No matter how many times you have done it before, the home selling process can have its challenges. As hard as it may already be, selling a home with kids is even harder. That is why we’ve compiled this guide: to inform homeowners with children of special considerations they will need to make in order to keep the process as smooth as possible.
Make sure your kids know that you’re selling your home: One of the major mistakes that people selling their house with kids make is either hiding or being indirect about the fact to their kids. The kids will figure it out at some point, and this can be very upsetting for them. They may have grown up in your home, and they will sure have a lot of memories from your home. They may also have a lot of friends in the area. This being said, you don’t want them to find out about it the hard way as that may cause an adverse reaction. If you bring it up to them well before of it actually happening, it will give them more time to adjust, and will give you more time to try and get them excited about the new move by doing things such as showing them the new neighborhood/area and what is so great about it.
Prepare your home for the market: Preparing your home for market is a very important part of the selling process, and if you have kids, it can be even trickier. You want your home to appeal to everyone, not just people with kids. You will want to depersonalize your home so that buyers can envision themselves living in the home when they come to see it. Painting the walls a neutral color, taking down the artwork from the fridge, and putting away all stuffed animals and toys are some examples of depersonalizing your home.
Stage your home: Staging your home is one of the most important aspects of the home selling process and can make a big difference in the speed of your home sale and the price you get. Potential buyers want to see your home as theirs. Work with an experience stager who can edit what you already have or bring in totally new furniture and furnishings to create an emotional response in a potential buyer.
Secure a storage unit, facility, or space: If you have kids, you know how fast things can accumulate. If your home is way too cluttered with toys and other belongings, you will want to consider removing some of the excess until your home is sold and you are moving into your new home. You can either designate a space for storage or rent out a storage unit or something similar. If you don’t want to rent a storage unit or POD, think carefully about where you will store your extra stuff. You shouldn’t store belongings in areas that are commonly used such as the bedrooms or the living room, but somewhere that buyers probably won’t see. A few good areas might be:
Lastly, make sure to organize the items you’re storing neatly and use labels. The last thing you would want to happen is to realize you need something that you packed away and then not be able to easily find it. Make sure to set aside at least a couple of your child’s favorite toys as well as anything they will truly need while your home is on the market, like school supplies and seasonally appropriate clothes.
Prepare your home for showings: Make sure you choose a real estate agent who has plenty of experience in selling homes with kids. This will make your life a lot easier during the process.
One of the reasons why we suggest to have all the clutter removed from the beginning is because this will make it much easier to clean and get your home ready for a showing. The longer you need to get ready for a showing, the less of a chance you will have to sell your home. In this day and age, everyone has a busy schedule. Someone might want to see your house, but only be available during a certain window. If it takes you three or four hours to get ready for a showing, you could miss a potential buyer. If your children are old enough to assist, have them help prepare your home before the family leaves each day. These are a few things you want to make sure you have always taken care of:
- Beds Made
- Toys Cleaned Up and Put Away
- Clothes Picked Up and Put Away
- Floors Cleaned
- Counters Cleaned
- Sink Free of Dishes
- Home Free of Unpleasant Odors, Including Pet Smells
It is also very important to check the outdoor areas of your home. You never know what might be left laying around and it is very important to have it look as clean and well-kept as possible.
Plan things to do during showings: With your home is on the market, you may need to find that you need to leave the house during a time you would normally be home. If that should happen, here is a list of a few good activities to do while you’re out:
- Go to the store / mall
- Go to the library
- Go to a friend’s house
- Go to a park / playground
- Go to the movies
- Go to the beach
- Go miniature golfing / bowling
If your kids are on the younger side, make sure you have everything they might need in a bag or sack. This prevents you from scrambling last minute and forgetting something that your child may need.
Decide if you want to do open houses: An open house can be a great way to find a buyer for your home. Ask your agent about the pros and cons of doing an open house to determine whether or not you think it would be worth it.
Sometimes it comes down to how convenient it is for you to have the open house. You’ll need to be out of your house for anywhere from two to five hours. If both your kids have soccer games or you already plan to be gone for the weekend, an open house can be a great opportunity. But if your baby naps during the afternoon and you find it too hard to leave the house for several hours at a time, it may be better to have your home shown by appointment only.
Conclusion: Selling your home can be a stressful experience, without adding kids to the mix. But with preparation and your Realtor’s expertise, it can be as stress-free and easy of a process as possible!