No, I don’t mean selling your children with your home, but selling your home while your children live there!
Selling your home is not always a simple task even when you’re the only person involved; adding children into the process can potentially create chaos, but it doesn’t have to! There are steps you can take to relieve some of the stress that comes with selling a home.
Prepare your home before it’s listed and for each showing:
Declutter your child’s room
Before your Realtor shows up to take photos of your home to list on the Internet, give yourself a decent amount of time to declutter; a week or two is probably ideal. This doesn’t mean that you have to purge and either donate or trash everything you own, but rather stow away items that are not regularly used and that you and the kids won’t miss for a few weeks.
Organize your child’s room.
For those items that you are unable to put into storage, consider investing in bookshelves that have room for bins and baskets for a more organized look. Use the storage baskets as a quick place to put toys away that are usually kept in the room, and for space to put away toys that might be regularly kept in your living areas. If you have large toys that are unable to be stored, line them along a wall.
Remove personal touches.
Unfortunately, while in the process of selling your home it is best to remove personal touches from all areas to provide each potential Buyer with a blank canvas. This includes replacing family portraits with other items (or removing them altogether) and clearing the refrigerator door of all the adorable drawings your children have done or their straight-A report cards that you’re so proud of.
To prepare for each showing appointment:
- Put away toys – especially Legos! And don’t shove things into closets, people open those.
- If you have a little one that is still in diapers, take the trash out before each showing.
- Don’t leave laundry (dirty or clean) laying around.
Create a game plan of how you will handle showings:
Are there sepcific days/times that are out of the questions for showings? For example: nap time, dinner time, bath time, etc.
How much notice do you need for showings? Are you able to quickly declutter, organize and clean to allow showings with only a few hours notice, or will you need 24 hours to prepare your home? Discuss this item and the days/times that are not feasible for showings with your Realtor so they can set the right expectations for agents that will be requesting appointments.
Decide where you will go when a showing takes place. It is typical for Sellers to leave the home for showings to allow Buyers the space and privacy to develop an opinion of the home without the worry of taking too long and being able to discuss their likes and dislikes with their Realtor. Some ideas to get out of the house: neighborhood playground visit, visit the library, run errands, make a grocery trip, walk or drive around the neighborhood or the mall (play a game of I Spy if your kids are old enough!), visit a neighbor if they are home, etc.