Selling a home is stressful for everyone, and having young children in the house can add to the stress for the parents. Let’s face it—kids have a way of making a mess in a hurry and leaving it behind for someone else to deal with. They are also problematic in other ways when it comes to selling your house.
Of course, you can’t ask your kids to move out while you sell—but you can find some smart solutions to the difficulties of selling a home in which children are living.
Lower The Clutter Quotient
During the home selling process, pack up some of your kids’ excess toys and other items and put them in storage. Let them help pick which items will stay out, and if the sale process goes on for a while let them trade a few items now and then. Removing a portion of the clutter that comes with kids will make it a lot easier to keep the house clean and ready to show, preventing the stress of trying to clean up a mess of toys when people are on their way to see the house.
Set Up A Showing Plan
Whenever possible, you should try to show the home when your children are not there. They can be a major distraction to potential buyers and may say or do things that could cause you some embarrassment or put the buyer off. Try to set up showings while your children are at school or extracurricular activities. If you have to do a showing when they are normally home, enlist help. Ask a friend or family member if they would mind having the kids over for a while, or even just taking them for a walk while the house is being shown.
Kid Friendly, But Not Too Kid Friendly
For some buyers, a home that is set up for kids is a plus; for other buyers it might cause them to see the house in a different light and pass on it. Try to keep the kids’ items contained to one space, and reduce the number of kid-friendly features such as high chairs or potty stools that buyers might not want to walk around when they see the house. Some things can be moved just before a showing if you need them every day, but others should be removed entirely during the selling process.
Your kids are a big part of your life, and it’s their home, too—but bear in mind that buyers sometimes have trouble seeing past clutter and too much kid stuff. Keep it as clean as possible, while still livable for the whole family.
Photo Credit: @coffeekai via Twenty20