The home-selling process is a challenge for anyone, but when you have kids, it can feel downright impossible.
Usually, kids don’t understand or care about the significance of selling your most valuable asset, so keeping the home tidy and ready for showings — especially last-minute showings — will probably not be their priority.
However, when your home is on the market, preparing it to sell is a priority for you, and it’s important that you approach it the right way so that you can sell it as quickly and for as much as you can.
Here are four tips for prepping your home to sell and keeping it clean throughout the process when you have kids:
Have a Plan for Last-Minute Showings
Before you start digging into your home, it’s important to make a plan for that moment your real estate agent calls to let you know they are on their way over with a potential buyer.
It will probably happen. One thing that helps in this situation is to always keep a basket handy to throw toys and other objects into.
Also, look for anything in the open that could deter buyers. For instance, maybe the throw blankets and pillows need attention, or perhaps you need to put some shoes or coats out of sight.
Furthermore, consider bringing in some natural light by opening your blinds/drapes, take out the trash, spray some air freshener, and crack the windows to make sure the smell of your home is acceptable.
Declutter and Depersonalize Each Room
The first part of preparing your home will be to declutter.
This means going room by room, deciding what items you want to keep, and then giving away, throwing out, or storing everything else.
Make sure that kids toys are neatly stored and out of the way, and consider temporarily designating a play space in an area of the home that’s easy to clean. Also, remove any personal items on display (e.g., family photos, awards, trophies, etc.). Remember that the goal is for a buyer to envision their life in the home, not yours.
Once your home is decluttered, it’s time to clean every nook and cranny.
This can be an especially daunting task when you have kids, but ridding your home of the food, juice, and spit-up will make a big difference with the first impression on buyers. Start at the top — clean the ceilings, ceiling fans, and anything else in high places.
Then, tackle the walls, molding/trim, and doors.
If you come across any art from crayons or permanent markers, you may need to put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.
Lastly, you’ll want to scrub down the bathrooms, kitchen, and floors, and then move on to cleaning the hard-to-reach places. Interested buyers will want to see every inch of the home, so don’t hold back on the cleaning.
Arrange for Your Kids to Be Out of the House
On days when you have showings, professional photos, or virtual tours, you may want to consider making arrangements for your kids to be somewhere else — whether it’s with family, friends, or neighbors. That’s the easiest way to ensure your home stays clean and your hard work is not wasted.
Make fun plans for your kid that day, and everyone wins!
Getting your home ready to sell can be a little extra work when you have kids, but it can be done.
Make sure you have a plan for unexpected showings, declutter and depersonalize each space, and deep clean the whole home.
Find something for your kids to do outside of the home during showings and other selling events.
Putting the work in and keeping your home clean throughout the selling process will increase your chances of a big payoff in the end.