Use the right size boxes. Put heavy items, like books, in small boxes; light items, like linens and pillows, in bigger ones. (Large boxes packed with heavy items are a common complaint of professional movers. They not only make the job harder but also have a better chance of breaking.)
Put heavier items on the bottoms of boxes, lighter items on top. And if you’re loading the truck yourself, pack heavier boxes first, toward the front of the truck, for balance.
Don’t leave empty spaces in the boxes. Fill in gaps with clothing, towels, or packing paper. Movers often won’t move boxes that feel loosely packed or unbalanced.
Avoid mixing items from different rooms in the same box. It will make your packing quicker and your unpacking a lot easier, too.
Label each box with the room it’s destined for and a description of its contents. This will help you and your movers know where every box belongs in your new place. Numbering each box and keeping an inventory list in a small notebook is a good way to keep track of what you’ve packed―and to make sure you still have everything when you unpack.
Tape boxes well. Use a couple of pieces of tape to close the bottom and top seams, then use one of the movers’ techniques―making a couple of wraps all the way around the box’s top and bottom edges, where stress is concentrated.
If you’re moving expensive art, ask your mover about special crating. Never wrap oil paintings in regular paper; it will stick. For pictures framed behind glass, make an X with masking tape across the glass to strengthen it and to hold it together if it shatters. Then wrap the pictures in paper or bubble wrap and put them in a frame box, with a piece of cardboard between each framed piece for protection.
Bundle breakables. As you pack your dishes, put packing paper around each one, then wrap bundles of five or six together with more paper. Pack dishes on their sides, never flat. And use plenty of bunched-up paper as padding above and below. Cups and bowls can be placed inside one another, with paper in between, and wrapped three or four in a bundle. Pack them all in dish-barrel boxes.
Consider other items that will need special treatment. Vansant says his movers treat TVs like any other piece of furniture, wrapping them in quilted furniture pads. He points out, however, that plasma TVs require special wooden crates for shipping if you don’t have the original box and can be ruined if you lay them flat. If you’re packing yourself, double-box your TV, setting the box containing the TV into another box that you’ve padded with packing paper.
Why not just price your home as high as you think you possibly can?
The chart below, from the National Association of Realtors, shows your likelihood of selling at different market values:
Price % Above Market Value
Percent of Homes Sold
Priced at market
Realistic pricing means you will:
Capitalize on the first few weeks of high activity and interest.
Attract more prospects.
Increase the likelihood of receiving higher offers.
Minimize the inconvenience of keeping your home ready to show.
Accomplish a faster sale.
Remember, your need for money does not increase the value of your home. If IBM stock trades between 104 & 108, it does no good to insist on selling at 112. Pricing too high only means your price will make other homes in your area look like better deals.
Overpricing your home could also make it difficult for a buyer to finance. 99% of all homes are financed. If you overprice your home, a buyer may be denied financing because the appraisal will come in too low to justify the loan.
Catching the crest of the buyer-interest wave
Timing is critical!
The majority of buyer activity occurs in the first two weeks after a home goes on the market, and peak sales activity occurs within the first 10 days. Buyers who see a property at a non-competitive price will not be back for a second look. The longer your home stays on the market without an offer, the more it risks taking on a “shelf-worn” appearance, reducing your chances for closing a sale with a full-price buyer.