Moving is considered one of the most stressful events of a person’s life and while selling your home with kids can be a challenging experience, it’s possible to get ahead of some of the stress.
Here are eight ways to prep for success and lower anxiety before you list your home.
Before your listing agent adds your home to the MLS, get rid of all the extras. Donate kitchen items you don’t use and consign clothing in all closets that no longer fit your growing kiddos. For local consignment try Double Take Consignment in St. Charles, Always Growing, or The Exchange which accepts kids’ sizes from newborn – juniors, as well as children’s books, shoes, bags, and games.
While it’s not the greenest solution for Mother Earth, a Bagster is a good solution when you need to unload heavier items like drywall, insulation, broken items, and old doors. If you’re embarking on a DIY project while prepping your home for sale, a Bagster is a good option to get rid of project remnants that can’t be recycled.
2. Do a deep clean.
After you purge, seize this opportunity to present your home as a clean slate for buyers. If you do not have the physical capability or time to deep clean, this is the perfect time to invest in a professional house cleaner.
Rally the troops and shift everyday chores to bigger kiddos to help with deep cleaning. Teens can dust ceiling fans and window treatments while smaller kids can dust baseboards and wipe wood trim with Mr. Clean Magic Erasers.
2. Snap pictures of your home during the warmer months.
Take advantage of your yard and landscaping when it’s lush and green. Before you capture that gorgeous photo, stow unnecessary outdoor decorations and children’s toys. So whenever you are ready to list, you have outside pictures of your home when it's the most vibrant and beautiful.
3. Get the kids involved.
If your kids are old enough to understand the impending move, get them excited about the change and offer incentives for cooperative behavior. Remind them that the better your house looks, the faster it will sell and then they can enjoy their new space.
Have an age-appropriate "showing checklist" of tasks everyone is responsible for before leaving the house. Then reward diligent workers with a shopping trip to select one item to decorate their new room.
Below is a free downloadable list for kids with basic cleaning tasks and space to fill in for specific directions.
4. De-clutter, de-clutter, de-clutter.
Consider boxing up all toys that won’t be missed for a few months. Ditto with out-of-season clothes. For everyday items, bins are a great way to stow away and make toys less obtrusive/obvious. Choose neutral-colored containers as opposed to bright "kid" colors. This allows buyers to easily imagine their belongings in the home. Lots of clutter distracts from what people should be looking at - your beautiful space.
5. Clear surfaces and de-personalize.
Remove art projects from shelves and drawings from the refrigerator. While potential buyers understand that families still need to live in their homes, de-personalizing as much as possible allows buyers to imagine themselves living in that space.
6. Communicate with your realtor.
If you have an infant or toddler that has very specific sleep times, make sure your Realtor understands your family's needs when you are discussing showing times. While more availability is better, agents know there are some times that just won't work. Your Realtor has the ability to block time off so buyers can't request a showing during crucial naptimes.
7. Keep incentives in the car.
Keep special activities, toys, and snacks in the car. This may make your kids more eager (and hopefully, faster) to get out of the house for a showing. Budget-friendly bonus item ideas:
Hit up the dollar bins at Target
Unpack small Lego sets, and store them (with instructions) in pencil boxes
$5 dollars in Roblox (IYKYK)
8. Recruit help for showings.
If the entire process of getting your house ready for a showing overwhelms you, ask for help. Teenagers are always in the mood for extra cash, so before you list, assemble a “Showing Task Force” of helpers that are willing to take your children for an hour while you prep.
Selling a home isn’t an easy process, but you can curb some of the stress by planning ahead and gathering support around you. Know that your realtor is part of this process to help and support you.
About the Author:
Kate Durham is a buyer specialist with The Kat Fish Group, KW Inspire, and a single mom of two. She loves her career because it helps her fulfill her passion to help others and also allows her the flexibility to be the best mom she can be.
Ready to buy?
Contact Kate at email@example.com or call/text 630-244-8857
Have a house to sell? Contact the Kat Fish Group's listing specialist, Katie Fish at 847-560-3474 or firstname.lastname@example.org