Pre-closing visits, Downsized family traditions


Dear David,

When we sold our house, the buyer asked to have three visits prior to closing. It sounded OK in the heat of the moment, so we agreed. Now we’re finding it inconvenient. Is there anything we can do? – ENOUGH ALREADY

DEAR ENOUGH: These pre-closing visits may seem untimely, especially when you’re knee deep in your own moving boxes. That said, if you’ve agreed to allow access to your home as part of the sale, your buyer is entitled to make these appointments. I suggest you roll with it as best you can.

Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. Your home is their new baby. Sometimes they’ll want to give it a proverbial hug, or show it off to family and friends. If they’re planning a project before moving in, like installing new carpets, they’ll need to bring a contractor by to do measurements. They may also need information to make moving decisions — like whether their couch is going to fit in your living room.

PRO TIP: Moving is never convenient, but applying the Golden Rule will help things run smoothly.  I always encourage buyers and sellers to accommodate each other as best they can. When Amazon accidentally delivers something to your old address, you’ll be happy you played nice.  

Dear David,

I’m ready to downsize, but am stressed about the holidays. I’ve always hosted our family get-togethers and am not ready to abandon that tradition. At the same time, I feel like another winter in my house is just too much. – TORN

DEAR TORN: I suggest sharing these concerns with your family. With a few small adjustments, you can ensure holiday traditions continue in a way that suits your needs, and your space.

With a growing family and a smaller home, the decorating, preparation and cooking involved in a glossy, magazine-style celebration can easily get out of hand. Don’t let feelings of guilt or obligation tie you to outdated traditions. A downsized holiday might mean that you plan a pot-luck meal, or decorate with only your favourite mementos. Approaching your get-togethers with less stress and less “stuff” can be a relief for all involved, and will allow everyone to focus on the quality time you spend together.

Should you choose to downsize to a condo now, keep in mind that many complexes have a party or amenity room available for a minimal fee, or even free of charge. Most of these spaces include a stove and fridge, and sometimes buildings even have a guest suite. At the end of the day, you may be able to accommodate an even larger group than you can in your current home.

PRO TIP: Plan ahead. If you’re planning on using a party room over the holidays, you’ll need to be flexible and book well in advance. You won’t be the only one having people over. #AskDavid #Advice