3 Steps for Getting Your Home Ready to Sell When You Have Kids

You’ve decided to start the next chapter in your family’s story and move to a new home. So much excitement and anticipation come with such a big change—and a lot of work. While it seems like a herculean feat, there are strategies to make the task manageable. After taking a few deep breaths and creating an organized plan, you can set your home to show all of her beauty! Here are three steps for successfully prepping your home with kids in tow:

Step 1: Tackle Clutter

Most people live in their homes until just before closing. While this benefits the bank account, it can be extra work on the seller. Buyers have a tough time looking past chaos, vivid paint colors, and personal decor. The goal is to prepare your home to be ‘show ready’ with minimal clutter, organized closets, and creating rooms that a buyer can see themselves living in. I recommend starting with a thorough decluttering session. Take a weekend, engage the family and a friend or two, and dig in. Be sure to have boxes, packing popcorn, and a roll of large, heavy-duty trash bags on hand. Tackle every closet, drawer, and room. Don’t forget your garage if you have one. The goal is to create open space and flow in your home, with the bonus of making your packing and moving easier. Sort belongings into the following categories: donation, toss, storage, and keep.

Only the items in your “keep” pile should stay in your home and be organized. When it’s all said and done, make a pact with your family that after each item is used, they will clean and put it back. And at the end of each week, have a family reward to look forward to, such as a fun outing or activity.

Step 2: Stage the Scene

After you get rid of all the excess, then it’s time to prep each room for showing. HGTV explains that the goal here is to show each room in its best light, helping buyers visualize what it would be like to live in the home. This may mean working with lighting, rearranging furniture, adding or getting rid of art, and storing away personal pictures.

If your budget allows, hiring an experienced and professional stager who knows what is on trend with current buyers is worth it. We can match you with the best option to match your home’s style and flow. Need a bit of paint touch-up or handyman type fixes; we have terrific resources for anything related to home maintenance and decor. Once you are ‘show’ ready we bring in our team for professional photos and video. With the help of some pros, your home will sparkle in the eyes of house hunters!

Step 3: Plan for Your Furry Friends

If you have pets, you will need to make plans surrounding their care and where they will be during showings. As The Spruce notes, not all animals are comfortable with strangers, especially without their owners being home, and not all buyers are comfortable with pets. During showings, you may need to take your pets with you or leave them with a neighbor for the security of everyone involved.

If all else fails, deliver them to a doggy daycare or pet-sitting service. Pet owners typically pay $28 to $38 for a professional to pet-sit their cat or dog for an hour.

Some other things to consider if you have a pet:

  • Keep the yard tidy. Make sure you clean up waste and remove pet toys from your yard.
  • Store pet items. Just like every other member of the family, your pets come with stuff. And just like with your kids’ toys, you can get a stylish basket and throw all their toys and belongings in the same basket before heading out.
  • Neutralize odors. Some buyers are keenly aware of animal smells. If you haven’t had time to bathe your pet recently or wash the furniture, use a little neutralizer spray on fabrics before a potential buyer arrives, diffuse essential oils, and burn a mild-smelling candle or bake some cookies.

Keep your eye on the prize when preparing your home to sell and dealing with the effort to prep for each showing. Help keep the excitement alive and focused by involving your whole family in decluttering and rewarding everyone’s efforts often. Don’t forget your furry friends’ needs. We are here to help you every step of the way to make sure your home will be a standout when it hits the market.

by Kristin Louis, edited
Photos by Pixabay.com & Josh Feeney