Selling a home while there are kids still living in it can be one of the most daunting tasks you’ll ever have to endure as a parent (aside from potty training, of course). It’s a constant battle to keep your furniture and decor looking as they should in order to entice potential buyers. However, the good news is that it is certainly doable. With these 9 tips, selling a home with kids doesn’t have to be an overwhelming responsibility.
1. Give yourself plenty of time to clear the clutter
Clutter is one thing that will instantly overshadow your home’s true appeal. Give yourself plenty of time to clear the clutter from every room. It may take several trips to Goodwill or to a storage unit, but clear out those hand-me-downs and forgotten toys early in the process so you can focus on other things while you sell.
Once you have gathered all the extra items, and before you put them in storage or donate to Goodwill, take another look around. There will still be plenty of items that can be put away during the selling process; whether it’s bicycles, train tables, photos, or memorabilia, it’s time to store those away for your new house.
2. Give yourself a two-hour notice for showings
If you have the option to specify how much notice you have before a showing, take full advantage of this. A one-hour notice is pushing it when you have kids in the household, so always opt for at least two hours’ notice. This gives you enough time to sort out nap times, clean up the toys, and get your home looking worthy of an offer. Twenty-four hours’ notice will likely be ideal for you, but this much lag time can drive buyers away.
3. Keep the trunk empty
Despite asking for a two-hour notice for showings, there may come a time when you have 10 minutes to gather the clutter, pack up your kids, and get out of the house. This is when you’ll want to throw the extraneous items in your trunk and go.
4. Create a checklist for showings
When you’ve received the call from your real estate agent that they’re going to show your home to a potential buyer, you’ll want to have a checklist to reference. When you only have a one- or two-hour notice, every minute counts, and you don’t want to forget anything important. Include tasks such as cleaning the diaper disposal, tidying up the shoes, putting the toilet seats down, and so on.
5. Decide whether you want to have your kids involved
Some parents suggest getting the kids involved by having them clean the windows or wipe down the countertops, but this depends on the age of your children and their temperaments. It may be easier to have your kids minimally involved by requiring them to clean up their toys and tidying their bedrooms.
6. Stage the playroom
If you have a playroom in your house, it’s important to stage it properly. Make sure the chairs around the miniature table are straight, organize the craft materials into jars, and leave enough open space to show potential buyers how they can use the room.
7. Dedicate one room for the kids
If your kids usually have free roam of the house, you may want to change this when trying to sell your home. Adjust the rules a bit and inform your kids that the toys are only for set areas within the house. This will make it easier to clean things up when needed.
8. Accept that your house isn’t going to be perfect
No matter how hard you try, your house probably isn’t going to be perfect –especially when you have an unexpected showing in 10 minutes. You will probably forget to put the toilet seats down once or twice, and a sippy cup will likely be left on the kitchen counter from time to time. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Selling a home with kids is tough. Just do the best that you can and you will do a great job.
With these 8 tips for selling your home with kids, you may be surprised at how well you can prep your house while still putting your kids first!