Selling a home is no easy feat, but it becomes much more difficult when little ones are running around the home you're trying to sell. Not only do kids have a knack for making a mess out of any once-organized room, but they will likely need some extra support and emotional reassurance to adjust to leaving your home. Here are some helpful tips to successfully sell your home when you have children.
While many parents want to protect their kids from news that might upset them, springing a home sale on them can make them feel much worse. Depending on the age of your child, your current house may be the only home they've ever known and they will likely feel an emotional attachment to it.
To avoid any emotional distress, explain to your children that you're selling your home and the reasoning behind it. Be sure to do this far in advance of when you plan to put a for sale sign in the front yard. If you're able to show them your new home, bring them to the neighborhood and highlight all of the good characteristics about it so that they start to get excited about the move.
Anyone who is selling their home has to go through the decluttering process to make it look like a model house. As kids often have a slew of toys, clothes, and games, getting rid of a home's clutter tends to be more challenging for families with little ones. Start tackling the chaos by clearing out the toys scattered around the house, especially large ones such as a doll playhouse or a pretend kitchen. Keep the toys out of eyesight by putting them in a closet or a separate storage container. If you need to leave some toys in view, gather them in one designated room.
The decluttering process is essential for allowing potential buyers to imagine their personal belongings in your home. Beyond the children's things, you should remove your family's personal touches, such as souvenir collections, family photos, and bulky decor and furniture. By clearing out your furniture now, you can invest in new pieces and contribute to the U.S. furniture sales that are projected to reach $122 billion by 2020. Having new furniture in your new home is a great way to feel like you're starting a different chapter as a family.
As you declutter, consider the things you don't need to take with you when you move. Create bins for "toss" and "donate" and start filling them with your things as well as the children's belongings. With the average American tossing 82 pounds of textile waste every year, try to be mindful of what you're throwing out and donate as much as possible.
You may still look at the mural of zoo animals in your child's room with fondness, but a buyer won't see it so kindly. When you're getting ready to sell your home, be sure to paint over any kid-themed walls in their bedrooms and the playroom. Go for a neutral paint color to cover up any chalkboard paint or bold patterns you used for the kids to allow potential buyers to see themselves in your home.
While you're re-doing the walls, tackle the floors as well. Carpeted floors are typically a problem area for anyone trying to sell their home, but the carpet in a home of a family with children will likely have accumulated quite a few stains over the years. Replace your outdated carpet or install hardwood floors. Not only is wood the number one most energy-efficient material with which you can make products, but buyers love the look of hardwoods. If you already have hardwood floors, give them a quick once-over with a refinisher to add some extra shine.
Once your home is on the market, showings tend to happen frequently and at a moment's notice. To make the showings less disruptive for the kids, create a schedule for them and let your real estate agent know that schedule. As many buyers want to look at homes after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays, make two nights of the week eat-out nights and let your agent know you'll be gone until 8:00 p.m. on those evenings. Take the kids to their favorite restaurants or out for ice cream to indulge in a sweet, frozen treat like 90% of U.S. households do. This can help win your kids over if they're resistant to moving while keeping them out of the way of new buyers.
While many real estate agents no longer consider an open house essential for selling it, it can help sell your home faster by bringing in more curious buyers. If you and your agent decide you should have an open house, plan a fun day out with the kids that will keep them occupied for hours.
Be wary of trying to give them minor distractions, such as handing them your phone while you drive around town. About one in four cell phone owners claim that their phone was damaged because they gave it to their child to use. Instead, have them choose a movie they want to see in theaters or go to an amusement park for the day. If you can't do a big activity together, try taking them to a friend or family member's house for some playtime.
There's no doubt that the process of selling a home when you have kids is going to be stressful. By putting these tips into action, however, you can simplify the ordeal for everyone involved. Once you get through the challenge of selling your house, you'll start looking forward to your family's future in your lovely new abode.