Here’s the scenario.
You’ve decided to sell your house. Congratulations!
Selling a house can be taxing. In fact, a recent study conducted by a home buying company found that selling a home can be more stressful than divorce or bankruptcy.
Imagine adding kids to the home selling experience, and the task may seem like too much to bear.
Every day can become a battle to keep your house clean and show ready. Kids see a clean room as a clear canvas, ready to make an artistic mess of toys, spilled milk and scattered food everywhere.
Although it takes you about 15-20 minutes to scrub and clean the mess in the room, kids can take seconds to dirty it up. It can make cleaning a never-ending cycle.
Countless homeowners with kids sell a home on a regular basis.
So, if you’re a parent looking to sell your house below are a few tips to make the process less stressful for not only of you but also your kids.
Get Organized & Prepared
When selling a home with kids, the first step you’ll want to take will be organizing and implementing a plan. Having a game plan will enable you to control the process and see possible challenges before they arise.
Homeowners with kids are familiar with how fast personal possessions can accumulate. So, give yourself time to plan. Secure a proper storage facility or designate a space in your home for storage.
Go through your kid’s bedroom and playroom to find items they won’t miss to put in storage.
While you’re packing your kids, belongings make sure to leave one to three of their favorite toys and take away the remaining items.
Implement a daily to-do list for your kids. The list should contain the following items:
- Make your bed
- Properly store dirty laundry
- Clean bathroom
- Place dirty dishes in the dishwasher
- Properly store toys, games, and electronic systems
The above list will lessen your workload.
Every little bit helps.
Don’t Make This Costly Mistake
One of the biggest mistakes of sellers with kids make is keeping the process a secret. One way or another, your kids will find out that you’re selling the house, and it could be painful for your kid.
Kids don’t contribute or sign any paperwork when it comes to selling a home.
This doesn’t stop them from taking ownership in the house. Most kids look at the property they live as “their home”.
Think about it.
Your kids may have grown up in your home, a lot of memories and probably made a lot of friends in the neighborhood. If your child comes home from school and saw the yard sign, it could be very upsetting.
That could make them uncooperative which could lead them to do everything in their power to make sure your home doesn’t sell.
Use the home sale to your advantage.
Bring them in on the decision and the reason why you’re selling. Having the kids work as a team to a common family goal can be a great bonding experience.
Start Decluttering Early
The moment you decide to look for a new home should be the moment you start to make your current home ready to sell.
It can take homeowners 2-3 months to find their dream home.
That’s just enough time to transform your basement into a cute playroom, clean out every closet, and declutter every unnecessary item.
You don’t need winter clothes in your closet if you’re selling your house in the summer season. Keep one season of clothing in your closet at any given time.
Have A Game Plan For Showtime
Showtime = On The Market
When your home is ready for showtime, it’s important to have a few ideas to occupy the kids.
When selling your house your property may be shown any time of day and you should plan some great ways to spend your time with the kids.
An average showing can last 1 – hour when you consider:
- Leave 15 minutes before scheduled showing
- 30 minutes for a walkthrough (maybe longer based on the size of the property)
- Arrive 15 minutes after the showing take place
Take the pressure off of the home selling process by building in some quality time with your kids.
Go watch a movie, visit the shopping mall, check out a book at the public library, ride some rides at the amusement park, or walk the trails at the local park in your area to pass the time and make the process fun.
If you have infants, you may want to spend this time visiting family or friends in the area for a few hours.
When we have clients that are moving out of the area, we suggest that they visit all of the landmarks, museums, and attractions that make the area unique while they’re away from the house during showings and open houses. Treat the home selling process as a trigger to knock off items in your local bucket list.
Set Up Showing Delays
Now that everything is set and ready for the open house, it is essential to ask your agent for heads up at least two hours or more notice before showing the property.
The two-hour margin will give you enough time to complete a quick cleaning and to do a final inspection to make sure everything is show ready. So that you don’t feel pressured, review your pre-showing list to use your time efficiently.
Make sure the home is always clean and presentable before leaving the house for an extended period. This little habit will make sure you’re able to take advantage of any showing request that takes place while you’re away from the property.
Relax, Breathe, Enjoy
You did it.
The house is looking great. Everything looks perfect.
Don’t worry about lego pieces left on the floor by your kids. The buyers looking at the property will understand that people live here.
Cut yourself some slack.
There will be times when you can’t do everything on your list.
Selling your house doesn’t have to be a chore, so remember to relax.
Selling your house with kids brings an added level of complexity to the transaction.
That doesn’t make it impossible.
It can be a great experience for both you and your kids if done correctly.
Stick to your plan.
Make a list.
And remember that everything take time.
Related Articles about Selling a Home with Kids
- Selling a Home with Kids
- How to Sell a Home with Kids
- Home Selling Tips Before Listing Your Home
- Childproofing Home Safety Tips
Hire an excellent real estate agent like Abraham Walker that is familiar with selling houses with kids. That will be a significant part for your success.
Thinking of selling your home? Check out our 20+ step Guide to Selling Your House. Or you can contact me now to start the process immediately. Same day appointments are available on a case by case basis. I look forward to hearing from you.
About the Author: The above article was written by Abraham Walker, Your Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent, helping clients market their homes to achieve high sales with a quick closing time is my main priority. He’s the co-founder of Ask A Walker and can be found on YouTube, Facebook, and HERE on this blog.