Tips For Staging And Selling Your Home With Kids

Getting your home ready to go on the market can be stressful. There are things to declutter, possible repairs, fresh paint, and the ability to schedule your life around showings, or even more challenging….keeping your house “show ready” with kids! I have a nice cheat sheet for parents to help them get through this process with as much help and guidance as possible. Here are some of my best tips for staging and selling your home with kids.

Prepare your kids for what it means to sell your home.  Explain the process to them so they can understand. You know your kids best. Think about it, your kids may have grown up in your home, have lots of memories in your home, and have probably made lots of friends in the neighborhood over the years. Let them know before the “for sale” sign goes up in the front yard that you are planning on selling this home and moving to a new one. Make it an exciting adventure for them.  Make them part of the “adventure” by letting them pack away toys. This allows your children to have a job and pitch in, it can make them feel helpful. I also recommend allowing your children to have some “input” on the new home to help them adjust to the change.

Make sure your real estate professional is a good fit for your family and the sale of your home.  Working with someone you like and respect is paramount.  Ask around to your trustworthy friends, one of your friends or neighbors may even be a real estate professional. Meet with a few Realtor’s before your sign a listing agreement. Do not make your decision based on whatever Realtor gives your home the highest listing price.

Selling your home with kids

Declutter, clean, and stage your home.  I typically have a special method for families selling their home with kids to get them on track for this arduous process. I help with giving specific recommendations on what has to go, if we should do any minor repairs, and how to stage the home to get top dollar. This is one of the most time consuming parts for a family with children. Children have lots of stuff and if you plan to get the best price you can fetch for your home, I recommend renting a storage unit or a pod and packing away most things to keep the home as clutter free as possible. It is difficult for prospective buyers to envision themselves in your home if there is too much stuff.  Clear out closets to make them look spacious, keep knick-knacks, photos, and toys to a minimum. Be ruthless about decluttering. Clean up the kids drawing on the fridge, save them in a special folder for the new home fridge! I always recommend keeping 3-5 of the kids favorite toys and let them pick, again so they feel like they have a place in this process.
When selling a home with kids it’s important that the rooms in your home are clearly defined as to what they are used for. For example, a bedroom that has been used as a playroom for your kids should be converted back into a bedroom or home office. “Neat and organized” should be paramount when decluttering and staging your home.
Once things are staged and rooms have been decluttered its time for a deep clean. I suggest taking the kids on play dates, to a babysitters, or family members home and get started. If you have family or good friends that live close by recruit them to help with this. Get plenty of supplies, some beer, and pizza. And don’t forget about the outside of the house as well. Cut the lawns, trim the edges, even plant a few flowers or shrubs for curb appeal. If you don’t have the time or the energy to do a big clean, hire a local cleaning company and/or landscaping company to come in and do it for you.

Styling your home for professional photos and future showings. It is down to this, for photos and showings your home needs to look GREAT! Some Realtors hire a professional stylist for a home, depending on the price point this may or may not be necessary. Even a modest home can benefit greatly from styling especially for photography. Most prospective buyers will look at homes online, so your home needs to look appealing in the photos. There is nothing worse than the dreaded wide angle lens distortion pictures that are absurd and unflattering. I have a lot of experience with styling a home so I often do this with my clients approval.  A good Realtor will take care of professional photos and styling needs for you. Also make sure you discuss with your Realtor if it makes sense to plan open houses when marketing your home. When you have children it may not be something you want but it’s good to weigh the pros and cons.

Get ready for showings! Have a plan! Sometimes you only get minimum notice of three or four hours before a showing. It may not seem like enough time to prepare a home for showings. You need to remember that a seller who is not flexible with showings greatly reduces the chances their home will sell. Make sure you clean floors and counters, clean up all toys, clean up all clothing, check underneath dressers and beds for your kids belongings, Make sure there are no foul odors present in your home and make all beds. Don’t forget, It’s also important that if you have kids that you don’t neglect the outdoor living areas. Before you leave for a showing, do a quick check outside around your home and make sure there aren’t toys laying scattered throughout your yard. The exterior of your home is the first thing a buyer will see.
Last but not least, have a plan for an activity during the showing. Go to the library, go to the grocer, if it’s nice take the kids to a park, or possibly go see a movie if the time works and your kids are old enough.
Selling a home with kids can be a tad stressful. A professional Realtor can take a lot of the stress out of the process of selling your home with kids by giving guidance, being a sounding board, and providing outstanding resources and marketing that is geared towards keeping your kids in mind. Keep things fun, be patient, and be realistic. A little planning and help will make the process seem easier. No matter if you are selling your first home or your 10th, selling a home with kids requires a little extra planning.
If you are considering selling your home, contact Martin Colver 608-335-8376 for a complimentary home assessment.