Is this your first time selling your home when you have young children? You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. If you have sold a house with young children, then I am very impressed by your fortitude. In either case, here are some tips and tricks that will help along the way.
The big question is…How DO you keep your house looking staged and magazine-worthy for potential buyers when you live there with tiny toddling people who have no concept of tidiness?
Let’s get right down to it…
One of the more difficult things about selling is having your home ready for showings. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it was just adults, but kids have a lot of stuff. Potential buyers do not want to see all that stuff.
Before you list:
Time to roll up your sleeves!
- Deep clean your home
- Clean the house from top to bottom or consider calling in a maid service. Then work to keep it that way.
- If you haven’t used it in a year, you most likely won’t use it. Cleaning up before a showing will be easier because there is less stuff in the house.
- Pack up everything that isn’t absolutely necessary
- When it comes to toys, consider only keeping one box per child. Most children only use 3-4 favorite toys at a time, so pack away all extra toys, stuffed animals, and books. Then organize the remaining toys neatly in attractive baskets and bins.
- Consider a storage unit
- Put some toys away until the house is sold. Pretend kitchen sets and kid-sized furniture should be stored out of sight instead of taking up valuable floor space. Houses with less clutter look bigger and are more appealing to a buyer. You are going for the open, spacious look.
- Try to stay neutral
- Choose neutral colors for your walls and decorations in order to appeal to the most amount of buyers. For instance, you may totally love your painted orange walls and your collection of kitsch figurines, but not everyone will.
- Consider professional photos-
- First impressions are big and you won’t draw anyone to your home if the photos online aren’t enticing. According to a study by Redfin, homes with professional photographs were found to be viewed 61% more online than other.
Living in a staged home:
“Yes, my home always looks this fabulous!”
- Scheduling Showings
- Request 2 hours’ notice before your agent can show your home. The house is already the cleanest it will ever be, so 2 hours is a good amount of time to put away clutter and get the kids out. If someone is a serious buyer they will want to see your house and make the time to see it.
- Make a list
- Make a list of things to do before a showing. This will keep you on track and help you remember everything you need to do to get the house “ready.”
- Boxes, Bins and Containers, Oh My!
- Have a Place to Store the Kid’s Stuff. Use your car for storage. Buy some large laundry baskets and kept them in the back of your car during the selling process. Bring in the laundry baskets and load them up with all of the toys and clothes you didn’t have time to clean. It’s a quick way to get stuff off of your floors and counters.
- Be conscious of undesirable smells
- Make sure the diaper pail is emptied at least daily to reduce the odor building up in the nursery. This same principle goes for pet odors, too.
Your home is being shown:
The Places you’ll go
So, you got a call that a realtor wants to show your place in a few hours.
But what do you do with the kids?
Luckily showings are pretty short. Usually just 30 minutes. So it’s pretty easy to find something to do with the kids. Honestly, the hard part is preparing the house and getting the kids out of there. Some suggestions for places to go: library, park, grocery store, walk or drive around the neighborhood, or visit a friend’s house.
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