Let’s be honest… The thought of selling your house can be pretty intimidating. Do you have sweat accumulating on your upper lip just thinking about it? All jokes aside, selling your home is a big deal. It comes with a fair amount of excitement and apprehension when potential buyers line up to take a look at your home. Before the buying frenzy can happen, though, you must get your home ready to go on the market—and that means keeping it clean, organized, and in “like new condition” for showings.
If you have young kids like I do, you’re probably laughing ghoulishly like Dr Evil right now, or having a panic attack at the thought of keeping the house clean while your kids run rampant like cute little Tasmanian devils. How the hell will you be able to get all those Duplos, the piles of dirty laundry, and the aftermath of that morning’s breakfast cleaned up before you head out of the house every single morning? Any parent will tell you that’s no easy task.
But don’t worry; I have some tips and tricks to share with you that will help you list, prepare, and sell your home even with little hellions running around.
Learn to Successfully Sell Your Home While Living in it with kids
Hey kids, it’s clean up time!
The first step is to declutter. Have your kids help so they feel helpful and more importantly, feel involved in the process.
Older kids are usually better about keeping their rooms clean (keyword usually), but temporarily offering them a raise in allowance or even special privileges, prizes or awards can be great motivators. The younger kids are a little more difficult. Some parents find that the reward chart system works really well in this situation. Give your kids a sticker each time they pick up toys or help clean their room. Once they’ve filled up their chart with stickers, let them choose a special toy or treat as a reward. They’ll see the home selling process as less stressful and it will become more fun.
Let them pack their own stuff
Another way to engage your children’s help is to sit down with them and make a list of their toys, books, clothes, stuffed animals and games, then assign them certain items to pick up and pack away. Many kids like having some responsibilities like this and when they accomplish their task list, they feel better about themselves and are happier. Some even suggest letting your kids label, color, and decorate moving boxes. You know kids, they love creating artistic masterpieces. Plus they can take these ones with them and once you arrive at the new home, it’s easy to identify which boxes belong to which kid.
You can also have your kids choose their favorite toys, then pack the rest away. This way they can keep playing with their favorite toys, and the rest are stored away which cuts down on the amount of clutter in the home.
Most buyers are reasonable people who understand that your entire life isn’t on hold for showings. Do your best to put toys away, make the beds, clean kitchens and bathrooms, and keep the surfaces clear, but don’t obsess to the point of a nervous breakdown. If your head explodes, you won’t be much good to anyone! Only joking.
In the kids bedrooms, do your best but it’s OK to let kids be kids; potential buyers shouldn’t judge your house as a whole based on your kid’s bedroom.
Have an upcoming showing? Field trip time!
Once your home is actually on the market and listed on the MLS, you’ll need to think about what to do with your kids and pets when you have showings scheduled. When handling showings, a little preparation and planning will make a big difference in the way your house is presented, and in your sanity.
Having your home For Sale can really mess up and disrupt a family’s schedule, but try to make showing times fun so your kids get excited about them instead of dreading them. This is one of the toughest aspects of trying to sell your home while living in it with kids. Make this “Field Trip” time! Take your munchkins out to eat, go for ice cream, go run around at the park, or hang out at the library for a while.
You won’t always know ahead of time when buyers will want to see your home, but just go ahead and plan on showings on Saturdays. After all, most showings happen over the weekend. Communicate with your Realtor® and have them try to schedule showings in certain morning or afternoon blocks to make it easier on your kids. I’ll be honest though, this isn’t always possible to do. Many showings are setup last minute, and you’ll want to make a serious effort (within reason) to accommodate these showings. Of course anyone expecting to see your house in 5 minutes is just being a jerk and doesn’t value your time. You can always say no but you want as many people as possible to see your home. More showings = faster sale. And whatever you do… don’t forget the snacks! Keep a small stockpile of activities, snacks, and drinks ready for those spur-of-the-moment showings where you need to grab your kids and run out the door.
Once your home finally sells, make sure you celebrate! Seriously, it’s important to your family and yourself to congratulate yourselves for a job well done. It was hard work, but you did it! You made it through the listing process, as a family, with your sanity (and your kids!) intact.
- How to Buy and Sell a Home at the Same Time – READ THIS!
- 5 Things First Time Home Buyers Should Do First
- 10 Critical Steps to Take Before Selling Your Home by Andrew Fortune
- The #1 Way to Sell Your Home for Top Dollar
- Sell your home Faster w/ Smart Home technology
About the Author: The above article on How to Sell Your Home While Living in it with kids was written and provided by Dustin Brohm, a leader in the field of Real Estate sales, marketing, and smart home technology. Dustin can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 801-455-8753. Dustin has helped many people buy and sell Salt Lake City area homes for years.
Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for buying and selling Real Estate, as well as marketing & smart home technology. I’d love to share my expertise!
I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Salt Lake area cities & neighborhoods: Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Millcreek, Olympus Cove, Canyon Rim, Sugarhouse, Midvale, Murray, East Millcreek, Sandy, White City, Draper, Riverton, Daybreak, South Jordan, West Jordan, Herriman, Bluffdale, South Salt Lake, The Avenues, Federal Heights, and of course, Salt Lake City.
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