most often get what you pay for.
- Fees should be in line with local norms. Highly inflated fees should be questioned and should be justified with the services offered.
- Ask for references. When talking to those references, ask, “Would you use their services again, and if so, what would you have them do differently?” Pass your findings along to the service provider.
Tips for hiring estate liquidators:
- Read the contract before signing.
- In order to avoid a conflict of interest, it may be better to choose an estate liquidator who is not also an antique dealer.
- Be aware of what is covered by the percentage (fee) they charge.
- Find out if there is an antique appraiser on staff.
- Is advertising, cleanup, storage, travel time, sales permit, and trash disposal included in the fee?
- Will they consign items of increased value that don’t sell at the estate sale?
- What length of time will they require to set up for the sale?
- Will they offer a private pre-sale for family and close friends if requested?
- Can they arrange for shipment of items out of state? If so, what is the process?
- Do they clean up after the sale? To what degree?
- How well do they advertise, and what advertising sources do they use?
- How do they staff the sale (number of staff and security)?
Tips for hiring movers—and questions to ask:
- What does the insurance cover—replacement value or by-the-pound? How much additional insurance is provided for valuables?
- Is there a minimum hourly rate? (Most movers have a 2-4 hour minimum.)
- How many people will be loading and unloading?
- Are they insured and bonded?
- Obtain references for local and interstate movers, whichever is appropriate.
- Do they offer packing and unpacking services? If so, what are the charges?
- When does the billing time begin and end? (Many movers bill portal to portal.)
- How long have they been in business?
Tips for hiring REALTORS®:
- Inquire about their experience in dealing with downsizing moves – these are very different from normal lateral moves.
- What is their level of familiarity with your style and location of home?
- Be sure they have support staff and someone available to answer calls when needed.
- Regular follow-up is important. What are their follow-up policies?
- Inquire and ask for a written estimate of fees and an estimate of expenses.
- Observe the level of attentiveness and time taken to address your questions and concerns.
- How much experience do they have? This should be based on their number of sales and even more so, on their sales skills for the current market conditions.
- Be sure to obtain references and call them for information.
- Make certain you choose a REALTOR® who sells real estate as their full-time career. A person with a second job or who sells “on the side” will not be able to serve your needs adequately.
- Technology is a reality in today’s real estate world. Whether or not you use e-mail or the Internet, make sure your REALTOR® does.
Tips for hiring home repair contractors:
- A license is often required to work on plumbing, electricity, or heating and air conditioning. Be sure to ask for the contractor’s license number.
- Ask for—and then check—customer references.
- Be cautious if a repair person calls you without a recommendation to do so by someone you know and trust.
- Get 2 or 3 bids for repairs up front. Make sure the bids are detailed and easy to read and to understand. Ask the contractor about any questionable items and compare the bids for discrepancies. Cheaper is not always better—make certain the bid is realistic.
- Arrange to pay for services upon completion of the work.
- If you’re not sure of repair recommendations, ask for a second opinion or call a trusted friend or professional for backup.
- It’s best to hire contractors based on a referral from someone who is satisfied with the services they received.
Tips for hiring a move manager:
Your move manager can assist you in locating and hiring service professionals and in negotiating the best possible deal for you. Should you decide to hire your own move manager, be sure to ask the following questions:
- How many moves have they guided?
- Do they work for an established, reputable company, or do they handle transitions “on the side?”
- What is their recent experience and knowledge in dealing specifically with downsizing moves?
- What is their network of providers? Do they have reputable contacts in the areas you need?
- What credentials does the move manager you’ll be working with have?
- Do they communicate well with you?