Whether it’s the first time selling a home or the 5th, there are always going to be challenges as you go through the selling process.
Selling a home can be stressful and difficult enough, but when you add kids into the equation of selling a home, it can make the process seem insurmountable, much like going to the grocery store or any seemingly small task. Let’s be honest, any time you add kids into the mix, things can get tricky.
If you’re thinking of selling your home or are currently in the process and have kids, below are some of the best tips that can make the home selling process less stressful for not only your kids, but also for you!
Make Sure Your Kids Know That You’re Selling Your Home BEFORE it goes on the market
One of the biggest mistakes that sellers who have kids make is they do not share with their kids they are planning on selling their home. Obviously at some point kids will figure out their home is being sold and the surprise can be painful for a child.
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. If your child comes home from school one day and sees a for sale sign in the front yard, this can be very upsetting for him or her. This can even lead to your child getting so upset that they do everything in their power to make sure your home doesn’t sell, such as leaving your home a complete mess.
Well before you list your home for sale, it’s strongly suggested that you inform your kids that you will be selling your home. Explain to your kids why you’ve decided to sell your home and letting them know about your future plans can go a long way. If you’re able, show your kids where they will be living in the future and point out some of the positive characteristics of their new home and neighborhood, they may get very excited for the move and be on board with the sale.
Prepare Your Home For The Market
When selling a home, preparing your home for the market is important.
If you’re selling a home with kids, one of the most important things to do before listing your home for sale is to make sure your home appeals to the masses. Even though your kid may love their bright pink bedroom walls, the likelihood that the majority of buyers walking through your home will not love the bright pink bedroom walls is high. It’s suggested that when selling a home with kids that you neutralize the colors of the rooms. Another tip when selling a home with kids is to depersonalize the home:
Removing murals from walls
Removing the report cards, spelling tests, and other personal items from the refrigerator
Removing kid posters from bedroom walls
Removing kid themed wallpaper
Removing action figures, stuffed animals, and toys from dressers and shelves
Stage your Home
When selling a home with kids, it’s important to stage your home properly. 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. This simple staging tip can make a huge difference as it will help appeal to the majority of prospective buyers who are walking through your home.
It’s important to remember when staging a home for a sale, less is more. This is especially true when selling a home with kids. There are many common features that home buyers are looking for in a home and many buyers who are unable to overlook lots of “stuff.”
Secure A Storage Unit, Facility, Or Space
Homeowners who have kids understand how fast things can accumulate. One new toy here and another new toy there, before you know it your home is overtaken with toys and belongings. It’s important when selling a home with kids that you secure the proper storage facility or designate a space for storage. While you’re packing your kids belongings away make sure you do not pack away every single one of their toys but that you pack away the majority of their belongings, be sure to explain along the way that this is temporary. Most kids will have two or three favorite toys that you can make sure are readily available for them.
One method that is becoming increasingly popular is the use of PODS, also known as a portable on-demand storage unit. There are many variations of PODS. One of the most popular PODS are units that are delivered to a homeowners driveway, packed with the homes belongings, and taken off site for storage. Another popular type of POD is one that is stored on-site in the homes driveway. PODS are becoming increasingly popular since in most cases it is less expensive than obtaining a storage facility.
Some homeowners who are selling their home with kids do not want to move their belongings into a storage facility or unit for various reasons. If you’re unwilling to secure a storage unit or facility, it’s important that you designate a place in your home that will be used for storage. It isn’t a good idea to store all your belongings in a bedroom or the living room, but store your belongings in an area that is not heavily used. Some of the best places to store your belongings include;
Whether you decide to purchase a storage unit or decide to designate a space for storage, it’s important that when selling a home with kids you neatly organize your belongings. Make sure you have plenty of boxes or storage containers and also that they are clearly labeled in the event you need to find an item that has been packed away.
Prepare Your Home For Showings
When selling a home with kids, it’s important you choose a real estate agent who has experience in selling homes with kids. A real estate agent who has sold homes in the past where there were kids involved will know how much is involved with showings and the preparation for showings.
If you happen to choose a Realtor who doesn’t have experience in selling a home when kids are involved, you should inform your Realtor that you need at least three or four hours notice for showings. While three or four hours 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.
What specific steps should be taken to prepare a home for showings if you’re selling a home with kids? Some of the most important tips for preparing a home with kids for showings include;
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
Make all beds
It’s also important that if you have kids and you’re preparing your home for showings that you don’t neglect the outdoor living areas. Before you leave for a showing, do a quick walk 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 and if your kids toys are scattered everywhere it can give a negative impression to a buyer before they even get inside your home.
Have A Game Plan For Showtime!
Now that your home is ready for showtime, it’s important you have a game plan in place. When selling a home with kids, you need to understand that your home maybe shown several times in any given day. This may mean that you may be away from your home for several hours throughout the day.
It’s important that you know what you and your kids will do during showings. Some great ways to spend the time with your kids during any showings of your home may include;
Go to the movies
Go to the mall
Go to the library
Go to an amusement park
Go to a park
Go to a friends house
Go to the grocery store
If you have infants, it’s also very important that you have a bag ready and packed of the most important items your kid may need. These items may include formulas, diapers, and toys.
Determine Whether You Want Open Houses
A lot of real estate agents will insist that homes sell as a direct result from an open house. This statement is not true and the statistics show that less than 5% of homes sell as a direct result from open houses. When selling a home with kids, you need to consider the PROS and CONS of open houses and determine whether they will be worth it or not.
Have questions about listing your home or how to prep it while working around the tiny humans? Our team would love to help!
Thank you to our site sponsors, Sophia Leece and Scott Boudreaux with LAH Real Estate. For more information on what’s happening in the Birmingham Housing Market, or to schedule a free home buyer/seller consultation, you can reach them:
Sophia Leece, 205.895.9120 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Boudreaux, 205.835.9787 | email@example.com