Timely post, Nomad. We are nearing the end of our selling/purchasing/moving process. It began three years ago with the realization that my health was not allowing me to enjoy the yard work and all it takes to keep a house well maintained. We just sold the house and take possession of a brand new condo next month, in a nearby city.
So, for what it's worth, this is what I have learned:
1. Decide for yourself where and when you wish to move. It was a gigantic decision for us because we have lived in our home for 23 years. We logged in many, many hours viewing different lifestyle choices, educating ourselves about the new cities we were considering. Driving and walking around the potential neighbourhoods at different times of days was very helpful. It took three years to get there, so unless you must move, don't pressure yourself by creating an arbitrary date. Remember that you are in the driver's seat. Trust your instincts.
2. Expect to be an emotional wreck. I have been, and no one warned me ahead of time. I thought there was something wrong with me. But it goes back to point #1. Remember why you are moving, and try to look forward to the new adventure ahead of you. That's why we took so long to find the new home, that was just right for us (not our family, not our friends, not our realtor).
3. Down size before you sell the house. This means purging everything in the house, garage, and yard. I was astonished at how much "stuff" we had, and how little we really need. Sell, donate, recycle, throw in the trash...that way you have less to move and your house shows well.
4. Get the house ready for sale. Fix things, replace things, paint stuff. Make it easier to sell. We interviewed four realtors and had them appraise the house, give us a formal presentation,, and provide us with their opinions on what we should (and should not bother to do) to the house. It was very helpful for us to speak with professionals who were not emotionally attached to house, and who knew our neighbourhood well.
5. Make lists. Divide responsibilities. Don't do it all yourselves. Pace yourself. Try not to sweat the small stuff.
I wish you good luck, Nomad, whatever you decide to do.