Selling a home can be a stressful and challenging process, and when you add kids into the mix, it can become even more complicated and overwhelming. Children can create chaos, and their needs and routines can clash with the demands of home showings and open houses.
However, with some careful planning and a bit of patience, you can successfully navigate the home-selling process while keeping your kids happy and your sanity intact. In this helpful guide, we'll provide you with tips and strategies to make selling your home with kids a smoother and more manageable experience.
Preparation Is Key
Declutter and Organize: Before you even list your home, start by decluttering and organizing. Get rid of items you no longer need and create a sense of order throughout the house. This will make it easier to keep things tidy during the selling process.
Involve Your Kids: Make decluttering a family project. Encourage your kids to help sort through their toys and belongings. This can be a valuable teaching opportunity, and it also helps them feel involved and invested in the process.
Safety First: Take the time to childproof your home. Remove any hazards that could cause accidents during showings. This includes securing heavy furniture, covering sharp edges, and ensuring electrical outlets are safe.
Create a Moving Timeline: Set a timeline for the move, and communicate it to your children. This will help them understand what to expect and allow you to gradually prepare them for the big change.
Packing Toys and Belongings: Start packing non-essential toys and belongings well in advance. Children may feel more comfortable if they see some of their things still around, but having a reduced amount of clutter will make it easier to keep the house clean during showings.
Staging Your Home
Neutralize the Decor: When staging your home, aim for a neutral and depersonalized look. This will help potential buyers envision the space as their own. Put away overly personalized items and décor, such as family photos or your child's artwork.
Kid-Friendly Staging: While you want a neutral overall look, consider keeping a designated kid-friendly space. Set up a playroom or a children's bedroom that is clean, organized, and inviting. This will help buyers with kids see the potential of the space for their own children.
Use Multi-Purpose Furniture: Choose furniture that can serve multiple purposes. This is especially useful in smaller homes. For example, use a storage ottoman that can also function as a coffee table or a bench that can hold toys.
Clean, Clean, Clean: Regularly clean your home to keep it in show-ready condition. Children can be messy, so be diligent about tidying up and vacuuming after playtime.
Outdoor Spaces: If you have a yard or outdoor space, ensure it's safe and well-maintained. Make it a selling point by setting up a play area or a cozy patio where potential buyers can imagine themselves spending time with their kids.
Managing Showings and Open Houses
Flexible Schedule: Be flexible with your showing schedule. Some buyers may want to see the house during times that align with your kids' routines, like naptimes or early evenings. Try to accommodate these requests when possible.
Escape Plan: Have an escape plan for showings. Take your kids to a nearby park, library, or friend's house while the house is being shown. This is not only less disruptive but also safer for your children.
Prepare an Essentials Kit: Create a kit with essential items for your kids, such as snacks, toys, diapers, and changes of clothes. Keep this kit ready to go for last-minute showings.
Delegate Responsibilities: Enlist the help of friends or family to watch your kids during showings if you can't be there. Having an extra set of hands can make the process smoother.
Pet Considerations: If you have pets, ensure they are well taken care of during showings. Some potential buyers may have allergies or concerns about pets, so it's best to have a plan for them as well.
Dealing with Emotions
Talk to Your Kids: Be open and honest with your children about the move. Discuss the reasons for selling the house and the new home you'll be moving to. Encourage them to ask questions and share their feelings.
Involvement in Packing: Let your children pack some of their belongings. This can make them feel like they have a role in the process and give them a sense of control.
Farewell Ritual: Create a special ritual to say goodbye to the old house. This could be as simple as a final walk-through where you share memories.
Keep Routines: Try to maintain a sense of normalcy in your children's routines during the selling process. Consistent meal and bedtime schedules can help them feel secure.
Be Patient: Understand that your children may have emotional reactions to the move. Be patient and supportive, as this is a significant change in their lives.
The Day of the Move
Childcare for Moving Day: On the day of the move, arrange for childcare if possible. Moving day can be chaotic, and having your children in a safe and supervised environment will make things easier for everyone.
Designate a Safe Space: If childcare is not an option, designate a safe space in your old and new homes where your kids can stay out of the way. This could be a corner with their toys and essentials.
Say Goodbye to the Old Home: Before leaving your old home for the last time, allow your children to say their goodbyes. This can help with the transition to the new home.
Selling a home with kids can be challenging, but with the right planning and strategies, you can make the process smoother for your entire family. By following all of these tips, you can successfully navigate the real estate market while keeping your kids happy and comfortable throughout the entire journey.
23 Tips for Selling a Home with Kids: A Helpful Guide
Michelle Gibson is a top Realtor who has been specializing in residential real estate throughout Wellington Florida since 2001. She enjoys sharing her real estate experiences with buyers, sellers, landlords, and tenants through her writing.