There is a right way to sell a house, and a wrong way to sell a house... how you proceed is your decision. In this article, we will be going over some tips to help you get your home sold, even with kids posing a challenge!
I know what a lot of you are thinking... "Can my kids convey with the house?" (joking of course). They cannot.
Selling your home can be stressful. You want to make sure that the entire process runs as smoothly as possible. Adding kids to the equation makes things even more difficult. So can pets, and that's another topic.
So let's dive into some tips on how to sell your home with kids:
Make sure the Kids Understand
One of the best things you can do is to start by letting your kids know how important it is that you sell your home. Sit them down, and turn it into a 'game' for them. If Mommy and Daddy sell the house within 30 days we will spend a day at the toy store... Or something along those lines. Know what motivates your kids, and propose it in a 'game' format!
Develop a list of actionable items for your children to accomplish with each showing request and open house. When the items are completed, reward them and they will continue to associate positive feelings with helping.
You'll also be surprised how far gratitude goes with children. When your kids realize how appreciative you are of their efforts they will work even harder! Adults are the same way. Everyone loves a feeling of accomplishment as well, and gratitude is a great way to ensure your children feel accomplished!
One thing to be careful of is the fact children may not react well to change. Especially since it's a parental decision and not one they chose for themselves. This is where a trust factor comes into play. If you are going to break the news to your children you will want to do so in a positive environment. You may even want to bring up a previous change in which they were successful, or good things resulted as a part of that change.
Now it's time to get to work on selling your house!
Clean, Clean, and Clean some more!
One of the most important things to selling your home is keeping it as clean as possible. Have you ever heard of buyers walking into a messy house and making an offer on it? The offer is likely 10-20% less than market value to a real estate investor. We are talking about selling your home for the most money, not giving it away.
They would walk out so fast they wouldn’t have had enough time to know whether they were on carpet or hardwood floors. So keep it clean!
Keeping your home clean means there will be a lot of work ahead. When it comes to cleaning your home with kids, it will seem like the work never ends. Some of the most important things to make sure you have kept looking spotless are:
- Children’s Bedrooms/playrooms are spotless:
- Floors are vacuumed and washed (depending on carpet or hardwood flooring)
- Toys are all picked up and put away or assorted neatly
- All clothes are put away in the dresser drawers
- Windows are cleaned
- All furniture and appliances are dusted
- Find hidden toys or personal items underneath furniture and bed
- Watch for marks on the walls/floors
- Either remove or cover up
Recruit Help from the Children
The kids helping will go a long way in selling your home. Although they may be very young or at an age where they try to distant themselves, ask! There’s nothing wrong with getting some help even if you are someone who needs to have everything done exactly how you vision it. They are always there to help you.
Ask them things such as keep their rooms clean, do their dishes, throw their dirty laundry into the washer machine instead of on the ground! Then, after it is washed and dried, put away into their dresser or closet. Ask them to make their beds when they wake up in the morning so the room is always looking presentable.
If there is ever a last minute showing, you do not want to be running around the house cleaning every little thing that your kids could have done themselves. Just ask them for a little contribution and they definitely will help you out once they see just how stressed out you are starting to get! No child wants to listen to their mother/father have a fit, so they will do whatever to try and avoid it. You can use that to your advantage!
Keep the Kids out of the House
Once you successfully get your kids helping you around the house, that is when you need to start getting them out of the house! You have their help keeping the house spotless, now you want it to stay that way for as long as possible. This seems to be when you do not mind your older kids going out more often because you know if they are not home, they can’t make any messes. This will keep your house cleaner a lot longer.
When it comes to showings or open houses, you will definitely not want your children there. It is best to get everyone, including yourself, out of the house during that time. Open houses tend to last a lot longer (about 2 or more hours) so find things to do while you are to kill time. There are plenty of things that you can do and places that you can go with your children. Places such as:
|The Movies||The Mall||Sporting Events||A Park|
|Out to Eat||Nature Hike||A Friend's House||Run Errands|
If you have a pet it may make things a bit more complicated. Leaving your pet at home is not the best idea. You are not sure if the buyers viewing the home are okay around animals. Unless it is fish or something in a small tank. Bring your pet with you or have a friend or relative watch over it while the showing is taking place. You want to plan on being out of the house for a while so pack accordingly. Bring things for you children to keep them busy if you are going to parks somewhere. Bring things for your pet if you think it will get thirsty or hungry.
Buy a Storage Unit
If you are a family that owns a lot of things, or your children have so many toys and belongings they don’t know what to do with them, it may be wise to purchase a small storage unit. It is important to make sure that your home is not overfilled with your children’s personal things, as that will make it harder for the buyers to really envision themselves living in your home. That will make them unable to see themselves buying it, which is bad for you.
If purchasing a storage unit does not seem like something you would like to do, there are always other backup plans that could work just the same. If you have a garage, a basement, or an attic, these can also work perfectly as storage units. Keep the rooms open, not crowded. The bigger the rooms seem to be, the more appealing they will be to the buyers. So do not just throw all of your extra belongings into one room, spread your things out.
Personal Items Belonging to Children
Remove any of the kid's personal items such as artwork, toys, trophies, pictures, posters and all clothes are put away and not laying out on the floor (like most kids do).
One thing you want to remember when there are buyers coming to look at your house is that it is crucial to remove all personal pictures of family members and the kids. When you are showing your house to potential buyers, they need to walk around your home envisioning it as their own home. It will make it a lot harder for them to do that if they are walking down the hallway and pictures of your family are everywhere. It will make it much less likely for you to sell your house.
Take down the pictures of your kids or your relatives. Replace them with pictures of other things such as nature or other places. You want to take down your kid's posters that are hanging on the wall, put their trophies away, all of their pictures they might have tacked to the wall. It is very important to make sure the potential buyers are picturing themselves living in this house. That will make the chances of them buying it much higher.
Final Thoughts on Selling a Home with Kids
When children are involved in the sale of a home it makes things a bit more challenging. If the kids have a good understanding it will make things significantly easier for everyone. Explaining to them how important it is to sell your home will go a long way. If the kids understand they should offer to help keep the home clean, and help in any way they can. Positive reinforcement with rewards and gold stars may help.
Making sure the kids are not home when buyers preview the home is a necessity. Kids being outside are enough to turn some buyer's around. One of our buyers If there are a lot of possessions in the house that belong to the kids, you may want to buy a storage unit and move them for the time being. All personal items belonging to children should be removed.
Hi there! I'm Ryan Fitzgerald, a REALTOR in Raleigh-Durham, NC and the owner of Raleigh Realty. Chances are you and I share a similar passion, Real Estate! I also have a passion for technology, sports, and people. Would love to hear from you. Drop me a note in the comments section below and feel free to share this article socially!