Moving day is a hectic time for buyers. Questions inevitably come up after you begin unpacking in your new home. You wish that you had known to ask, “When is trash day?” or “Who is a good pool tech in this area?

At this point after closing, it is a bit of a challenge to track down and contact the seller.

I have designed this quick checklist to make your transition smoother. Knowing the right questions for the seller before the big day will speed your move in, too.

Ask your Realtor® about the best way to handle getting your questions to the seller. It is common to have your questions forwarded by email to the seller through the agents.

Most of these details below are beyond the scope of the “nuts and bolts” of a typical real estate transaction. For example, the majority of these items are not covered on a Seller Property Disclosure Statement (SPDS or “spuds” form). Moreover, they won’t be spelled out on the MLS sheet.

Don’t expect the seller to share alarm or gate code information weeks in advance of closing. This information would likely be provided around the time of the close of escrow or the final walk-through. For a description of what happens during the final walk-through, see this article.

Some of the items on the checklist, like flood irrigation, may not apply to your new home.

Utilities

  • When is trash day?
  • When is recycling day?
  • Is there a fee for the recycling service or recycling bin?
  • Do you prefer a Cox or CenturyLink internet/cable connection?
  • When will utilities to be terminated in your name?

Security

  • What is the house alarm code?
  • Who is the alarm monitoring company?
  • What is the code to the neighborhood gate?
  • Do you have a remote control(s) for the neighborhood gate?
  • What is the mailbox number?
  • How do I get a community pool key or access card?
  • What is the code to the keyless garage door entry pad?
  • Which neighbors have keys to the home?
  • Are these all the garage door/gate remote controls and house keys?

Maintenance

  • When was the last time that the pool filter was changed or backwashed?
  • What is pool contractors contact info?
  • What is landscapers contact info?
  • Do you use a handyman?
  • When was the septic last pumped?
  • When was the exterior of the home painted?
  • Do you have the paint color codes or leftover cans of paint?
  • How often does the water softener require salt?
  • What type/brand of softener salt is used?

Flood Irrigation

(The questions related to flood irrigated lots apply only to homes in the areas serviced by SRP canals )

  • What is the flood irrigation schedule for your yard?
  • Are both front and back yards watered with flood irrigation?
  • How do you receive the irrigation notices?
  • What do you pay annually for flood irrigation?

Kids

  • Where do the kids on the block live?
  • What are their approximate ages?
  • Where is the school bus stop?
  • Does anyone from the neighborhood carpool to (St. John XXIII school)?
  • Can you recommend any babysitters?

Pets

  • Can you recommend any pet sitters in the neighborhood?
  • Are there good veterinarians nearby?

Follow Up

  • How may I reach you if I receive some of your postal mail or parcel deliveries?
  • Is there anything else that you can think of that I haven’t asked?

 


My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions. – Peter Drucker, an Austrian-born, American business management consultant and educator.